The American Jewish Romance with Buddhism

Of those American Buddhists whose ancestors did not come from Buddhist countries, some 30 percent are thought to be Jewish. As Emily Sigalow documents in her book American JewBu, this phenomenon can be traced back to the first person in the U.S. to convert to Buddhism (a Jewish textile merchant) and to Barry Goldwater’s second cousin (a Buddhist priest), but really hit its stride after World War II, when the Beatniks discovered Buddhist meditation. Jesse Kellerman reflects on his own encounter with Buddhism in his review:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, Buddhism, Idolatry, Judaism

Benny Gantz Should Be Praised for Compromising, Not Condemned for Capitulating

March 30 2020

After three inconclusive elections in a year’s time, Israel’s political stalemate seemed to come to an end last week when the leaders of the two largest parties—Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu—agreed to form a governing coalition together with some of the smaller parties. According to the deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for eighteen months, after which he will be succeeded by Gantz. This compromise, paradoxically, has led to the breakup of Gantz’s Blue and White party, as two of its three constituent factions have refused to join the unity government. Their leaders have denounced Gantz for supposedly crumbling before Netanyahu, but Jonathan Tobin argues that he has acted bravely:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Moshe Yaalon, Yair Lapid