Hallelujah! (Hr. 2)

(Photo Pin / Paulo Ordoveza)

(Photo Pin / Paulo Ordoveza)


Everybody's talking Hallelujah. Yes, the book and music worlds are all atwitter about The Holy or The Broken, Alan Light's new history of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah.

The word, of course, has a much bigger story.

Next time you holler "Hallelujah!" because you lost weight or nabbed the last cab in a snowstorm, you'll be shouting out a word that echoed in the hills of ancient Israel. After almost 3,000 years, "Hallelujah" is still a great way to express joy and exuberance. And at Christmas, the word is enthroned in all its glory in Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

"Hallelujah" first made its appearance in the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament - a combination of two Hebrew words: "hallel", meaning praise, and "yah" meaning God.

But it's in Christianity that "hallelujah" - or the Latinized "alleluia" - became best known as a word of great emotional energy.

This morning, a look at the strength and mystery of this wonderful word ... equally powerful at times of happiness and pain. "Hallelujah" links us to generations past who faced hard times, but had faith that light would eventually conquer darkness. Knowing this, what else can we shout?

Our documentary, Hallelujah People, was produced by Frank Faulk. It first aired in 2006.

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