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Cohen, Leonard - Who by fire

Identifier

007930

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

This video was removed from youtube a short while back.  It may happen again.  Just in case this si a very interesting and useful summary of the background to this song

"From the liturgy of the Day of Atonement, there is this prayer.

Rosh Hashanah is the New Year in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. Ten days later, at Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed And on Yom Kippur it is sealed

How many shall die and how many shall be born
Who shall live and who shall die
Who at the measure of days and who before
Who by fire and who by water
Who by the sword and who by wild beasts
Who by hunger and who by thirst
Who by earthquake and who by plague
Who by strangling and who by stoning
Who shall have rest and who shall go wandering
Who will be tranquil and who shall be harassed
Who shall be at ease and who shall be afflicted
Who shall become poor and who shall become rich
Who shall be brought low and who shall be raised high.

The existence of a Book Of life (Book of Living) first appears in Exodus Chap. 32. Moses asking God atonement for his people. Lord said him "Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book". In Psalm 69 (verse 28)David prays the Lord for the sinners : "..Let them be blotted out of the book of life".

A description of the experience

Leonard Cohen - who by fire

 

And who by fire, who by water,
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
Who in your merry merry month of may,
Who by very slow decay,
And who shall I say is calling?
And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
And who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger,
And who shall I say is calling?
And who by brave assent, who by accident,
Who in solitude, who in this mirror,
Who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains, who in power,
And who shall I say is calling?

The source of the experience

Cohen, Leonard

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Fire
Water

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References