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October 20, 1989 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Here's That Extra Room
You've Always Wanted.
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Stk. #906021

1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo

NOW WITH A

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REBATE

Jeep Cherokee Laredo and
Jeep Cherokee Limited leave
plenty of room for adults, kids,
dogs, and luggage.
Here's why:
• Up to 72 cu. ft. of cargo

• Available four-wheel
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• A choice between two-
and four-door styles
• The Limited also includes
leather-trimmed interior,
4-speed automatic
transmission, cruise control,
and air conditioning
There's room to roam in
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Test-drive one today.

MOM

• Five-passenger seating
• Four-wheel drive with
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(available on Laredo,
standard on Limited)
• A 4.0 litre 177 horsepower
Power-Tech Six engine with
available towing up to
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'Price excludes title, taxes, destination charges and
equitable rebates.

BACKED BY
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CLOSE-UP

Dalai Lama

Continued from preceding page

Buddha, as a being who became enlighten-
ed.
Given that the Dalai Lama is believed to
be a reincarnation of previous Dalai
Lamas, it was probably inevitable that he
would inquire about Jewish views on
afterlife. His query elicited two distinct
answers, one from Irving Greenberg, an
Orthodox rabbi, another from Laurence
Kushner, a Reform rabbi. Greenberg
adhered to the traditionalist's view that an
afterlife will rectify some of the suffering
that the righteous may have had in this
life, and that in a future messianic age, the
dead will actually return to life.
(Th which the Dalai Lama jocularly
responded, "I hope young bodies.")
Kushner, on the other hand, noted that
many modern Jews believe only in this cur-
rent life and not a hereafter. Relating this
to the Buddha's First Noble Truth that all
life is suffering, Kushner said, "Where
another religious tradition might begin
from the point of suffering, we Jews begin
with a sense of gratitude for this life. Even
though it might be difficult, there is a
Hebrew blessing, 'Thank God, we made it
to this one. There is a sense of constant joy
and gratitude."
"There's a very high mountain whose top
is close to God. It is so high that its base
is in several different climate zones. The
people around the base of the mountain
have traditions of climbing the mountain.
Those who live in the Arctic climb the
mountain wearing fur coats, hats and
warm, insulated boots. Those who live in
the tropics climb it wearing short pants,
a pith helmet sunglasses and carrying cold
drinks. They climb a little bit and then
realize they are dressed too warm or too
cold and they come down and get the right
clothes. The higher up they get, the more
similarly dressed they are. Unti4 at the top,
they are all wearing the same thing."
— Rabbi Laurence Kushner
to the Dalai Lama

eeting the Dalai Lama
was one of the more
exotic instances of inter-
faith dialogue by Jews in
recent memory, a unique
conjunction of cultures
and faiths and histories. It was as if a
character from Lost Horizon had con-
versed with Thvye from Fiddler on the Roof
— and they both, somehow, across the
chasms of time and geography and the
peculiar vernacular of theology,
understood what the other was saying.
Although it was billed in advance as a
"dialogue" between Jews and the Dalai
Lama, the meeting was really more of an
encounter. The six Jewish participants did
most of the talking, giving the Dalai Lama
a cram course in Judaism. He, in turn,
asked probing questions, said a bit about
Buddhist beliefs and exhibited what all the

participants considered to be an open and
healthy inquisitiveness about Judaism.
(At one point, when asked whether Bud-
dhists believed in a multiplicity of gods,
the Dalai Lama turned to one of his
American translators, the director of Col-
umbia University's Center for Buddhist
Studies, and said, "You tell him."
This reminded Rabbi Glaser of a
Chasidic tale about a maggid, or itinerant
preacher, who went from town to town
delivering the same sermon. Before arriv-
ing in one village, the maggid's wagon
driver, tired of being a nonentity, pleaded
to change places with the preacher. The
maggid agreed, and the wagon driver,
wearing the maggid's fine clothes, gave a
splendid sermon that evening. But when
asked a very complex question, he
chuckled, pointed to the real maggid who
was sitting in a corner wearing the wagon
driver's ragged clothes, and said, "Ha!
That's so simple and elementary that even
my wagon driver can answer it."
And he did.)
For several of the Jewish participants,
their dialogue with the Dalai Lama was
unlike any they had had with Christians.
Being entirely fresh to each other, Tibetan
Buddhism and Judaism carry no conflict-
ing historical or theological baggage.
"Jews have had no negative historical
experience with Buddhism," said Blu
Greenberg. "No Buddhist was a bystander,
at best, during the Holocaust, which may
be still and quiet during a Jewish-Christian
dialogue, but is always present."
Rabbi Glaser said he had been in
dialogues with "lots of bishops and arch-
bishops and [the Christian evangelist] Pat
Robertson, but there was more of a sense
of divinity with the Dalai Lama. There's a
special power here."
The Jewish participants had agreed to
meet with the Dalai Lama for a variety of
reasons, ranging from "making one more
friend for Israel and the Jews" to "em-
pathy for the Tibetans' political and
spiritual situation" to "discovering whole
new meanings for our spiritual
vocabularies, which is important since
spirituality is the code word for Jewish
revival."

Few entered the discussion with the
Dalai Lama agreeing with his sense of
similarities between Judaism and Tibetan
Buddhism. Most learned too little of the
Asian religion during the meeting to per-
suade them that he was correct. But Rabbi
Kushner left convinced that there were
"more similarities between Tibetan Bud-
dhism and Judaism, with what I believe to
be the deep spiritual core of Judaism than
between Judaism and Islam or Christian-
ity. The core of Judaism is the irrepressible
hunch that the unity of all beings is
beyond all physical representation. This
seems to be the essence of Buddhism. And
Buddhists' movement from that to love,

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