Is the "There is a crack in everything" verse (The Anthem) related to the Tikkun olam?

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I'm your fan
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Is the "There is a crack in everything" verse (The Anthem) related to the Tikkun olam?

Post by I'm your fan » Wed May 30, 2018 12:36 pm

Good morning.

I recently have been reading about the Tikkun olam:

I just have read again that, and I quote a paragraph from that text:

"According to this vision of the world, God contracted part of God's self into vessels of light—partly limiting himself—to create the world. These vessels shattered and their shards became sparks of light trapped within the material of creation. Prayer, especially contemplation of various aspects of the divinity (sephirot), releases these sparks of God's self and allows them to reunite with God's essence, bringing them closer to a fixed world."

Can anyone confirm me if it is possible to make an interpretation of the famous verses of "Anthem" from this text?

There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in

Thank you very much.
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Is the "There is a crack in everything" verse (The Anthem) related to the Tikkun olam?

Post by Jean Fournell » Wed May 30, 2018 4:48 pm

Hi, I'm your fan.

Maybe this can help:
In particular this passage:

If you are familiar with Lurianic Kabbalah, and its main heretical interpretation, Sabbateanism, you will understand this album, these two songs [“You Want It Darker” and “Steer Your Way” J.F.], and I think much of his body of poetry and lyrics. I think that whatever drew Leonard to me, for me to be his rabbi these last 10 years, was that for each of us, Lurianic Kabbalah gave voice to the impossible brokenness of the human condition. The pain of the Divine breakage permeates reality. We inherit it; it inhabits us. We can deny it. Or we can study and teach it, write it and sing its mournful songs.

and this one:

(...) Leonard (he called himself Eliezer and me “Reb”) pushed me hard to explain my take on the kabbalah.

Lurianic Kabbalah sees the breaking of the vessels as the poetic truth that defined the breakage of the human being. When I took over the mysticism class at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, around 2003, I worked my way through Scholem’s classic “Sabbatai Sevi” and saw the inner truth in kabbalah’s greatest heresy. Leonard also had read this heavy tome, and nearly everything on kabbalah that I had read. (He and I both studied from Daniel Matt’s masterful translation of the Zohar.)

We both had seen the terrifying obsidian luminosity. We shared a world of Divine absence, except for a shattered residue. We shared a common language, a common nightmare. I think Leonard finally found a rabbi who spoke the truth from which he wrote. I spoke about it unafraid because I think I was more afraid not to speak this truth. Like Leonard a bit, I guess. I was a good teacher. He, on the other hand, was a great poet. What took me a half-hour to say, he could say in three words.

We often came back to one issue of dispute. By temperament, but maybe more as a professional obligation, I offered a path of repairing the broken vessels. I think Leonard could not accept that suture. Spiritually, I am somewhat equipoised between Neoplatonism and Gnosticism topics about which we spoke often. Leonard often took the Gnostic turn. He said to me that the human condition is mangled into a box into which the broken soul does not fit. We all chafe, terribly.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: Is the "There is a crack in everything" verse (The Anthem) related to the Tikkun olam?

Post by fjodor » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:14 pm

What a great forum - thanks for all contributors who add so much insight.

I think these few lines about the crack in everything are really central - they help understand the brokenness of our lives, and how at the same time the divine is always there. So we "just" need to be open for these light impulses and find out in daily life where they want to guide us ...
Blog, German language (Google translate option), with some spiritual interpretations of Leonard Cohen songs and other Rock and Pop songs: ... nard-cohen
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