Although some questions relate to basic Buddhist concepts such as "emptiness," most of the questions and all of Rabbi Tatz's profound answers relate to issues that will edify any thinking Jew.
The book analyzes all of the major differences between Buddhism and Judaism. Buddhism is a non-theistic, some say atheistic, religion.
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And it's the religion we're raising our children in, just so there's no confusion." "I understand," the meditation teacher says. David's conflict continued to fester as he became more deeply involved in Zen practice even while faithfully attending their local Conservative synagogue. "David," she told him, "your practicing Buddhism is a knife in my heart." At that point, David decided to write to Rabbi Akiva Tatz, a South African-born physician and author who has a reputation for plumbing the spiritual depths of Judaism.
Since the affinity of Jews for Eastern paths is a push-pull dynamic of attraction to the East accompanied by aversion towards many aspects of what they consider to be Judaism, David sought answers for the issues that turned him off about Judaism.
In time, I came to see certain elements of Buddhist meditation as extremely helpful to me personally, but the adoption of Buddhism as a religion to be a source of internal and external division." David's religious conflict was exacerbated by his wife Galit, who had a strong Jewish identity and education.
Soon after starting to meditate at the Zen Center, David brought Galit to see the center and to meet his teacher, a female Zen priest. "Well," my meditation teacher says, "the statues of the Buddha are there as reminders of the essence of what we call 'Buddha Nature.' They represent a certain kind of centered, aware, solid presence that we each have and can cultivate within ourselves." "In my religion," my wife says acidly, "we call that idol worship.
David Gottlieb's 15 questions span such subjects as God, chosenness vs.