Unified Hearts / Intertwined Hearts logo

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
lcfan16
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:58 am

Unified Hearts / Intertwined Hearts logo

Postby lcfan16 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:14 am

I'm a new member of the forum - inspired to join after seeing the amazing concert in Boston. Anyway, I really love the hearts logo and bought the T-shirt with it, but I also noticed in some of the postings a more detailed logo with the Kohan symbol (2 hands with the split fingers) and the Hebrew letter Shin inside. I'm wondering if anyone on the forum has more info on these logos.
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby tomsakic » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:42 am

The original logo first appeared on the cover of Book of Mercy in 1984.

Image

Source: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/lcbook10g.html
It was discussed here: viewtopic.php?p=77383#p77383
Tom Sakic wrote:Finally, the jacket design.
Simon wrote:Maybe we should have started with the cover of the book first, and the intertwined hearts.

In his 1986 review of Book of Mercy, David Lyle Jeffrey wrote :
The beautiful jacket design, with its red and gold intertwined hearts, tells the reader that Jewish identity is in each part of Cohen’s reflections. But the intertwined hearts reinterpret even as they represent the star of David. In the sefirot of the Kabbalah – the ten complex images or names for God – the sixth sefireh is Tiferet (« beauty ») or Rahamin (« mercy »). In the medieval tradition of Jewish mysticism, this is an aesthetic realm of God’s beauty – for the Kabbalah, all the beauty there is – and yet its sing is the Heart of God, mercy, Rahamin. Here in the old tradition is its principle of mediation and « centering » and, by implication healing.
Jeffrey, David Lyle. (Untitled: Review of Book of Mercy). Journal of Canadian Poetry. No. 1 (1986): 24-29.
It was never clear to me whether LC had designed the intertwined hearts himself or if it was a symbol belonging to an older tradition.
Did LC start using it with the publication of BoM, or had he been using it before? If the sign is from old tradition, does it have a name?

From Leonard's e-mail:
Leonard Cohen wrote:I thought it was my own design, but much later I read in a book of Jewish history that such a design was discovered in the ruins of an ancient synagogue in Asia Minor. The book did not give an illustration of the decoration, but described it, I believe, as "interlocking hearts". Very recently I learned that a German pharmaceutical company uses the design as their logo. I don't know where they got it from. Perhaps it predates my own design. Somewhere in my notebooks from the early eighties there is my own first crude sketch, two hearts, one on the other, one up, one down, but not interlocking. The interlocking, common to renditions of The Star of David, was drawn by an artist at McClelland & Stewart, my Canadian publisher.
So, we can conclude that symbol is Leonard's own design as possible previous use is the result of similar artistic and spiritual inspiration.

Maybe it's wrong to describe the symbol as "intertwining hearts" as that's commonly used phrase to describe hearts on wedding rings and postcards. More common, they're also reffered to as "interlocking hearts". Like this one:

Image

Also, intertwined heart is one of most often used designs in Celtic Knot. It seems it usualy has 4 hearts, and maybe it's ancient symbol:

Image

Trying to trace Leonard's mention of Asia Minor, I found only Armenian website (http://www.armenianhighland.com), with Malatian Gospel from 13th century:

Image

Basicaly, this "intertwined heart" on right side of ornamentum is the same as Leonard's; in his own words, "two hearts, one on the other, one up, one down". I don't know does it refer to star of David, as Leonard's, it could.

Intertwined or interlocked hearts commonly means, it seems, two hearts interlocked, one beside another, thus representing the union, mariagge. I'd say that Leonard's idea of making them one up and one down, as star of David, is new, nevertheless possible uses in middle age or ancient Asia Minor, which seems to be very rare and also widely unknown.

I also recall that German pharmaceutical logo. It was discovered by old Forum member tom.d.stiller in times of release of Dear Heather, in his home town, and it seemed like the copy of Leonard's logo.

Also, intertwined hearts, described as "two interlocking cardioids (one inverted) which together resemble a Star of David" in an old thread here, were later used as symbol for Various Positions album, in Leonard's complicate system of icon symbols.

