Alan Lew, former rabbi of a San Francisco congregation and well known in Bay Area Zen Buddhist circles, died Monday on a trip to the East Coast.
Lew, the author of the spiritual memoir “One God Clapping” and two other books, was regarded as an innovator for bringing meditation practices into Jewish spirituality.
He was a spiritual seeker in California during the late 1960s and early 70s, when he was exposed to Zen meditation for the first time. He went on to practice for several years at the Berkeley and San Francisco Zen Centers, but while preparing for lay ordination as a Buddhist, he had a crisis that led him instead to become a rabbi. I really liked his book as a document of what it was like to live in the Bay Area during those unsteady years.