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English | Israeli Ambassador Requests Most Ven. Jinwoo to Pay a Visit to Israel

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Author Jogye On24-02-13 16:45 Views1,989 Comments0



On January 31, 2024, Most Ven. Jinwoo, the president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, met with the Israeli Ambassador to Korea Akiva Tor in the 4th-floor reception room of the Korean Buddhist History and Culture Memorial Hall.

“It is a pleasure to meet with you, Ambassador Tor," said Most Ven. Jinwoo in greeting, "I heard that you were acquainted with Ven. Jaseung who recently entered the parinirvana." In response, Ambassador Tor expressed his deepest condolences and said that he had indeed met him. The Israeli Ambassador said, "As an Israeli ambassador, I represent the state of Israel, but at the same time I also represent Jewish culture, which is a spiritual tradition, so I thought it was natural to seek an audience with the leader of Korean Buddhism." 

“There is a strong interest in Buddhism in Israel. There is no contradiction or conflict between Judaism and Buddhism," said the ambassador, "Judaism may differ from Buddhism in that it sees God as the source of all existence, but I think there is a connection between the two religions in that Judaism also seeks enlightenment by knowing the nature of God.”

“All religions have the same goal of happiness, which is freedom from fear, and pursue common behaviors such as peace, compassion, and love," explains the president of the Jogye Order. "Human beings are animals of emotions. In Buddhism, we see that when one emotion arises, another emotion also arises. The best way forward is to get rid of both to maintain stillness, which is the foundation of Buddhism," he added.

Ambassador Thor said, "I heard that Most Ven. Jinwoo bows 108 times every single day," and asked him why 108 times, and Most Ven. Jinwoo explained the meaning behind 108 bows and said that the practice helps him stay relaxed and calm.

“Whenever I visit Korean Buddhist temples, I feel a sense of spiritual calm, and I love restaurants that serve Buddhist temple cuisine because they are the only places in Korea where I can be assured that I will eat kosher food," said Ambassador Tor. "My father was a rabbi. I think that Buddhism and Judaism are very close. I hope Most Ven. Jinwoo will visit Israel so that the two peoples can become even closer."

“I hope the time of peace will come soon," said Most Ven. Jinwoo, emphasizing the importance of peace. "Wars are fought because of greed," said the president of the Jogye Order. “Based on the essence of religion, we should make concessions to one another, little by little. The important thing is that all parties involved should do it together, at the same time. Whether it is Judaism or Buddhism, we should try to get closer to the essence of religion, which is to let go of greed.”

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