LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by seadove » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:12 pm

Much as the fact that LC wrote this song during the YKW I really don't see any connection to the actuality of that war.

And about hate, as you write it, we Israelis don't hate our enemies. On the contrary, we love ourselves enough in trying to exist and to stay alive.
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Tchocolatl » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:50 pm

Seadove, I do not feel enterily entitled to dicuss war with you because I am comfortably sitting in front of my computer in one of the safest countries (for now, we never know what the future can be) in the world while you are living there under attack.

I would feel guilty to ask you to live in my subjective reality when your objective reality is what it is, I would feel guilty as it would be really cruel.

On the other hand I am not a "war animal" this is not in my nature, my nature is to find links between people, trying to patch misunderstandings, resolved problems in other ways than violence, using agressivity otherwise than for violence. The First Nations of the three americas had Chiefs of Peace, and Chiefs of War, and they were taking the power in turn, according to the forces underlying the relationships between nations.

Wars were a reality from the very beginning of humanity.

I am not naïve enough to think that wars can be swept of the surface of this Earth tomorrow morning. Forces that underlying wars are too strong. So I guess that Chiefs of War and warriors understand each others very well while doing their businness. I don't. So I keep talking for what I understand : peace. Wich means (to me) using agressivity to solve problems in any creative ways - but not using violence.

Germans felt entitled to begin a war because they were victims of people who do not care for them, with all the mad consequences. I don't know it they could have done otherwise, but really I wish they had.

So really I feel that if people can begin to see the point of view of "the others" and if they are using the power of their agressivity - their life forces - to work together to find a satisfying peaceful solution, wars would be less necessary.

But I do understand that when the opposant is totally blind to you and only want to destroy you there is no other way than to fight to death to stay alive.
***
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by seadove » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:36 am

You are so lenient towards us. Thank you. :D
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Tchocolatl » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:21 am

I would say : realist.

Stay alive Seadove. You are not surrended only by enemies.

To come back to the subject, I forgot to tell you that for me the song is connected to war at large, not only to this particular war, even though he made the experience of war in this particular one.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Einat » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:58 pm

London O2 July 2008 / Ramat Gan September 24 2009
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Goldin » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:06 pm

WOW, that's cool! Thanks, Einat!
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by sofiale » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:03 pm

Another article: "A poet goes to war"
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newslet ... p?id=11943
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by HelenOE » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:46 pm

could someone provide a translation of the captions?
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Maarten » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:43 pm


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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Goldin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:18 am

HelenOE wrote:
could someone provide a translation of the captions?
"They will come when money suddenly came Leonard Cohen"
  From: Walla! News
  Friday, September 13, 2013, 8:00
  Kobe Doron, Master observations of the Southern Command, near the airport Fayed west ditch


"When the war broke out I was catapulted into reserve units in long-term observation of the Southern Command," says Doron Kibbutz Yifat Kobe. "Had us lower down.'s Our job was to identify and range artillery systems Egyptians managed area, the northern section of the canal. Image was taken after the cease-fire has been on the other side of the canal. Were at the command post of Ariel Sharon. Matti Caspi said that comes - and also knew Leonard Cohen arrives. I remember it was an impressive show. "
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by HelenOE » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:37 am

Thank you very much, Roman!
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Goldin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:47 am

Not at all, Helen. It's really interesting to me...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Fayid
RAF Fayid (LG-211) is a former military airfield in Egypt, located approximately 23 km south of Ismailia (Al Isma`iliyah); 69 miles 116 km northeast of Cairo. It was formerly a major Royal Air Force airfield built before World War II, and later used by the Egyptian Air Force.
It's even not an Asian territory (Sinai Peninsula), it's already Africa.
That may help us to date the picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur ... s_the_Suez
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Goldin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:42 pm

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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by sturgess66 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:52 am

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newslet ... p?id=11999
Newsletter Sunday September 15, 2013

A Poet Goes To War

When war broke out on Yom Kippur in 1973, Leonard Cohen was touring on the Greek island of Hydra • He dropped everything, left his wife and son, and headed to Israel • "I will go and stop Egypt's bullet," he said.
Neta Bar-Yosef

Image
Leonard Cohen sings to a group of IDF soldiers in 1973
Photo credit: Uri Dan / Courtesy of Farkash Gallery


There is a war between the rich and poor,
a war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
and the ones who say there isn't.
Why don't you come on back to the war, that's right, get in it,
why don't you come on back to the war, it's just beginning.


