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The Jew in the Lotus

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  • Ari
    http://www.thubtenchodron.org/InterreligiousDialogue/the_origin_of_the_jew_in_the_lotus.html [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 1, 2006
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    • Steven Levey
      Ari-Thanks I read The Jew in the Lotus years ago. It is a wonderful and insightful work with His Holiness s conversation with the Rabbis. There was also a
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 1, 2006
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        Ari-Thanks I read The Jew in the Lotus years ago. It is a wonderful and insightful work with His Holiness's conversation with the Rabbis. There was also a video filmed by the authors of the book, which was shown on PBS. If you can find it, you will enjoy it.
        Its interesting that the author, who had lost his child, was looking into Buddhism, along with his meeting with HIs Holiness, but found he had what he needed in a deeper sense of kabbalistic studies. I, who lost a child, was already steeped in Buddhisitc studies, and apparently had what I needed, with the death of my daughter a year ago July.

        Steve

        Ari <truelotus@...> wrote: http://www.thubtenchodron.org/InterreligiousDialogue/the_origin_of_the_jew_in_the_lotus.html

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      • Ari
        Sorry to hear about your suffering, I can t imagine anything worse than losing a child. I ve seen some web sites where the post WWII Jews and Tibetans are in
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 5, 2006
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          Sorry to hear about your suffering, I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child.

          I've seen some web sites where the post WWII Jews and Tibetans are in some ways similar in that genocide has been involved, a homeland is in the hands of others.

          I don't know enough about Israel or what's going on in Tibet (though I went there in 1997 and observed things for myself), to know whether that comparison is valid, but I've heard it.

          There were obviously about 90% of the monks missing in Tibet. There would be a huge room, and people meditating, and the whole room would be empty. This was all times during the day, so I interpreted it as people being missing.

          Best,
          Ari


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Steven Levey
          To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:39 PM
          Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus


          Ari-Thanks I read The Jew in the Lotus years ago. It is a wonderful and insightful work with His Holiness's conversation with the Rabbis. There was also a video filmed by the authors of the book, which was shown on PBS. If you can find it, you will enjoy it.
          Its interesting that the author, who had lost his child, was looking into Buddhism, along with his meeting with HIs Holiness, but found he had what he needed in a deeper sense of kabbalistic studies. I, who lost a child, was already steeped in Buddhisitc studies, and apparently had what I needed, with the death of my daughter a year ago July.

          Steve

          Ari <truelotus@...> wrote: http://www.thubtenchodron.org/InterreligiousDialogue/the_origin_of_the_jew_in_the_lotus.html

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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        • Steven Levey
          Dear Ari The text begins with an agreement between His Holiness and the rabbis on the grounds of both Tibetans adn Jews having experienced Diaspora, which in
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 5, 2006
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            Dear Ari

            The text begins with an agreement between His Holiness and the rabbis on the grounds of both Tibetans adn Jews having experienced Diaspora, which in Hebrew means exile. So, there was a feeling that the Rabbis might learn something from the Dalai Lama regarding this to bring back to their congregations. But there are huge differences between the two which are really based in the psychological differences between the Tibetans and their sense of exile and the orthodox Jews.
            The Jews, having no sense of Karma with which to consider what has happened to them over the centuries, are very much in the frame of mind of any one feeling as they are nothing but victims and in doing so suffer greatly from the Great Dire Heresy of Seperatness-the Buddha speaks of. This leaves this orthodoxy in unremitting pain an unforgiveness for which they are willing to fight to death the remedy. and with which they will justify their need for homeland regardless of its consequences. If you have read the Bhagavad Gita you will be able to get some perspective, as I have, on what is the basis for a holy war, and what is pure spite and revenge.
            However, although there is no question that the Tibetan's suffered and do suffer over their state of exile from Tibet, still the differences are vast between the two peoples. I was raised in a Jewish culture on the East Coast and I tell you it is a sad state of affairs. Buddhism has given me much perspective on this, as well as meeting with a government official from Tibet who was full of revenge and then whose heart finaly melted from the teachings of His Holiness.

            Steve
            Ari <truelotus@...> wrote: Sorry to hear about your suffering, I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child.

