Sunday, December 28, 2014

// // 3 comments

Four Indians


    by Reb Gutman Locks    

Four Indians

 

     Four tourists from India were watching me put tefillin on someone at the Kotel. They came over, and the tall one asked, "What G-d do you Jews believe in?"

     I asked him what his religion was. He proudly answered, "I am a Muslim."

     "Then, I am surprised at your question. Jews believe in the G-d of Abraham, Who is the G-d of the Koran, too."

     He smiled.

     I went on, "All people are obligated to follow the 7 Laws that G-d gave to Noah. Most people fail to keep the first one because they do not understand. The first commandment is not to worship an idol, a limited god, but since you are a Muslim, you do not have this problem. Muslims know to worship only the Infinite G-d."

      He beamed when he heard me compliment Muslims, but as I continued the beam soon left his face. "But Muslims do have a major problem with another one of these Universal commandments: Do not murder.

     "Why is it that one out of five people in the world are Muslim, but 4 out of 5 wars in the world are Muslim? And most of these wars are Muslims killing other Muslims!"

     The beam left his face. "Do you believe in the Koran?"

     He assured me that he did.

     "It is written more than once in the Koran that G-d gave this land, right here where we are standing, to the children of Jacob, to Israel. I want you to go back to India and tell your Muslim friends that on your trip to Israel you learned that this Land belongs to the Jews!" Actual fear came on his face, to even think of doing such a thing.

     Then I asked the others what their religion was. The two in the middle said that they were x-ians, and the one on the right said that he was a Hindu. I do not recall ever seeing Indians of different beliefs traveling together. Maybe they work for the same company and came on business.

     I asked them, "Where is G-d?"

     The Muslim quickly answered, "Everywhere!"

     I hit him on his chest and said, "Good for you. Yes, G-d is everywhere."

    Then I asked the x-ians if they also believed that since G-d is Infinite He must be everywhere. They looked at each other, and then nodded their heads that, yes, G-d must be everywhere.

     "According to your story, on the third day after that man was crucified and they went to his grave, was he in the grave?"

     They answered that he was not in the grave, "He was arisen, taken up to Heaven!"

     "Then don't worship him," I said. "If he is not in the grave, he is not everywhere. G-d is everywhere. Only worship the G-d Who is everywhere."

    Then I turned to the Hindu, "How many gods do you have in India?"

    "Oh, there are millions." He answered.

     I grabbed his fingers and pulled them and asked, "How many am I pulling?"

     "Ten," he answered.

    "No. How many am I pulling?" and I pulled hard enough to move his arms forward.

    He said, "Two, my arms!"

   "No!" I said, and I pulled harder so he had to move forward, and I asked again, "How many am I pulling?

    He insisted, "Two"

    I tried again, and pulled even harder. "What am I pulling?"

    He smiled as he got what I was trying to show him. "You are pulling me!"

    "That's right, and just like your ten fingers, and your two arms are really one, so are all of your statues, and gods, and powers in India really all one. All is one!"

     He smiled at what I told him.

     They walked away talking to each other. Do I think that I changed anything in their lives? I don't know, but I know that I am obligated to try.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hazak u Baruch, I agree with you about being uncertain if you changed anything in their believes but I congratulate you for speaking out the truth and having taken the opportunity to kiddesh Hashem

Anonymous said...

I am a hindu& sikh. hindus/buddhist/sikh have no antisemitism and always respect judaism.India has 2000 year jewish history and India is the only country in the world where there is no anti semitism.Many famous Indian jews were founders of the country.Gen Jacob was a general who commanded 100,000 indian soldiers and who loved him in return. No hindu ever seeks to convert any jew.i remember a story about israeli back packer going to hindu guru and wanting to convert, the guru said to him that there is no need to convert and that he should follow his jewish dharma.he asked him to discuss the light/philosophy of torah and to become the best jew he can be.Hinduism is not polytheistic.Hinduism believes in one G-d Vishnu who is the one supreme.the other deieties are called demigods(similar to concept of angel,archangel,etc) who worship and serve him in administering the universe.Hinduism allows people to worship the demigods according to their temperament and devotion and Supreme god accepts their devotion.Hinduism also believes in One god and is monotheistic.

please refer to Gurur prabhupadas teachings on this issue
Idol worship, Deity worship, and hell

Question:
Some Christians say ISKCON is an idol-worshiping 'cult,' and that if I joined ISKCON I would be turning away from God and going to hell. Is there any similarity between Deities and the Ark of the Covenant?