Also, it it also has become the sign of Leonard's Order of the Unified Heart, which is, I believe, his imagined order of his fans:-)

Image



The second logo, with hands and Vulcan salute, was published here on the forum in the middle of one of our legendary "Forum wars" (yeah, the new fans missed it all - as Leonard wasn't touring, we were bored so we quarreled about many things, from books to politics:), so he sent us this drawing.

As Maarten noticed in another thread, it's explained here:
brightnow wrote:
burningviolin wrote:With regards to the logo, anyone any idea what the bits in between the hands are?
The black symbol between the hands is the Hebrew letter "Shin" (in a traditional script that is used in sacred scrolls and other religious artifacts). It is here as the first letter in the scared name "Shaday", one of the names of God. This name has a guardian role, ans is used in protective amulets and other such artifacts. The hands are arranged with a gap between the fingers to form the same letter. This position of the hand is used by a priest ("Cohen") when he imparts a blessing upon the parish (this is done daily during the morning service, twice on some holy days).

In short, this logo is a symbol of our Cohen's wish to impart blessings and protection upon us :)
The original thread - message from Leonard - was posted on May 7, 2007 - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8679&p=85599
jarkko wrote:

Seal of The Blessing To End Disunity


Image
DBCohen wrote:Is everyone familiar with the symbols on the seal? In case not, here is a brief explanation.

The two hands are drawn in the shape used during the Jewish “Priestly Benediction”. The priests (nowadays, members of the Cohen family), while covering their face and hands with the prayer shawl, hold up their hands in the form shown on the seal, each hand forming the likeness of the Hebrew letter Shin, and recite the blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) for the rest of the congregation.

The above-mentioned letter Shin also appears in the middle of the seal, drawn in the way it is written on the Torah scrolls used at the synagogue. It is the first letter of Shadai, one of the holy names of God (usually translated “Almighty God”, for example, Genesis 17:1). It also appears on the Mezuzah, which Jews affix to the doorpost of their houses.

The seal also contains the familiar Star of David (in Hebrew Magen David, actually meaning “Shield of David”), drawn with combined hearts rather than simple triangles, familiar since the cover of Book of Mercy (1984).
lizzytysh wrote:
The Jewish Origin of the Vulcan Salute
by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(This material is excerpted from Chapter Four of Jewish Themes in Star Trek by Yonassan Gershom. Copyright 2004 by Yonassan Gershom. All rights reserved. Posted here with the author's permission.)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

...We come now to the most famous Jewish influence on Vulcan culture, the "live long and prosper" hand gesture. This "Vulcan salute, " as it has come to be called, was invented on the set by Leonard Nimoy during the filming of the second-season opener, "Amok Time." In this episode, Spock goes into something like a male estrus cycle, called pon farr in the Vulcan language. Comparing himself to a salmon swimming upstream to spawn, Spock tells Kirk that he must return to Vulcan to mate with his betrothed bride, T'Pring, or die trying. The wedding ceremony would be the first glimpse of Spock's homeworld in the series.

Nimoy felt that there should be some kind of distinctive greeting among Vulcans, analogous to a handshake or a bow. Alan Dean Foster's novelization, based on an early script, has Spock kneeling before the Vulcan matriarch, T'Pau, who places her hands on his shoulders, like royalty dubbing a knight. But Nimoy didn't care for this. Previous episodes had already established that Vulcans are touch telepaths. Therefore, a touch on the shoulders would be an invasion of privacy. Instead, Nimoy drew upon his own Jewish background to suggest the now-familiar salute. Back in the 1960s, hippies who watched "Amok Time" thought the salute was a variation of the two-fingered peace sign. But we Jews knew better. The Vulcan salute came not from protest marches, but from the pulpit of Nimoy's childhood synagogue.

The Vulcan greeting is based upon a blessing gesture used by the kohanim (koe-hah-NEEM) during the worship service. The kohanim are the genealogical descendants of the Jewish priests who served in the Jerusalem Temple. Modern Jews no longer have priests leading services as in ancient times, nor do we have animal sacrifices anymore. (Yes, people really do ask about that!) The sacrificial system ended with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in the year 70. C.E. However, a remnant of the Temple service lives on in the "kohane blessing" ritual (duchenen in Yiddish) that is performed on certain holy days.

