Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 2

Where I went to college, there was a special dining room called "The Kosher Kitchen" and you walked past it when going from the front of the Student Union, to the back, where the pub (you could drink at 18 back then) and the campus newspaper were.

I worked at the paper, and frequented the pub, so I saw the denizens of the Kosher Kitchen all the time.They seemed part of club I wanted to join but couldn't. I am not angry at them, and I never was. I was more irritated that what I thought was a solid Jewish upbringing had left me unable to relate to anyone Jewish, outside of the Reform Movement. What this meant for me was that if I wanted to satisfy the urged to worship God in a Jewish manner, I was out of luck.

OK, Ba'al t'shuva (Jewish returnees to orthodoxy) readers will object and say, " You could have gone to the Chabad center and been very welcomed, the Rebbe was all about reaching secular Jews." And I would say, you're right, but back then (the mid 70's) all of that was in it's infancy, and my parents probably would have reacted as if I'd joined the moonies.I should also add that those were the days when every Indian, or Eastern thing was the big thing.

I had a girl in my dorm who was a Nicherin Shoshu Buddhist, and they spent hours chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo". Hours and was insane, and there was another guy who got up before the birds...(this was in college, remember) to meditate in the lotus position. He tried to explain to me that eventually he'd receive enlightenment when the energy flowed unobstructed through his spine. I realize now he was talking about the Kundalini "serpent"....and then as now it all seemed ridiculous.

There is something else that bothers me about Eastern philosophies. It seemed to me that they worship themselves. They talk about spiritual matters as rooted in unproven, impossible to document, but supposedly physical realities. So there is infact a materialism to them, rather than a transcendence....... Needles to say, I found Eastern stuff very off putting.

So I pulled out my Hebrew Scriptures and turned to that one problematic prophecy I'd been taught represented Israel.....Isaiah 53. does ,'s also about an just really bothered me......And in a few months I realized that I believed it was about Jesus. I couldn't help it, and I didn't want it, but I just did.

to be continued.......