The Encounter within: Hinduism and Configurations of Jewish Identity

  • Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Part of the Interreligious Studies in Theory and Practice book series (INSTTP)


The present encounter with India and with Hinduism provides us with unique opportunities to examine the challenges and opportunities related to identity and the making or keeping of boundaries between two communities.1 There are several aspects that make the present encounter with Hinduism unique, compared with other encounters that Judaism has known in relation to other religions. It is precisely the uniqueness of the present encounter that allows us to consider it a test case, through which fundamental questions related to identity formation and maintenance, in relation to another religion, can be worked out.2


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See Francis Schmidt, Between Jews and Greeks: The Indian model, Between Benares and Jerusalem, ed. Hananya. Goodman, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 1994, p. 43.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    see Sacha Stern, Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings, Leiden, Brill, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. See also Daria Maoz, When Images Become “True”: The Israeli Backpacking Experience in India, Chapter 11 of Karmic Passages: Israeli Scholarship on India, ed. David Shulman and Shalva Weil, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2008, pp. 214–231.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Laurie Patton and Shalom Goldman, Indian Love Call: Israelis, Orthodoxy and Indian Culture, Judaism 50, 3, 2001, pp. 351–361.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    See Alon Goshen-Gottstein (ed.), The Crisis of the Holy: Challenges and Transformations in World Religions, Lexington Books, Lanham, MD, 2014.Google Scholar
  6. 19.
    Nathan Katz, Spiritual Journey Home: Eastern Mysticism to the Western Wall, Ketav, Jersey City, 2009,Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    See W. D. Davies, Torah in the Messianic Age, SBL, Philadelphia, PA, 1952;Google Scholar
  8. Moshe Idel, “Torah Hadashah”: Messiah and the New Torah in Jewish Mysticism and Modern Scholarship, Kabbalah 21, 2010, pp. 57–109.Google Scholar
  9. Rabbinic Text, Studies in Medieval Jewish Intellectual and Social History: Festschrift in Honor of Robert Chazan, ed. D. Engel et al., Brill, Leiden, 2010, pp. 169–187.Google Scholar
  10. 32.
    Judith Linzer, Torah and Dhrama, Jewish Seekers in Eastern Religions, Jason Aaronson, Northvale, NJ, 1996.Google Scholar
  11. 37.
    Sara Yocheved Rigler’s God Winked: Tales and Lessons from my Spiritual Adventures, Mekor Press, New York, 2012.Google Scholar
  12. 42.
    See Kumari Yayawardena, The White Woman’s Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia during British Rule, Routledge, New York, 1995, Chapter 15:Google Scholar
  13. 48.
    Radhanath Swami, The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami, Mandala, San Rafael, 2010.Google Scholar
  14. 53.
    Steven Rosen’s Om Shalom: Judaism and Krishna Consciousness, Folk Books, New York, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. 55.
    Ma Jaya Sati Bhagawati, The Light of Every Candle, The Fifty Eighth Century: A Jewish Renewal Sourcebook, ed. Shohama Wiener, Jason Aaronson, New York, 1996, pp. 265–272,Google Scholar
  16. 78.
    See Lawrence Fine, Tikkun: A Lurianic Motif in Contemporary Jewish Thought, From Ancient Israel to Modern Judaism: Essays in Honor of Marvin Fox, ed. J.Neusner et al., Scholars Press, Atlanta, GA, 1989, vol. 4, pp. 35–53.Google Scholar
  17. See further David Berger’s struggles, Jews, Gentiles and the Modern Egalitarian Ethos: Some Tentative Thoughts, Formulating Responses in an Egalitarian Age, ed. Marc Stern, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2005, pp. 83–108, especially pp. 93ffGoogle Scholar
  18. 93.
    See John Thatamanil, Managing Multiple Religious and Scholarly Identities: An Argument for a Theological Study of Hinduism, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 68,4, 2000, p. 799ffCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 99.
    I am not the only one to have noticed this. Rahul Peter Das, Essays on Vaisnavism in Bengal, Firma Kim Private Limited, Calcutta, 1997, p. 61,Google Scholar
  20. 102.
    Steven Rosen and Alvin van Pelt Hart, East-West Dialogues: Krsna Consciousness and Christianity, Folk Books, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  21. 103.
    See Steven Rosen, Christ and Krishna: Where the Jordan Meets the Ganges, Folk Books, New York, 2011.Google Scholar
  22. 116.
    see M. Juergensmeyer, Radhasoami Reality: The Logic of a Modern Faith, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1991;Google Scholar
  23. D. C. Lane, The Radhasoami Tradition: A Critical History of Guru Successorship, Garland, New York and London, 1992.Google Scholar
  24. 121.
    Miriam Caravella Bokser, The Holy Name: Mysticism in Judaism, Radhasoami Satsang Beas, New Delhi, 1989, p. xvi.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alon Goshen-Gottstein 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alon Goshen-Gottstein

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations