With ‘Vanity Karma,’ a Jewish swami comes full circle
This is a story about the big questions, among them: “What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?”
That’s from the beginning book of Ecclesiastes — Kohelet in Hebrew — read in synagogues this Shabbat of Sukkot.
And it also addresses a smaller, easier to answer question, of interest to fewer people, among them those who attended Temple Sinai in Tenafly some 50 plus years ago: Whatever happened to Jay Israel, who used to live in Englewood? Didn’t he run off to join the Hari Krishna? What became of him?
The short answer to the smaller question: Yes, he joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He changed his name to Jayadvaita. He became a Hindu monk, or swami. And this week he published a book, “Vanity Karma,” that looks at Kohelet through the lens of Hindu teachings.
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