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Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

Today is Yom Kippur 5774. On Rosh Hashana God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book called the Book of Life and waits until ten days later, at Yom Kippur, to “seal” the verdict. During those Days of Awe, a Jewish person tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings. “Yom Kippur is the 10th Day of Repentance and can’t mask over the fact that we have looked deeply into our soul over these last few days, we have exposed our weaknesses and shortcomings, and that causes us to weep with anxiety and dread lest I be found wanting on the Day of Judgment. But Yom Kippur is also the Day of Atonement, when all sincere penitents are guaranteed a second chance.” At synagogue the service includes the Kol Nidre prayer (meaning all vows) reaching deep in to our souls. Kol Nidre symbolizes the opportunity to free ourselves from the past and is about letting the inner light shine out.  As we’re about to fast for over 24 hours, we first have a big family meal. Yom Kippur ends around sunset the next day with the blow of the Shofar (the ram’s horn) at Synagogue.  On Shabat and on every Jewish Holiday we eat Challah – that is jewish special braided bread. I’ve been trying to make it many times and mostly not sharing as it has not been a success. But today, with a little help from Tori Avey’s website “The Shiksa in the Kitchen”, we have a beautiful and tasty Challah bread with photos as proof. Here’s a great recipe if you’d like to try your own including instructions and variations for braiding. I’ve made a 4-stranded challah, a round one (mostly what we use on high Holidays) and a Unified Heart one (Leonard Cohen fans should know what it its). And talking about Leonard Cohen, even though I shared it last year, I dare to share again. His song “Who by fire” is inspired by this prayer from the liturgy of the Day of Atonement. Here’s an amazing live version from the show in Helsinki in 2012 – yes Javier Mas plays an almost 4-minute-intro.

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.

Tsom Kal & Gmar Hatima Tova צום קל וגמר חתימה טובה

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And to end it on a lighter note with Ari Gold from Entourage and his way of celebrating Yom Kippur: http://youtu.be/3iqZIm-d7bk

Music

Marilyn & Camp Cohen

Where do I start my Leonard Cohen story and how do I tell it? Needless to share the part of I’m a fan; loving his music and admiring the man. After working on his legendary concert in Israel in September 2009, I was asked to join the tour in July 2010 as production assistant. When I got the call from Leonard Cohen’s tour manager, I was first of all very flattered and honored. Of all working people they met over the years, they had chosen me. Luckily I didn’t have too much time to think and prepare, we were leaving 3 weeks later. Leaving for 4 months and a half. 3 months across Europe then New Zealand, Australia, West Canada and the US. As it has now been almost two years ago, some memories fade and one keeps mostly the good ones. Yes I was homesick many times. Living in a hotel, out of a suitcase and traveling is not made for everyone. Being on the move all the time is not an easy thing when you are attached to your family and friends and to your comfort zone(s). But what a ‘chance’. To see the world and to be part of the most wonderful touring company, the Unified Heart Touring Company. It’s hard work and it’s boring, it’s fast and it’s slow, it’s joy and it’s tears, it’s close and it’s far. It’s all of it. All together I visited 45 different cities/countries and did over 60 shows joining the last leg of a 3 year world tour. I listen to Leonard Cohen everyday. I am grateful everyday. The new tour has just kicked off in Ghent, Belgium and is making its way through Europe. It’s been an amazing reunion. So long my Cohen road family.

Hanging backstage signs in Tours, France – photo by J.S. Carenza III

My tour twin, road manager, blogger and photographer J.S. Carenza III took these in Strasbourg venue

Touring can be lonely, luckily I had 2 blackberries – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Santa Croce, Firenze, Italy – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Celebrating Jewish new year in France – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Deep talk over coffee in hotel lobby. Auckland, New Zealand – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Small talk over dinner in Brisbane, Australia – photo by J.S. Carenza III

The other highlight in Australia: wildlife park with my friend Mr. Koala

Soundcheck in Australia’s “Hanging Rock”

Celebrating Hanukkah in Vancouver, Canada – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Celebrating last Hanukkah candle in Portland, Oregon – photo by J.S. Carenza III

After show in the green room. Oakland, California, USA – photo by J.S. Carenza III

Last two shows in Las Vegas. December 2010.

Signed poster, framed on my living room wall.

My daily cup of merch and the “Unified Heart” ring I never take off.

Collage I made a long time ago with a quote from Anthem: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in

More info about Leonard Cohen on his website or on the Leonard Cohen Files. Follow “Notes from the road” for all updated tour info or for more souvenirs: http://leonardcohen.tumblr.com/archive/2010/12

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