            I've seen some web sites where the post WWII Jews and Tibetans are in some ways similar in that genocide has been involved, a homeland is in the hands of others.

            I don't know enough about Israel or what's going on in Tibet (though I went there in 1997 and observed things for myself), to know whether that comparison is valid, but I've heard it.

            There were obviously about 90% of the monks missing in Tibet. There would be a huge room, and people meditating, and the whole room would be empty. This was all times during the day, so I interpreted it as people being missing.

            Best,
            Ari

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Steven Levey
            To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:39 PM
            Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus

            Ari-Thanks I read The Jew in the Lotus years ago. It is a wonderful and insightful work with His Holiness's conversation with the Rabbis. There was also a video filmed by the authors of the book, which was shown on PBS. If you can find it, you will enjoy it.
            Its interesting that the author, who had lost his child, was looking into Buddhism, along with his meeting with HIs Holiness, but found he had what he needed in a deeper sense of kabbalistic studies. I, who lost a child, was already steeped in Buddhisitc studies, and apparently had what I needed, with the death of my daughter a year ago July.

            Steve

            Ari <truelotus@...> wrote: http://www.thubtenchodron.org/InterreligiousDialogue/the_origin_of_the_jew_in_the_lotus.html

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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          • Ari
            ... From: Steven Levey To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 4:58 PM Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus Dear Ari The
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 6, 2006
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Steven Levey
              To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 4:58 PM
              Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus


              Dear Ari

              The text begins with an agreement between His Holiness and the rabbis on the grounds of both Tibetans adn Jews having experienced Diaspora, which in Hebrew means exile. So, there was a feeling that the Rabbis might learn something from the Dalai Lama regarding this to bring back to their congregations. But there are huge differences between the two which are really based in the psychological differences between the Tibetans and their sense of exile and the orthodox Jews.

              * I was not raised a Jew. My mother is a Jew but was a hippy the entire time I was a child and then became an orthodox Jew shortly before her death.


              The Jews, having no sense of Karma with which to consider what has happened to them over the centuries, are very much in the frame of mind of any one feeling as they are nothing but victims and in doing so suffer greatly from the Great Dire Heresy of Seperatness-the Buddha speaks of. This leaves this orthodoxy in unremitting pain an unforgiveness for which they are willing to fight to death the remedy. and with which they will justify their need for homeland regardless of its consequences. If you have read the Bhagavad Gita you will be able to get some perspective, as I have, on what is the basis for a holy war, and what is pure spite and revenge.

              *What I think is very simple:

              "Never Again".

              Then Rwanda,

              now Darfur.

              If people's without homelands have genocides committed against them, then there is a practical need for a homeland because the world community does little if anything regarding genocide.

              This is not a "supernatural" argument, but an argument that "Ari likes living in safe, quiet neighborhoods, so crime will not be committed against her and I don't have to deal with a lot of noise, stray dogs, drug addicts, etc". I'm being very pragmatic and non-Buddhist in my statement.

              I think those who set up Israel might have put it in the Caribbean, and I think that was even considered at one point. But, Israel is where Israel is at, with, what 10 million people? You can't practically move those people out, just like the US is here, and it has 300 million people in it, more or less. We can't all move out to give it back to the Indians.


              However, although there is no question that the Tibetan's suffered and do suffer over their state of exile from Tibet, still the differences are vast between the two peoples. I was raised in a Jewish culture on the East Coast and I tell you it is a sad state of affairs. Buddhism has given me much perspective on this, as well as meeting with a government official from Tibet who was full of revenge and then whose heart finaly melted from the teachings of His Holiness.


              *I actually thought the Jew in the Lotus was about how many Askenazi Jews are interested in Buddhism. I'm wrong, I guess.

              Best,

              Ari

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            • agentoftheclearlight
              I learned only a few months ago (at the age of 50) that I was a Jew. My parents, having seen great discrimination against Jews, and my father having just come
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 6, 2006
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                I learned only a few months ago (at the age of 50) that I was a Jew.
                My parents, having seen great discrimination against Jews, and my
                father having just come back from WW2 and witnessing the horrors of
                the camps after liberation - decided not to raise their children as
                Jews - not to even let us know. So we (my siblings and I) went through
                most of our lives with an identity that our grandparents had been
                Catholic and we went to a Unitarian Universalist "church". We rarely
                got together with other relatives and we always wondered why - had
                there been a big fight within the family? My older brother is
                currently a member of a Presbyterian church, and I have an agnostic
                sister and an atheist one. I had been attracted to Buddhism since my
                hippy college days whilst I also was very interested in the occult and
                parapsychology and minored in philosophy. Buddhism made the most sense
                of any organized "religion" simply because the precepts made the most
                logical sense to me.

                Not long ago, I discovered (during the illness of my atheist sister)
                that we were Jewish. The doctor needed to know to look for certain
                genetic markers. She thought we were Ashkenazi. My first reaction was
                to let out a little chuckle about finding this out so late in life and
                wondering whether the correct term would be Buddhist Jew or Jewish
                Buddhist. The reality is it doesn't matter much to me. But I already
                have a number of books on the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism in my
                fairly extensive personal library. I have been very curious and
                interested in what those outside the mainstream of rigid dogma and
                cannons, and more into the mystical aspect of otherwise mainstream
                faiths, had to say about things. I was less into making sure I faced
                the right direction to pray, and uttered some words the correct way,
                etc. etc. than I was in understanding mind/soul/consciousness.

                I found this in Wikipedia under "Ashkenazi Jews" regarding identity:

                Hidden Identity. A Jew whose identity was hidden, who was raised in
                another religion, is still a Jew. Madeleine Albright, the former
                American Secretary of State whose Jewish parents converted to
                Catholicism to escape persecution in the Holocaust and then hid their
                ancestry, is an Ashkenazi Jew by a traditional halakic definition,
                even though she did not know of her identity until she became an
                adult, and was already a professing Catholic.

                But I've always had a strong interest in the mystical side of
                religion: Sufism and Gnosticism as well as Jewish mysticism. Many of
                these so-called "splinter groups" had beliefs more in harmony with
                Buddhist teachings. I literally have a whole new perspective.

                Robert
              • Steven Levey
                Ari You are not entirely wrong about the text s meaning having something to do with the interest of Ashkenazi Jews in Buddhsim, for that is there, it s just
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 7, 2006
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                  Ari

                  You are not entirely wrong about the text's meaning having something to do with the interest of Ashkenazi Jews in Buddhsim, for that is there, it's just that there is much more.
                  And I certainly agree that since there are millions of Jews in Israel, that's the way it will stay, and to think that it should be otherwise now would be unrealistic. However, to me the Karma of the whole thing is troubling, and while the situation is the way it is today, the causes for those difficulties I feel were set in motion along the lines of odd motives. Yes, the inhumanity of genocide needed to be and still needs to be dealt with, but how is not always a straight forward answer. The idea of locating the Jews in the middle of the Palestinians, based in the notion that this is Biblical Jewish homeland is what I feel is at issue. This might be similar to the UN deciding that the Tibetans aught to be given a homeland somewhere in the steppes of China. The Dalai Lama has never said that the Tibetans are somehow deserving of a homeland elseware inthe world, and their situation is genocide pure and simple. Yes, they have been given room and home within India, but
                  not as a country apart from India. To me, (The Jew in the Lotus) the book brings all of this to mind. But truly, there is much morei n the book and Dalai Lama's the discussion of Tibetan thought is really useful.

                  Steve

                  Ari <truelotus@...> wrote:

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Steven Levey
                  To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 4:58 PM
                  Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus

                  Dear Ari

                  The text begins with an agreement between His Holiness and the rabbis on the grounds of both Tibetans adn Jews having experienced Diaspora, which in Hebrew means exile. So, there was a feeling that the Rabbis might learn something from the Dalai Lama regarding this to bring back to their congregations. But there are huge differences between the two which are really based in the psychological differences between the Tibetans and their sense of exile and the orthodox Jews.

                  * I was not raised a Jew. My mother is a Jew but was a hippy the entire time I was a child and then became an orthodox Jew shortly before her death.

                  The Jews, having no sense of Karma with which to consider what has happened to them over the centuries, are very much in the frame of mind of any one feeling as they are nothing but victims and in doing so suffer greatly from the Great Dire Heresy of Seperatness-the Buddha speaks of. This leaves this orthodoxy in unremitting pain an unforgiveness for which they are willing to fight to death the remedy. and with which they will justify their need for homeland regardless of its consequences. If you have read the Bhagavad Gita you will be able to get some perspective, as I have, on what is the basis for a holy war, and what is pure spite and revenge.

                  *What I think is very simple:

                  "Never Again".

                  Then Rwanda,

                  now Darfur.

                  If people's without homelands have genocides committed against them, then there is a practical need for a homeland because the world community does little if anything regarding genocide.

                  This is not a "supernatural" argument, but an argument that "Ari likes living in safe, quiet neighborhoods, so crime will not be committed against her and I don't have to deal with a lot of noise, stray dogs, drug addicts, etc". I'm being very pragmatic and non-Buddhist in my statement.

                  I think those who set up Israel might have put it in the Caribbean, and I think that was even considered at one point. But, Israel is where Israel is at, with, what 10 million people? You can't practically move those people out, just like the US is here, and it has 300 million people in it, more or less. We can't all move out to give it back to the Indians.

                  However, although there is no question that the Tibetan's suffered and do suffer over their state of exile from Tibet, still the differences are vast between the two peoples. I was raised in a Jewish culture on the East Coast and I tell you it is a sad state of affairs. Buddhism has given me much perspective on this, as well as meeting with a government official from Tibet who was full of revenge and then whose heart finaly melted from the teachings of His Holiness.

                  *I actually thought the Jew in the Lotus was about how many Askenazi Jews are interested in Buddhism. I'm wrong, I guess.

                  Best,

                  Ari

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                • Steven Levey
                  Robert, I found your post very interesting. Although my folks were outwardly Jewish, they didn t practice much of the holiday ritual, except great cooking on
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 7, 2006
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                    Robert,
                    I found your post very interesting.
                    Although my folks were outwardly Jewish, they didn't practice much of the holiday ritual, except great cooking on the High Holy days such as the New Year, although they did have my older brother and I Bar Mitzva'd in an Ortodox temple. Like you, as a youngster in College it was Buddhism to which I was attracted, and found my way back to Kabbalahistic thought, much later n life through the stroies of Issac Bashevis Singer. I though he had such a Buddhist approach to Judaism.
                    It was a close friend of mine who presented the "Jew in the Lotus" to me. There is text of compliled thought called "The Jewel in the Lotus" which he and I had read, and of course it is a phrase so pregnant with deepth in any case, but it was because of the play on words that our attention came to the "The Jew in the Lotus".

                    Steve

                    agentoftheclearlight <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    I learned only a few months ago (at the age of 50) that I was a Jew.
                    My parents, having seen great discrimination against Jews, and my
                    father having just come back from WW2 and witnessing the horrors of
                    the camps after liberation - decided not to raise their children as
                    Jews - not to even let us know. So we (my siblings and I) went through
                    most of our lives with an identity that our grandparents had been
                    Catholic and we went to a Unitarian Universalist "church". We rarely
                    got together with other relatives and we always wondered why - had
                    there been a big fight within the family? My older brother is
                    currently a member of a Presbyterian church, and I have an agnostic
                    sister and an atheist one. I had been attracted to Buddhism since my
                    hippy college days whilst I also was very interested in the occult and
                    parapsychology and minored in philosophy. Buddhism made the most sense
                    of any organized "religion" simply because the precepts made the most
                    logical sense to me.

                    Not long ago, I discovered (during the illness of my atheist sister)
                    that we were Jewish. The doctor needed to know to look for certain
                    genetic markers. She thought we were Ashkenazi. My first reaction was
                    to let out a little chuckle about finding this out so late in life and
                    wondering whether the correct term would be Buddhist Jew or Jewish
                    Buddhist. The reality is it doesn't matter much to me. But I already
                    have a number of books on the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism in my
                    fairly extensive personal library. I have been very curious and
                    interested in what those outside the mainstream of rigid dogma and
                    cannons, and more into the mystical aspect of otherwise mainstream
                    faiths, had to say about things. I was less into making sure I faced
                    the right direction to pray, and uttered some words the correct way,
                    etc. etc. than I was in understanding mind/soul/consciousness.

                    I found this in Wikipedia under "Ashkenazi Jews" regarding identity:

                    Hidden Identity. A Jew whose identity was hidden, who was raised in
                    another religion, is still a Jew. Madeleine Albright, the former
                    American Secretary of State whose Jewish parents converted to
                    Catholicism to escape persecution in the Holocaust and then hid their
                    ancestry, is an Ashkenazi Jew by a traditional halakic definition,
                    even though she did not know of her identity until she became an
                    adult, and was already a professing Catholic.

                    But I've always had a strong interest in the mystical side of
                    religion: Sufism and Gnosticism as well as Jewish mysticism. Many of
                    these so-called "splinter groups" had beliefs more in harmony with
                    Buddhist teachings. I literally have a whole new perspective.

                    Robert






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                  • Ari
                    ... From: Steven Levey To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 8:13 AM Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus Ari You are not
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 7, 2006
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Steven Levey
                      To: tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 8:13 AM
                      Subject: Re: [TBG] The Jew in the Lotus


                      Ari

                      You are not entirely wrong about the text's meaning having something to do with the interest of Ashkenazi Jews in Buddhsim, for that is there, it's just that there is much more.
                      And I certainly agree that since there are millions of Jews in Israel, that's the way it will stay, and to think that it should be otherwise now would be unrealistic. However, to me the Karma of the whole thing is troubling, and while the situation is the way it is today, the causes for those difficulties I feel were set in motion along the lines of odd motives. Yes, the inhumanity of genocide needed to be and still needs to be dealt with, but how is not always a straight forward answer. The idea of locating the Jews in the middle of the Palestinians, based in the notion that this is Biblical Jewish homeland is what I feel is at issue. This might be similar to the UN deciding that the Tibetans aught to be given a homeland somewhere in the steppes of China. The Dalai Lama has never said that the Tibetans are somehow deserving of a homeland elseware inthe world, and their situation is genocide pure and simple. Yes, they have been given room and home within India, but
                      not as a country apart from India. To me, (The Jew in the Lotus) the book brings all of this to mind. But truly, there is much morei n the book and Dalai Lama's the discussion of Tibetan thought is really useful.

                      *The genocide of Native Americans in the US "worked" . The genocide in Rawanda "worked", the genocide in Darfur "is working",

                      The genocide against the Jews, did not "work". The genocide against the

                      Tibetans? Intermarriage would be a problem genetically if many are in a small place in India, or form small communities around the world. And outside marriage would also affect the Tibetan community.

                      I think the Tibetan genocide is in progress.

                      I still think Tibet deserves a homeland, as once again, the world community is doing nothing to help. Or very little.

                      Best,

                      Ari

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                    • agentoftheclearlight
                      Funny thing about all this hidden identity stuff. There were clues. We d have a regular Sunday family lunch at a local Jewish restaurant where we lived in
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 8, 2006
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                        Funny thing about all this hidden identity stuff. There were clues. We'd
                        have a regular Sunday family lunch at a local Jewish restaurant where we
                        lived in Scarsdale New York. My parents had a penchant for foods like
                        stuffed derma, chopped liver, tongue sandwiches, gefilte fish, etc. I
                        remember my grandmother - my only living grandparent, who lived in
                        Manhatten, always having Mogen-David wine and serving matzohs as a
                        snack. I just never put two and two together. There were no blatant
                        outward indications. There must have been an understanding in the family
                        because the few relatives I did meet (my mother's brother and my
                        father's brother) never said anything about it and at some point we
                        simply never saw them again. Maybe there was some friction over it. My
                        grandmother died when I was twelve. And that was the end of it until my
                        sister's bout with breast cancer when I sat with her at the oncologist's
                        office and the oncologist said: "since you're Jewish, we'll want to run
                        some tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes." I waited until we left the office
                        and said to my sister: " I didn't know we were Jewish". She had a smile
                        on her face and said she thought I knew. This is at the age of 50!

                        Kind of strange how they might have felt their children would face
                        discrimination what with Scarsdale being roughly a third Jewish back
                        when we lived there (the 60's, 70's and early 80's.) Most of my
                        childhood friends were either Jewish or Italian Catholics (who also made
                        up about a third of the population). My other sister even remarked that
                        we might have had more friends and business opportunities had we not
                        been in the closet.

                        I don't regret anything in life. Neither not knowing nor finding out. It
                        does somewhat encourage me to study more about Jewish mysticism, but I
                        don't think it's going to radically change me at this point. Since I'm a
                        vegetarian, I won't be eating gefilte fish or chopped liver sandwiches.
                        These days I find myself going through life smiling at almost
                        everything. I guess I subscribe to the adage that Life is a tragedy for
                        those who feel, but a comedy for those who think.

                        Regards,

                        - Robert


                        --- In tibetanbuddhistgroup@yahoogroups.com, Steven Levey <sallev1@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Robert,
                        > I found your post very interesting.
                        > Although my folks were outwardly Jewish, they didn't practice much of
                        the holiday ritual, except great cooking on the High Holy days such as
                        the New Year, although they did have my older brother and I Bar Mitzva'd
                        in an Ortodox temple. Like you, as a youngster in College it was
                        Buddhism to which I was attracted, and found my way back to
                        Kabbalahistic thought, much later n life through the stroies of Issac
                        Bashevis Singer. I though he had such a Buddhist approach to Judaism.
                        > It was a close friend of mine who presented the "Jew in the Lotus" to
                        me. There is text of compliled thought called "The Jewel in the Lotus"
                        which he and I had read, and of course it is a phrase so pregnant with
                        deepth in any case, but it was because of the play on words that our
                        attention came to the "The Jew in the Lotus".
                        >
                        > Steve
                        >
                        > agentoftheclearlight no_reply@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                        > I learned only a few months ago (at the age of 50) that I was a Jew.
                        > My parents, having seen great discrimination against Jews, and my
                        > father having just come back from WW2 and witnessing the horrors of
                        > the camps after liberation - decided not to raise their children as
                        > Jews - not to even let us know. So we (my siblings and I) went through
                        > most of our lives with an identity that our grandparents had been
                        > Catholic and we went to a Unitarian Universalist "church". We rarely
                        > got together with other relatives and we always wondered why - had
                        > there been a big fight within the family? My older brother is
                        > currently a member of a Presbyterian church, and I have an agnostic
                        > sister and an atheist one. I had been attracted to Buddhism since my
                        > hippy college days whilst I also was very interested in the occult and
                        > parapsychology and minored in philosophy. Buddhism made the most sense
                        > of any organized "religion" simply because the precepts made the most
                        > logical sense to me.
                        >
                        > Not long ago, I discovered (during the illness of my atheist sister)
                        > that we were Jewish. The doctor needed to know to look for certain
                        > genetic markers. She thought we were Ashkenazi. My first reaction was
                        > to let out a little chuckle about finding this out so late in life and
                        > wondering whether the correct term would be Buddhist Jew or Jewish
                        > Buddhist. The reality is it doesn't matter much to me. But I already
                        > have a number of books on the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism in my
                        > fairly extensive personal library. I have been very curious and
                        > interested in what those outside the mainstream of rigid dogma and
                        > cannons, and more into the mystical aspect of otherwise mainstream
                        > faiths, had to say about things. I was less into making sure I faced
                        > the right direction to pray, and uttered some words the correct way,
                        > etc. etc. than I was in understanding mind/soul/consciousness.
                        >
                        > I found this in Wikipedia under "Ashkenazi Jews" regarding identity:
                        >
                        > Hidden Identity. A Jew whose identity was hidden, who was raised in
                        > another religion, is still a Jew. Madeleine Albright, the former
                        > American Secretary of State whose Jewish parents converted to
                        > Catholicism to escape persecution in the Holocaust and then hid their
                        > ancestry, is an Ashkenazi Jew by a traditional halakic definition,
                        > even though she did not know of her identity until she became an
                        > adult, and was already a professing Catholic.
                        >
                        > But I've always had a strong interest in the mystical side of
                        > religion: Sufism and Gnosticism as well as Jewish mysticism. Many of
                        > these so-called "splinter groups" had beliefs more in harmony with
                        > Buddhist teachings. I literally have a whole new perspective.
                        >
                        > Robert
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------
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                        > Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
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