A JUBU And The Lubavitcher Rebbe

About ten days ago, Rachael and I completed a six week course on the Kabbalah at Chabad House in San Rafael, California. Kabbalah is school of Jewish mysticism.

The course was called The Kabbalah Of You: A Guide To Unlocking Your Hidden Potential provided by the Jewish Learning Institute and Rabbi Yisreal Rice.

When I was growing up I was taught that you had to be 60 years old and learned in the Torah in order to study Kabbalah. The story goes that my paternal grandfather Rabbi Menahem Mendel Freedman was very learned in the Torah.

In one version of the story, Mendel stopped being observant after studying Kabbalah!

In another version of the story, he came to the United States and decided not to be observant because they don’t do so in the U. S.

Letter To Menachem Mendel FreedmanEven thought Mendel was not religious, rabbis in St. Louis consulted with him about religious laws, customs and ceremonies.

Another story tells that my grandmother became so jealous and annoyed with his studies that she gave away or burned most of his book. It didn’t really matter, because he knew them all by heart anyway.

Neither story explains very well some public documents that my brother, David uncovered.

It is definitely known that he received a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi).

In the letter, my grandfather was apparently concerned about bolstering the association of the Chabad Chassidim in St. Louis. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that he would soon send his personal representative to help my grandfather.

He also announced and possibly sponsored a visit to St. Louis by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhaq Schneerson which was to take place on May 8, 1930 at Nusach Hoari.

A JUBU And The Lubavitcher Rebbe

According to Wikipedia, a Jubu is “is a person with a Jewish background who practices forms of Buddhist meditation and spirituality.”

With a heritage of Jewish mysticism and two grandfather who were learned in the Torah you would think that I would also become learned in the Torah. This was not to be!

Our home in St. Louis was very warm and welcoming, especially on Shabbos and holidays. We observed all of them rigorously. I missed a lot of days of school for them.

At first, I thought that the mystical experiences that I had when I was five, eight and nineteen, were visions of God. I tried to find an explanation of them in Judaism. I tried to become an observant Jew. I just couldn’t relate to it!

Many such experiences in my 20’s and 30’s led me to realize my true path was the Eightfold Path of the Buddha. It was through meditation and service to others that I have found the peace and understanding I was looking for when I first encountered the bliss of being in the present moment.

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