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I am complicated with Judaism." During my own 15 years as a monastic member of a Hindu ashram, I experienced a similar ambivalence.
Feeling spiritually failed by my Conservative Jewish upbringing, I had sought and found a satisfying path in Hindu meditation and spiritual practices.
Yet, I sometimes felt like a wife who divorces her first husband because he never brought home a paycheck and marries a second husband who supports her in grand style only to feel, whenever she encounters her first husband, that, unaccountably, she still loves him.
For many Jews in Eastern paths, their dual identity remains a low-grade ambivalence. David Gottlieb, who grew up Reform, is a writer who has worked in theater and public relations.
In admitting that his "complaints" were partly due to his own ignorance, David Gottlieb opened the way for a dialogue with a rabbi that was dazzling in its illumination.David Gottlieb's 15 questions span such subjects as God, chosenness vs.universality, self-knowledge, Torah from Sinai, legalism, spiritual vacuity, suffering, meditation, and joy.There, the priest, dressed conservatively in clothes that say, "Hi, I'm a Jungian therapist," greets my wife and shows her the meditation hall… It's strictly forbidden." "Well--" my teacher begins."Oh," my wife interrupts, "by the way, it's my husband's religion, too.