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Sunday, January 31 • 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Etz v’ Even (Wood and Stone) – Confessions of a Recovered Jewish Buddhist (or Jewbu)

The Torah repeatedly warns us not to pursue other gods or worship idols of “wood and stone,” lest we “turn our back on God.” Yet, over the centuries, especially since the Holocaust, this is precisely (or not so precisely) what countless well-meaning Jews, famous and otherwise, have done, though many remained tethered to their Judaism – including this session’s presenter.

This session explores the allure of Eastern religion for generations of educated Jewish men and women and how the Torah has approached this topic (clearly not just a modern concern). Hear first-hand accounts of the presenter’s foray into this world for 13 years, along with his struggles, temptations, insights and ultimate return to Judaism.

avatar for Jeffrey Balin

Jeffrey Balin

As a second-generation Holocaust survivor of Hungarian parents, Jeffrey Balin sought deeper spiritual insights than were offered by his Hebrew school education. Eventually, he found many of them in the form of Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, which he studied for 13 years before returning... Read More →

Sunday January 31, 2016 2:15pm - 3:15pm PST
Room C