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Coming Back to Earth: The Central Park Guru Becomes an Old City Jew Hardcover – May 6, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

How many books can one read that are not only inspiring, but also entertaining, that make you laugh and cry? --Israel National Radio
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 362 pages
  • Publisher: L'Chaim Publications; 1st edition (May 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976694603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976694601
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is book is a great read, and funny too I LOL'd many times.
Lou
Within 45 minutes Gil Locks goes from looking like a beach bum to looking like a yeshiva student.
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom
Mr. Locks appears to have done it all with an intensity much greater than most.
J Holt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ever wonder what happened to the "Silent Guru" of Central Park? Back in 1972-73, he sat on a bench on the corner of 86th Street and Central Park West, every day, rain or shine, meditiating in total silence. It is said that he radiated an aura of peace and tranquility. Certainly he attracted quite a following. People of all walks of life came to sit in his presence. He was written up by the New York Times and other publications. He was occasionally mentioned in New Age books on meditation and spirtuality. But who was he? And where is he now?

His name is Gil Locks, and he is now a Hasidic Jew who lives in Jerusalem. He spends a lot of his time at the Western Wall, encouraging fellow Jews to put on tefillin (phylacteries) and get in touch with their own Jewish roots. But he doesn't cram the Torah down their throats like some rabbis do. Rather, he listens compassionately to their questions and spiritual struggles, because he, too, has been there. This book is his autobiography -- a very honest, often amusing account of how he traveled to India, lived on ashrams, meditated with various gurus, returned to the USA, traveled around the country in an old bus with "Yea God" painted on it, was guided to sit in Central Park, later tried and rejected the "Jesus trip"... and eventually found authentic spirituality in Hasidic/kabbalistic Judaism.

Parts of the book are hysterically funny. When, on the beach in Hawaii, he suddenly decides to become an observant Jew, he jumps in head first -- but has no local rabbi to guide him as to how things should be done.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JGo on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I based my purchase of this book based on some of the reviews and no idea quite what I was getting. With that having been said, I found much of Gil Locks' mystical experiences unbelievable and fanciful. Beyond that, he had a lot of good messages about Judaism and day-to-day living which I found refreshing.

I had to keep reminding myself Mr. Locks' is following the Chabad teachings and I came from a slightly-right side (or would it have been left) of traditional Jewish teachings. He spends much time on mysticism and a spiritual based Judaism. I grew up being taught Judaism is not a faith-based religion, but a way of life. Sometimes these two clashed while reading his book.

Regardless of my feelings towards Mr. Locks' experiences, I intend to send this book to my son who is finally showing interest in his heritage as I think it might actually appeal to him. To date, he has been a misguided youth and this might actually inspire him to treat people differently. One of the most repeated messages in Mr. Locks' book and one I wholly approve of.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Y. Weiss on June 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
i did not want to sleep until i finished the book! read how Gil in his real life story (and i know people who know him) travels to Japan, India for 8 years!, and all over the US, searching for freedom and truth. a real spritual rollercoaster! i felt like i was going back in time to the crazy 50's, 60's and crazier 70's! at parts i cried, at parts i laughed, but one thing is forsure - it changed me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Isaac H on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book truly belongs to the category of divine inspired. No mere mortal could of written such a masterpiece. A sceptic just has to watch 'guru gil' in action on [...]and will be immediately convinced.
I have read many, many books, and none captivated me as this one. I literally could not put it down! Tears of laughter were rolling down my cheeks, i was hollering at the stories, totally taken over by this read. If you have one book to read - make it this one!
The magic of this book inspired the next category - The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible- a pity the ex-nephew isn't as devoted to the truth as this amazing author.
It is rare to have the opportunity to just walk in on such an amazing personality's house and be served a meal - but 'guru gil' has an open house in Jerusalem for all. Truly unbelievable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Parry on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I laughed and cried reading guttman locks amazing story. A true seeker in every sense of the word. Was inspired to buy a copy and send it to a poly-theistic leaning friend. Well written, too!
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