-- from "There Is a War" by Leonard Cohen

When the Yom Kippur War began, Aharon (Yalo) Shavit, the commander of the Etzion Airbase in Sinai, telephoned his close friend, the singer Oshik Levi. "You have to come here and perform," Shavit told him. "This isn't anything like what we know. It's not like the Six-Day War at all. It's something completely different."

Levi did not hesitate. The next day he and his partner in the show, Mordechai Arnon, came to perform for the troops just before they entered the war.

At the same time, not far from the chaos in Israel, Leonard Cohen was in the midst of a performance tour on the island of Hydra in Greece. His wife Suzanne and his son Adam were with him. When Cohen heard on the news that the war had begun, he felt he had to drop everything and head for Israel from Athens to help in the national effort in any way he could. And so he did.

The original plan was to volunteer on a kibbutz even though he had no idea what a kibbutz was or what he would do there. The values that the IDF represented intrigued and attracted him, and he was determined to join the army and give of his talents. Cohen believed he would contribute significantly to the Israeli struggle. "I will go and stop Egypt's bullet," he said, with a measure of bravado, in one of his poems.

It was not the first time Cohen had tried to feel close to war. The war stories of his father, who had fought in World War I, influenced him deeply, and Cohen loved to look at his father's photo album, which was filled with photographs of him in his uniform, holding his gun.

On his return to the United States after performing for Israeli soldiers in the outposts of Sinai, Cohen would say in an interview, "War is wonderful. They'll never stamp it out. It's one of the few times people can act their best.... There are opportunities to feel things that you simply cannot feel in modern city life."

Driving to the Hatzor base in a Ford Falcon

The next morning, Levi started his day in Pinati, a well-known Tel Aviv cafe, gathering strength for his show with his friends. He says that when he raised his head, he could hardly believe that the object of his admiration, Leonard Cohen, was sitting near him and speaking to the actor Ori Levy. Once he got over his shock, Oshik Levi approached Cohen, introduced himself and began to chat with Cohen and Ori Levy. Cohen said he had flown to Israel out of "a sense of mission and a desire to take an active part in the war," as he described it.

While Cohen was considered a well-known singer in Israel at the time, he was not yet so famous that people identified him on the street. But Levi, a huge fan of Cohen's, certainly did. "Cohen heard that the situation in Israel was really not good, so he came to help the Jewish people in any way he could," he said.

Cohen wanted to volunteer on a kibbutz for as long as he was needed, as a kind of temporary kibbutznik. Levi says that to him, the thought of Cohen working as a volunteer seemed to him "a total waste." From his extensive experience performing for the troops in previous wars, Levi knew how important it was to raise the morale of soldiers about to go into battle, and the powerful significance of performing for wounded soldiers returning from the war, physically and emotionally scarred.

So Levi decided to persuade Cohen to join his group of artists, which included himself, Mordechai Arnon, Matti Caspi and, later on, Ilana Rovina. "I talked him out of the idea of volunteering on a kibbutz. I told him: 'Come with me and perform for the troops.' At first, Cohen didn't like the idea at all. He was afraid that his sad, depressing songs would have the opposite effect and only make the troops and the wounded soldiers feel worse. When Levi assured him that it would be all right, Cohen joined them that very day.

"I drove to the hotel with Pupik [Mordechai Arnon] and Matti [Caspi], and we headed toward the Hatzor base in a 1961 Ford Falcon I had," Levi recalls. He adds that Cohen had no idea where he was going, and he was afraid of the things he would see and even of the dangers on the way. He had never been so close to war, and Israel at that time was in a state of chaos -- there were many losses, and the reports upset him. Levi remembers: "All the way there, we tried to dispel each other's fears. None of us -- not we, and certainly not he -- knew what he might be getting into."

A musical escape from hell

The first performance was a kind of test run for the musicians. Matti Caspi went on stage to accompany Cohen on the guitar. This was a tough job for a person whom many considered a musical genius and who was used to writing complex melodies. Cohen's songs were based on three or four chords only.

The fact that there were no decent conditions to hold a show in -- certainly not the kind Cohen was used to -- did not bother him. He went up on stage with a classical guitar and no amplification but a single microphone that a soldier volunteered to hold for him.

While quite a few of the soldiers didn't know who Cohen was, others identified his songs and his voice, and were very touched that Cohen had come to Israel to be with them during those difficult times. For those who knew Cohen, his show was an extraordinary event. After all, it was not every day that they got to be present at a private, intimate performance just for them. It was a musical escape from hell. During one show, before Cohen sang "So Long, Marianne," he told the soldiers: This song should be listened to at home, with a drink in one hand and your other arm around a woman you love. I hope you'll have that soon.