The actual blessing is done with both arms held horizontally in front, at shoulder level, with hands touching, to form the Hebrew letter "shin." This stands for the Hebrew word for "Shaddai", meaning "Almighty [God]." Nimoy modified this gesture into one hand held upright, making it more like a salute. So, technically, the Vulcan greeting is not the same thing as the ceremonial Jewish blessing. Still, the resemblance is close enough to evoke instant recognition among knowledgeable Jews.

During the synagogue service, the worshippers are not supposed to look at the kohanim while the blessing is being given. The reason for this is to focus our attention on the words of the prayer itself, rather than on the personalities of the kohanim. The kohanim are merely the channels, not the source, of the blessing, which comes from God. Unfortunately, all sorts of silly superstitions have arisen about this ritual, such as "Don't look at the kohanim, or you'll go blind!" and other nonsense. The real reason is simply to focus on receiving blessings directly from God, not from human beings.

Like most Jewish children, young Leonard Nimoy could not contain his curiosity about what the kohanim were really doing up there in front of the congregation. He writes:

"The special moment when the Kohanim blessed the assembly moved me deeply, for it possessed a great sense of magic and theatricality... I had heard that this indwelling Spirit of God was too powerful, too beautiful, too awesome for any mortal to look upon and survive, and so I obediently covered my face with my hands. But of course, I had to peek." (From his autobiography, I am Spock.)

Leonard survived his peeking unscathed, and saw the kohanim extending their fingers in the mystical "shin" gesture. That magical moment remained with him for life, and was there to draw upon years later, when he invented the Vulcan salute.

Did Gene Roddenberry know, at the time of filming, that the Vulcan salute was based on a Jewish ritual? That question remains unanswered. My sense is that he probably didn't, or he would have objected to it, on the grounds of its being too "Judeo-Christian." More likely, he thought it was a weird variation of the peace sign. Certainly, that's how gentile Trekkers saw it for many years. Only much later did Nimoy publicly explain the source of his inspiration.

We should also note that the prohibition against peeking only applies during the actual blessing ritual. The gesture itself is nothing secret. You can see it openly displayed in books and on amulets, jewelry, wall decorations, and gravestones. Contrary to urban legend, Nimoy was not violating any Jewish taboos by using this gesture on Star Trek, especially since he modified it from the original version. I, for one, think it's absolutely wonderful that something so authentically Jewish has become universally recognized as a greeting of peace. More than anything else in Trekdom, the Vulcan salute says to me, "Here there be Jews." It also provides a diplomatic way for me to greet female Trekkers at conventions without shaking hands. (Orthodox Jews do not shake hands with the opposite sex. I suppose that would also hold true for intersexed alien species.)

On the practical end, the ability to make the salute is a bit tricky. Some say it's hereditary, like double-jointedness. (I myself can do it easily.) According to Nimoy's own account, He spent hours practicing it after he saw it in the synagogue. When the time came to use the Vulcan salute on the studio set, there it was, perfectly executed without a hitch. But actress Celia Lovsky, who played T'Pau, had difficulty making the sign. She had to set her fingers in place first, before the cameras rolled, and could only hold it briefly. In later episodes and movies, the irascible Doctor McCoy makes numerous wisecracks about "breaking his fingers" trying give the Vulcan greeting.

In addition to the salute itself, the ceremonial use of "Live long and prosper" and it's lesser-known reply, "Peace and long life," also show a strong Jewish influence. The format is similar to a traditional greeting in Hebrew: "Shalom aleichem" (peace be upon you) and the answer, "Aleichem shalom" (upon you be peace.) Muslims have a similar greeting in Arabic. Once again, we can see a strong parallel between Vulcan and Middle Eastern cultures. In the next chapter, we will further explore how Orthodox Judaism was used by Nimoy as the template for developing his vision of Vulcan society...

(excepted from the work-in-progress, Jewish Themes in Star Trek by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom. (c) Copyright 2004 by Yonassan Gershom. All rights reserved.) Visit Trekjews.com for more info...



