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  • Writer's pictureMichel Kahn

The holy or the broken Hallelujah? From King David to Leonard Cohen.

Updated: Feb 2, 2021


The most famous song of Leonard Cohen was certainly not meant to be a glorification for the most popular King on Earth. In his own lyrics: ''The baffled King composing Hallelujah''. On the other hand he called it “a minor fall” and maybe like many others, he marks Bathsheba's guilt ''she tied you to her kitchen chair'' and describes David's psychological situation. The King who was at the peak of his success, felt lonely, maybe as Leonard Cohen himself? “You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya”



According to the book of Samuel 2, chapter 11, One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on his terrace. He saw a beautiful woman bathing. He became aroused, in Cohen's words ''What's really going on below''? David instantly wanted to know who she was. He obtained her number, sent her a Whats-app message; she came over and they experienced a wonderful moment together. Not sure she did, but he felt elevated. She returned home, sent him a text message saying: ‘’My Lord, the food in your palace was so good and abundant, I got a belly from it. David yells Oivee she is pregnant! She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of his heroic Army generals. What Now? He convokes Uriah at the palace and proposes him to leave the battlefield and to take a weekend off with his wife at Miami beach on his account. According to the Bible, Uriah went into FB and Instagram, and saw the rumors. He wanted to embarrass the King, and went back to combat. King David consequently sent a fax to Joab the Field Marshall, and ordered him: ‘’put Uriah out in front of the battlefield where the fighting is fiercest, so he will be shot’’. David then married that poor widow Bathsheba and they lived long and happily ever after.... Till one day, the Prophet Nathan knocks on the door. My Lord, he says, we have a difficult case here: A wealthy shepherd organised a barbecue and confiscated the lamb of his tenant who was a very poor shepherd, what should we do? David, burning with anger, said to the prophet: The man who did this must die! He had no pity. Nathan looked in his eyes and said: you did that;you don't really care for music, do you?” You took away that lamb and had no shame. David went on his knees, Mea culpa, and asked for forgiveness. But since he had innocent blood on his hands, besides being struck with severe punishments like the dead of his firstborn child, he was not allowed to build the Temple during his lifetime. (I call it he temple of life, since its build on top of mount Moriah, where Abraham by Gods commandement spared Isaac's life) He had to leave that to his son, King Salomon.

,,It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah''


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