In the meantime, two shows were set up for the group. During a break between them, Cohen sat in a corner, writing. When he stood up a bit later, he was holding a paper with a new song, "Lover, Lover, Lover," which quickly became one of his most popular songs. The song is a conversation between the speaker and his father, who says to him at the end of the song, "And may the spirit of this song,/May it rise up pure and free./May it be a shield for you,/A shield against the enemy." During one of his performance tours after the war, Cohen said, "This next song was written in the Sinai desert for the soldiers of both sides." Another interesting anecdote: One of the songs Cohen performs often in his shows is "Who By Fire," which is taken from the liturgical poem "Unetanneh Tokef," which is recited on both Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and on Yom Kippur.

The trip to the Hatzor base that Sunday was the opening shot of the group's improvised tour, which lasted three months and included many performances, sometimes as many as seven or eight in one day. The group ran from base to base and from hospital to hospital, and Cohen believed it was important to get involved and speak with the soldiers, from the highest-ranking commander to the newest recruit. He admired them simply because they fought.

The time he spent in Israel was hard for him. Besides the day-to-day fear of shelling from every direction, Cohen had a fear of performing for soldiers shortly before they went into the hell that was Suez. Levi and his friends remember some particularly tough moments, such as when they met the soldiers for whom they had performed a few days before in the hospital after they had been wounded. The sights were hard for everybody and particularly for Cohen, who was being exposed to war for the first time in his life.

Everyone who met Cohen and spoke with him during his stay in Israel describes him as modest and gentle man who wanted to connect to and feel the audience he sang for. "On some of the bases we went to, I tried to get him preferential treatment, a room to sleep in, decent food instead of army rations. But he wouldn't allow it," Levi says with a smile. "The three of us slept in sleeping bags in the canteen or anywhere else we could sleep. He never complained about anything, not even once."

At the time, Mordechai Arnon was very interested in astrology, a subject that was close to Cohen's heart. Another subject he loved was the principles of Greek philosophy, and he and Arnon would discuss philosophy far into the night.

Cohen found relief from the war and the terrible things he saw by writing in his notebook, which he took with him wherever he went. It was a kind of travel diary where he felt free to pour out his heart, writing about the times when the terrible things he saw overcame him and made him weep, about the beauty of the desert that captured his heart, the love between soldiers that moved him, and, of course, about the soldiers who had been killed and wounded.

Occasionally, they would arrive at an outpost or a trench in the dark, and they had no idea where they were or whom they would find there. One time, the group was asked to appear for several soldiers standing around a 175 mm artillery gun. In the midst of the ad-hoc show, the officers asked them to stop singing for a few moments so the soldiers could load the gun and return fire. Only afterward did they get permission to resume the show, at least until the next interruption.

"Committed to the survival of the Jewish people"

Even though those were dark days, the war still furnished fleeting moments of joy and excitement. Shmuel Zemach, the chairman of the Association of Impresarios and Stage Producers and an impresario himself, will never forget the show on the Golan Heights after the Golani Brigade recaptured Mount Hermon. One of the most important outposts in the north, Mount Hermon earned the nickname "the eyes of Israel," an expression coined by Benny Masas, a combat soldier of the Golani Brigade's 51st Battalion. The price of victory was steep: roughly 80 killed and dozens more wounded.

"Even the soldiers who came back from the battle shouted, 'We've captured the eyes of the country.' At that very moment, we were asked to bring the artists up on stage," Zemach recalls. "The excitement, energy and joy, mixed as they were with terrible sadness, created the most moving performance I ever saw in my life. It's a show I will never forget."

For Cohen, the end of his mission came the moment politics began to trickle into the war. Cohen had decided to come to Israel to give of himself for the good of everyone as long as diplomats weren't involved in the war. Once the tables turned and Israel had the upper hand, the Americans pressured Israel to agree to a cease-fire -- pressure that reached its peak during Henry Kissinger's visit to Moscow. The formula for a cease-fire was accepted in the Soviet Union, and the cease-fire agreement later became Resolution 338 of the U.N. Security Council.

Once the talks began, Cohen stopped the tour of ad hoc shows, left Israel and returned to his home in the U.S. About a year later, he was quoted as saying: "I've never disguised the fact that I'm Jewish, and in any crisis in Israel I would be there. I am committed to the survival of the Jewish people."
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Re: LC and the Yom Kippur war , 1973

Post by Goldin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:34 pm

A new eBay item:
Israel Magazine Army IDF Zahal Yom Kippur 1973 Golda Meir On Cover 2013, With an article about Leonard Cohen shows for IDF soldiers - Hebrew.
I cannot translate/understand a single word, but I saved an image here: https://copy.com/bcJJSN1ls8etvmSY
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