‘JuBus’—Jewish Buddhists at Home With Paradox
Posted on May 2, 2006
The Los Angeles Times explores the contradictions inherent in the burgeoning religious hybrid. (Via Huff Po.)
(Zen Judaism joke sample: “If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?”)
The altar in Becca Topol’s living room carries a statue of Buddha and a garden stone painted with the Hebrew word for peace, shalom.
In April she celebrated Passover with a “Zen Seder” feast that opened with a modified Haggada narrative comparing Israel’s exodus from Egypt to Buddha’s liberation from suffering.
“I’m a Jewish Buddhist ? a JuBu,” said Topol, 37. “My Buddhist practice has actually made me a stronger Jew.”
While Buddhism has enriched Topol’s Judaism ? giving her a deeper sense of spirituality ? it has produced confusion in fellow JuBu David Grotell. Grotell, 41, is so worried about breaking Judaism’s ban against idol worship that “although I have a meditation spot in my home, as a Jew, I just can’t allow myself to put a statue of Buddha there.”
Buddha: brama.com; menorah: homelessgardenproject.org