Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ask your Rabbi

Question : (Unedited)
I'm 16 years old and perhaps some may say I'm too young to think about things like that but I do...lately, I started thinking about life, wondering what the meaning of life...I don't really like my life at the moment and I haven't been happy in a long time, I feel so lost.
than, as a part of my search for a solution to my situation, I started to explore buddhism, I read about it on the internert, I'm from israel and there's not a lot of buddhists in here.
at first, I got really excited since it seems like the perfect thing for me but then I started to think and I realized that although I started to cast doubt in my religion(Judaism), I still connected to I was wandering, is there any way I can combine Judaism and buddhism together? and if not, can you advice me on how I'll be able to make a decision?
thank you so much for your help

My comment: 
Hi N.....,

Thank you for asking me.

You are not too young to think about life.  I started searching for spiritual answers when I was about your age.  

First you must realize that you have been brought up in a very homogenous and orthodox society (forgive me if I am wrong), being taught the religious belief that has been part of your race for centuries.  It is already a wonder that you can open up yourself to learn about other religions.  This is a great achievement in itself.  It is when one's mind is open and free, that one can progress and find wisdom.  Albert Einstein was such a person.

It is perfectly natural that you are unable to decide at this point in time.  You are an intelligent person and should not decide hastily on matters of such importance.  Take your time to further study what the Buddha actually taught, then use your common sense and human intelligence to analyze his teachings, and then decide at your pleasure.  This was the Buddha's advice during his time when others wished to follow his teachings.  Only when they are the truths and beneficial, then accept.  Otherwise reject!

As to your question of combining Buddhism with Judaism, you will find the answer when you study more on Buddhism.  If you want a quick answer, ask your Rabbi, and he will give you a piece of his mind!  You know what I mean.

Please take your time to surf through the Buddhist sites below and you will find all the info about the Buddha's teachings.  Then you can decide.  Please come back if you need further clarification.

"What Buddhist Believe" written by my revered teacher, Ven. K Sri Dhammananda.  This book explains the Buddhist perspective on life's general questions.  
(An update:  Another recommended book : "Good Question Good Answer")

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