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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
As far as the book content. You will laugh at the funny things, you will be amused at other and sometimes you will just not know why in the world Gil did the things he did or the people he encountered. He comes from a family where he didn't get any Jewish background and is looking for something spiritual in his life. He goes through a long meditation process in Buddhist practice. During which we learn a lot about the people and the area in India and the gurus. Later on, about half the book through he tries Christianity , which only works for half a year and decides to go back to Ten Commandments. It is very interesting though, because he travels to many countries and back to US. Gil goes to Mexico and has adventures. Few times he gets arrested and even ends up in psychiatric ward, as he is misunderstood.
All I can say , is it is like watching an amazing film, but you are reading it, so it is even better. You'll laugh and sometimes may be cry. He is very unusual though, and a bit pushy in his beliefs at times, but it is what makes him and this book unique.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really cool rabbi. Watch him online! After seeing video "Been there, done that" I was shocked that he used to be a hipp and a Christian, it seemed very interesting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joanna
An incredible journey, worth reading especially if you are into Eastern thought or practice yet are exploring your Jewish roots and traditions.Published 3 months ago by Thinker
A great book about one man's quest for Enlightenment, and his return to Judaism.Published 12 months ago by Da Bookworm
I looked for this book as a correlation to the author being mentioned in two older books I was reading about Satya Sai Baba (Good Chances, Lord of the Air). Read morePublished on January 23, 2012 by J Holt
This is book is a great read, and funny too I LOL'd many times. Gil is SO funny.
But more importantly, Gil takes you on a great ride, very educational and informative, very... Read more