For me, Leonard Cohen’s prayers/songs have come to embody the most vulnerable expression of avodah she’balev, service of the heart. Singing Leonard Cohen songs for the High Holidays has given me fresh permission to dive deep into the waters of human suffering, to examine our collective shortcomings, and to ask for forgiveness.
At the heart of the holiday of Purim is the Biblical Book of Esther. One of the most curious things about the Book of Esther is that there is no mention of God in it. Many Jews today are atheists (don’t believe in God) and others are agnostics (aren’t sure whether they believe in God or not). Today many atheists and agnostics struggle to find a place for themselves in Jewish religious life.