Secular Music and the Jewish Soul

The Talmud criticizes the heretic Elisha ben Avuyah, or Aher, for listening to Greek music. But what did he do wrong? Todd Berman uses a close reading of Rashi’s comments on the Talmudic passage to explain.

“Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything” at the Jewish Museum: A Review

Ronnie Perelis reviews The Jewish Museum's exhibition: Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything.

“Lu Yehi”: Between Fragility and Hope

In this thoughtful essay, Cypess reflects on the melody that is carrying Israel in the wake of October 7th.

Leonard Cohen Five Years On: Death of a Ladies’ Kohen

To mark Leonard Cohen’s fifth Yartzeit, James Diamond offers a creative take on how Cohen‘s complicated relationship with Judaism defined his music and poetry.

Reclaiming the Musical Past: Leon Modena and Salamone Rossi in Context

Rebecca Cypess considers the life and work of the Italian Jewish Renaissance composer Salamone Rossi, his rabbinic supporter Leon Modena, and the controversies over 17th century polyphonic music in the synagogue.

“Do Not Summarize Me on Wikipedia.” The Thought of Hanan Ben Ari

Natan Oliff analyzes the deep philosophical messages in the music of Israeli singer Hanan Ben Ari.

Wrestling With God: Leonard Cohen’s You Want it Darker

Malka Simkovich with a careful reading of the work of the late Leonard Cohen.

Ivri Anochi: A Tribute to the Paradox of Jewish Pride

Shlomo Zuckier takes a closer look at the cultural and theological underpinnings of this hit new Orthodox music video.

Miriam’s Song and the Persistence of Music in Dark Times

Why did the women bring musical instruments out of Egypt? In her first Lehrhaus article, musicologist Rebecca Cypess draws a fascinating historical analogy between biblical and African-American slavery to shed light on the Exodus in Jewish tradition.

Leviticus, Leonard Cohen, and the Paradox of Rest

Sarah Rindner asks what the Book of Leviticus, Leonard Cohen and the Liberty Bell all have in common.