March 29, 2022: Journalist Matti Friedman with David Wolpe-Now on YouTube

Writers Bloc and The Skirball Present

Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai Journalist Matti Friedman with David Wolpe

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

7:30PM PST (Doors 6:30PM)

Skirball Cultural Center

2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

Please refer to the Skirball’s website for Covid safety protocols.

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$20 General
$10 Skirball Members and Full-Time Students

In October 1973, at the dawn of the Yom Kippur War, a creatively worn out Leonard Cohen picked up his guitar and a few belongings, left his young family in Hydra, and traveled to Israel, his “myth home.” He felt drawn to defend it in the wake of the Egyptian air attack, and instead of raising a gun, he strummed his guitar in the Sinai, singing to troops in intimate concerts in the desert. 

In Who By Fire, Matti Friedman, acclaimed author and journalist, pieces together never before published writing by Cohen, finds old Cohen notebooks and scraps of paper, and conducts interviews with fellow performers and former soldiers lucky enough to have sung along with him in his crowd-pleaser, “So Long Marianne.” We learn of Cohen’s anguish, his personal relationship to Israel, and his astonishing revival. Friedman weaves some of Cohen’s beautiful old manuscripts into the story. 

In conversation with Rabbi David Wolpe, who is the Senior Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. He is on every Most Influential Rabbi list for a reason: he is at home in any literary and cultural milieu.  He is a Leonard Cohen enthusiast as well.  

We are delighted that singer/songwriter/performer gigi will perform three Leonard Cohen songs. gigi’s interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is stirring and beautiful. Florida-based Interscope Records artist gigi makes organic, acoustically-driven music that highlights her clever lyricism and immersive storytelling.

Author photo credit: Mary Anderson