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional notes: Although Leonard Nimoy drew a lot of his inspiration for the Vulcan culture from Judaism, he is not himself an Orthodox Jew. His grandfather was Orthodox and took him to the synagogue when he was young. Little Leonard was impressed by the ritual, and today he has a strong connection with his Jewish identity. He has done a lot of Jewish theater projects and narrated several Jewish educational music programs and and video documentaries. However, his own lifestyle is not Orthodox, even though quite a few Star Trek sites mis-identify him as such. The Leonard Nimoy page on the free encyclopedia site, wikipedia.org, says that he is "an adherant of Reform Judaism."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Attention Jewish Trekkers: Check out this "Shalom Hand" jewelry in a variety of styles (necklaces, pins, tie clips, etc.) exclusive original design from Dor L'Dor, (from generation to generation), an educational resource center which creates learning materials for special needs Jewish children. Their Shalom Hand design not only is like the Vulcan salute, it also spells out "Shalom" (peace) in Hebrew letters. And it comes in either left or right hand versions! Click here to go directly to their Blessing Hands jewelry page.
Continuing evidence that Leonard acts with intent and in layers 8) .
" . . .
and he's wearing
his Star Trek uniform
. . . "

~ Leonard Cohen from Too Tough For Us, self-portrait drawing and words
Live long and prosper.

"Beam me up, Scotty."
User avatar
Paula
Posts: 3150
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:20 am
Location: London

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby Paula » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:24 pm

Tom I really really enjoyed this potted history of the Unified Hearts logo.
Dublin 14th June, Manchester 20th June, O2 17th July, Matlock Bandstand Aug 28, O2 14th November, Royal Albert Hall 17th and 18th November 2008, MBW 11th July 2009, Liverpool Echo 14th July 2009
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby tomsakic » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:05 pm

You didn't read it before? :) It's 2 years old post... from Book of Mercy threads.
User avatar
Paula
Posts: 3150
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:20 am
Location: London

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby Paula » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:34 pm

No I really can't remember reading that before. I remember there was a discussion about the UH logo but I can't remember seeing this thread.


I remember why I never read this there was a reason Tom I PMed you :lol:
Dublin 14th June, Manchester 20th June, O2 17th July, Matlock Bandstand Aug 28, O2 14th November, Royal Albert Hall 17th and 18th November 2008, MBW 11th July 2009, Liverpool Echo 14th July 2009
User avatar
bridger15
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles - ex Toronto
Contact:

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby bridger15 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:59 pm

Tom: Thank you so much for your excellent summary of the Unified Hearts logo. It is nice to know a lot of it was on an earlier thread. I am a relatively new Forum member and have not had a chance to review old threads yet. But I will. I am sure there are lots of Diamonds in the Mine.
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Unified Hearts Logo

Postby tomsakic » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:33 pm

You're welcomed :) You can always use search engine in the right corner up there - that's how I found these old threads (of course, my advantage was that I do recall we had those discussions:). Some of the books and songs were excellently discussed and analysed here on Forum, so just look around.
User avatar
horo1984
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Unified Hearts / Intertwined Hearts logo

Postby horo1984 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:09 pm

My thanks (more than 15 months late)
- to lcfan16, for asking the question; and
- to tomsakic and others, for answering it.

I know it doesn't do to resurrect old threads but this truly is a gem. The unified heart logo has intrigued me for some time and I had come close to posting a question similar to lcfan16's, when I decided to use the search engine.

So here's a post to express my thanks and to bring this topic into the public eye once more - I'm sure there are others who have yet to read it :)


Lester
Last edited by horo1984 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I needed so much / To have nothing to touch / I've always been greedy that way
Sydney, Australia - 9 November 2010
User avatar
TipperaryAnn
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:42 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Unified Hearts / Intertwined Hearts logo

Postby TipperaryAnn » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:15 am

Thanks, horo1984, I hadn't noticed that thread. Very interesting!
Forget your perfect offering -
There is a crack in everything...
shaelpetriok
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:22 am
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Unified Hearts / Intertwined Hearts logo

Postby shaelpetriok » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:26 am

I really liked the logo of Book of Mercy in 1984.

Return to “Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests