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Preview — The Jew in the Lotus by Rodger Kamenetz
The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India
While accompanying eight high–spirited Jewish delegates to Dharamsala, India, for a historic Buddhist–Jewish dialogue with the Dalai Lama, poet Rodger Kamenetz comes to understand the convergence of Buddhist and Jewish thought. Along the way he encounters Ram Dass and Richard Gere, and dialogues with leading rabbis and Jewish thinkers, including Zalman Schacter, Yitz and B...more
I found my second motivation for reading such works to be especially well described by several participants in the interfaith dialogue depicted in this book, including Omer-Ma ...more
The Jew in the Lotus is many things - a travel narrative (there's much about India, in here - snapshots built word-by-word of markets, temples, shrines, hotels, and the result is as vibrant as a color photograph); a personal journal (Kamenetz went to India as a secular Jew with some suspicion about Buddhism, and returned a spiritual Jew ...more
Kamenetz does a great job of outlining the various flavors of and splits within Judaism, while also giving an impressive overview of Tibetan Buddhism.
The really amazing parts, though, are the various sections that discuss where the two religions intersect. And there are a lot more than I thought.
Kamenetz wraps up the book with a call to arm for the increasingly broken American Judaism to fix itself, and ...more
The story of a group of Jews from across the ideological spectrum going to Dharamsala for the first ever dialogue between Jewish thinkers and the Dalai Lama. The story prov ...more
I've always felt a strong connection to Judaism; my reference has always been this wonderful Reform synagogue in Tennessee that my family belonged to until we moved away. It' ...more
I'm not entirely sure how to even describe it. Kamenetz is a phenomenal writer and is able to articulate and discuss the actual events as they occurred during the meeting with the Dalai Lama, the thoughts and philosophy behind both Judaism and Buddhism as they were discussed (even the esoteric parts), and his own ideas/opinions/thoughts/feelings as they occurred with truth, compassion, love and such authenticity parts of it made me want to cry.
Much of what I saw in this book ...more
I think that this book was well written. It is the story of a diverse group of Jewish scholars that journey to India to speak with t ...more
- Lots of bickering about what it means to be a Jew
- Some perspectives on similarities between Buddhism and Judaism
- An inquiry into Jewish values that seeks to explain why Jews gravitate towards Buddhism much more than other members of other religions
- A strong desire to go travel in India (or travel in India again)
- Plenty of wisdom from the Dalai Lama, which ...more
I found it interesting that the Jews went thinking that they were going to teach the Dalai Lama about how a religion could survive in the diaspora. I laughed at Zalman's idea of a Tibetan seder before even meeting the Dalai Lama. Instead of only t ...more
I have been noting the commonalities that I encounter between Yoga and Judaism for the past 18 months, but it was an enlightening experience to read about o ...more
This book was given to me by a dear friend who passed away at 82 very shortly after giving me this book. I would have loved to discuss it with her. In any event, this book gives a fascinating account of the author's journey; intellectual, spiritual, physical and mystical, as he travels with a group of Jewish seekers to meet the Dalai Lama, who is , of course, in exile in India. This is a great book for anyone interested in Jewish Meditat ...more