Leslie's Reviews > One God Clapping

One God Clapping by Alan Lew
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's review
Aug 15, 09

bookshelves: memoirs, spirituality
Read in August, 2009

This is a very interesting account of the spiritual journey of a man born Jewish, but he finds nothing there to nourish his spirit, so he begins a quest and finds Zen Buddhism. He lives this practice with great intensity and integrity for ten years. But, then he feels more and more drawn back to Judaism. He ends up going to school and becoming a rabbi, eventually of a large congregation in San Francisco and working to bring meditation and Judaism together and advocating for the homeless.
I really enjoyed what he wrote about his time as a chaplain for hospice, and about his experiences with the dying people.
About two thirds of the way through the book, it started to sag a little, and I was getting ready for it to be done. That happens sometimes when I'm reading, and it gets frustrating. I started checking to see how many more pages there were. If I've gotten this far in a book, I finish it, but I wish this wouldn't happen as frequently as it does. I don't know if it's me or the books.
He has some really amazing wisdom at the end of the book--all the way through, really, but some stuff at the end was so good I want to go back and re-read it and maybe write about it in my journal, it really is sticking in my mind.
One thing that I think would make this book better is a glossary. He has so many Hebrew words and so many Zen terms, and it isn't that the reader can't figure them out from the context, but a glossary that gave a complete definition of the words would have been even better, for a deeper understanding.
I really admire Alan Lew for what he's accomplished and for his book and the insights he shared. I feel like reading this book was a gift.

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