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Friday, February 03, 2006


The Jew In The Lotus

The Jew In The Lotus - Canon A620Yesterday as I arrived at the parking lot at work, I noticed an unusual little red car parked away from everyone else. Not knowing much about fancy cars (I drive a Hyundai, after all,) I had to get right up and read the emblem to learn that it was a Lotus.

Well, a nice red car with interesting lines on a sunny day - why not take a few photos? I pulled my Canon A620 out of my satchel and started to snap. Now I know a good swoosh when I see one, and I liked the black swoosh design on the door, so that's what I concentrated on.

Today, as I looked at the photos on my computer, I realized that the last one, the real close-up, had my reflection in it. The caption for that photo popped right into my head.

The Jew In the Lotus

Clever as that may seem, the credit goes to writer Roger Kamenetz, author of The Jew In the Lotus, a fascinating book I read over 10 years ago. Kamenetz had been invited to attend and chronicle an historical meeting in Dharamsala between a delegation of American Jews and a group of Tibetan Bhuddists, including the Dalai Lama.

The title is a play on words, a reverent pun of a mantra used in the Lama's tradition - om mani padme hum, "the Jewel in the Lotus."

I remember the scene in the film where Kamenetz revisits Dharamsala after the book was published. He presented a copy to the Dalai Lama, who read the title aloud and for a second looked slightly puzzled.

Then his face suddenly brightened, and breaking out laughing, he said, "The Jew in the Lotus! That's very good!"

FWIW, I really enjoyed that book too. What an interesting mix of people.
I love this story AND the photo :)
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