Our Answer:

If you have faith in Christ, do you think he would say that you would go to hell? We also disapprove of idol worship. We make very clear distinctions between idol worship and Deity worship. When one imagines a form of God and worships that according to his imagination, that is 'idol' worship. When God says in scripture that if you make a form of Me using these substances and worship according to these directions, I will reveal Myself to you through the medium of the Deity. That is Deity worship.

Srila Prabhupada explains that Deity worship is authorized by God while idol worship is not. He uses the analogy of the mailbox. If you put mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox it will go to the destination. If you make your own box, and paint it red and blue and write 'U.S. Mail" on it, the letter won't go anywhere, because the box is not authorized by the postal service.

Catholics generally have fewer problems with the concept of deity worship than Protestants since in that tradition the form of Christ and those of the different saints are seen as spiritual and worshipable. Some Catholics are surprised by the similarities in the traditions. The Eastern Orthodox Church is also similar but they call their worshipable forms "Icons" rather than deities. In Sanskrit such forms are called ‘murtis’.

It could be argued that the Ark of the Covenant—which carried the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff, and holy manna, and was protected by angels—was also spiritual and therefore worshipable, like a deity. We consider scripture to be as worshipable as God.

Anonymous said...

i would like to post this in refrence to yoga practice for jews

Hi,

I am a hindu and doing yoga will not convert you into hinduism. hinduism does not seek converts.Actually many gurus in india are approached by young jews seeking to be converts but most gurus tell them to stay on the path of jewish dharma.Hinduism teaches that if u are a jew then be the best jew you can be,if christian or muslim then be the best you can be.similarly practicing meditation will not make you a hindu. you can chant jewish prayers in place of hindu mantras.just chant the name of g-d,yah-weh. But it is important not to culturally appropriate yoga and try to remove the cultural source aka "cultural baggage"( a term which is very offensive). As a hindu i clearly saw the deep meditation many rabbi's reach when they are swaying in their prayers. what rabbi locks said "That's right, and just like your ten fingers, and your two arms are really one, so are all of your statues, and gods, and powers in India really all one. All is one!" is actually what hindus believe! this is similar to 10 people trying to describe an elephant in the dark,one guy feels the trunk and says the elephant is a trunk,the other touches the tail and says that is the elephant,but all are pointing towards the One elephant ! Everything comes from One G-d. There is a big misconception in the west regarding hinduism as poytheistic and it is my hope to explain away some of the confusion. Hinduism believes in One G-d and three levels of realization to view him.The best example to use is a train. Imagine it is night time,u are on the train station and far away you can see the trains light and hear the horn of the train---this is compared to the first level of realization, also known as impersonal stage in which G-d is viewed as having no form and being an impersonal force(christianity,islam,judaism).As the train comes closer to you, you can begin to see that there is some form or shape of the locomotive-this is known as paramatma realization in which the individual realizes that g-d in the form of "supersoul" is residing in living beings heart and observing,accompanying the "individual soul"(thats why when hindus say namaste greeting it means the divine in me pays respect to the divine in you). the third level of realization is when the train is clearly visible and you can see the train conductor,engineer, and people on the train----is known as bhagavan realization in which you have advanced to highest stage in which you can see g-d,speak to him, & and have a greater relationship with him.(i guess its similar to the heaven conception in abrahamic religions in which you can see g-d once u are in heaven---not sure though if this understanding of abrahamic faiths is completely right.)So Hinduism believes in One Suoreme G-d,Vishnu and he has demigods(similar to angels,archangels) serving him and administering the universe.Since not all people are on the same stage of spiritual development God accepts the devotion in which the individual worships him.thats why many people have different names for g-d and this is like children having their own name for their father -some will say pop pop,others will say dad,padre, daddy but the father God accepts all his children love no matter what they call him by..Hinduism allows people to worship the demigods according to their temperament and devotion and Supreme god accepts their devotion. there are 4 main rules in hinduism 1.Non violence-no killing of animals,or living creatures,2.no intoxication,drugs,etc 3 No illicit sex i.e sex outside of marriage 4.no gambling. I hope this helps in clarifying some things and ask in advance for forgiveness for any offense.

thank you
rajendra

Related Posts with Thumbnails