What’s the Main Difference???
by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Someone just asked me, “What’s the main difference between Judaism and the Eastern religions?” Pictured here is a perfect example. I am talking to a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk. He was wearing a formal Buddhist monk robe while he meditated in front of the Kotel. He has spent his entire life strictly following the Zen principles and life style. He has never participated in sports. He never married, nor has he ever had a job outside of a monastery.
He sat at the back wall in front of the Kotel meditating for several hours today. He did not move, not even the slightest bit. On the bench next to him were a small begging bowl and a sign in Japanese and in English that explained that he was meditating for peace. To many people, this might seem to be a wonderful thing to do. After all, what is better than peace?
I answered the fellow’s question by saying that the main difference between the Torah and Eastern (and many Western) religions is that when they become spiritually advanced, they withdraw from the world. They live in ashrams, monasteries, or in huts alone on the side of a mountain.
Their objective is to completely detach from the world….”Do not make waves. Whatever action you take makes a wave, and you will have to ride on that wave,” they teach. “It is better that you do not move.” They insist that “all creation is merely a dream, an illusion. It is zero… absolutely nothing!”
The Torah teaches that G-d created a real world. Creation is not zero, it is One.
“It is all One.”
While their books teach them to forsake the world, the Torah teaches us to engage it. We are to elevate the things around us by using them for holy purposes.
When this “spiritual” monk wanted to bring peace to this part of the world he came to the Kotel, sat alone. and meditated on “nothing.” When a spiritual Jew wants to bring peace to this part of the world, he comes to the Kotel, he prays, and looks for someone to help.