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February 26, 2009



To my mind, the prior difference is that they speak of a property of all of existence, that they say isn't really an adjective but the only real reality -- Buddha Nature.

We speak of a Creator Who has a Purpose in "Mind".

I referred to this distinction when I open about Buddhism claiming to have no god. I should have made it more explicit.

However, I think it's logically prior to the pragmatic difference (nafqa mina), but explains it. In Buddhism one is seeking the hidden, in Judaism one is fulfilling the purpose of creation.

And yet still, is that distinction really sufficient to define one as idolatry (I really mean the broader category of avodah zara) and one as a proper path to Torah? It would appear to me that halachically, Buddhism would fall under belief in a cause of creation that has no purpose, which is actually sufficient for complying to the covenent with Noah. (Assuming that compliance is meaningful without doing it for the sake of compliance. What the Rambam would call "the Wise of the Nations" as opposed to the "Pious of the Nations".)

As for Jewish Theology... Noachides are expected to believe. Okay, the specificity of what they have to believe is far broader, but still... To me that argues that we believe it's possible to "get it" without absorbing the right world-view culturally.

RML, have a great Shabbos!


These are perceptive comments...but...Buddhism does not have a boundary around its ideas; the Buddha nature is expressed and represented as well in idols as in the absence of idols. There is no concept of exclusivity, of One G-d as opposed to the many facets of the Divine. For this reason it is functionaly and essentially an idolatrous religion.


"For they bow down to hevel and rik" (from the Aleinu)
This must refer to Buddhists...
That is, they bow down to emptiness, the void.

Nalliah Thayabharan

Nepal born Buddha’s mother Maha Maya was Jewish. She belongs to the lost tribe that went up the Himalayas. Maya is a Hebrew name. During Buddha’s era, Jews are referred as Juthaka Bamuns. Bamuna means middle class or Upper class. During Buddha's funeral his nephews lit the fire for the cremation. Buddha's nephews had family name Lichavi and which is a Jewish name. Buddha's cousin was Davidath which is a Jewish name very similar to nowadays "Deviduff". Buddha’s family is a tribe by the name Astecs.
The influence of Buddhism is profoundly changing the worship at several synagogues. Some Jews meditate before prayer services and Buddhist practices can open spiritual doors to enhance Jewish tradition. Judaism and Buddhism are not complementary ideologies that always fit snugly inside one another since Jews believe in God, and Buddhists believe in no God.
- Nalliah Thayabharan


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