«Jewish Observer»
March 2002
5762 Adar

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He was a guru for hundreds and thousands young people who visited him to find the truth and satisfy their spiritual demands. They longed for mysticism, meditation. For thirty years he gave them what they wanted. Today he is studying Hassidism. Dovid Gar-Tsyon climbed the peaks of oriental spirituality until he achieved the status of guru. Nevertheless, when he came into contact with Hassidism, he was charmed.

This is an incredible phenomenon. Dovid Gar-Tsyon, a former guru, leader of Hinduism religion changed his life completely. He began observing the Tora and Commandments. It changed the lives of many of his followers.

He became not only an observing Jew. He became a Hassid and observes Hassidic traditions. Not long ago he was wearing long hair and purple cloths of swami. Today his face is framed by long sidelocks, he wears black hat and a frock-coat.

Dovid was born in 1961 in Chile, in the family of an atheist. When he was nine he moved to Israel with his family, and two years later returned to Chile. Some years later the family came back to Israel again. Being only 18 years old Dovid knew definitely what he wanted. Since his childhood he was attracted by mysticism. He started studying it since he was 12. There was no world religion or philosophy he didn't scrutinize. Finally, he found his position and engaged his whole energy and talent into his hobby. He advanced very quickly. He was an adviser, teacher and even a mentor. Then he departed to India in order to become a guru, the head of the sect. This status can be achieved only in the Orient. Only ordained guru can ordain in guru somebody else. "I think, only three Jews achieved this status. I am one of them", - Dovid says.

After ordination he opened a center in India, later in Buenos-Aires and Haifa. In these center hundreds of young people from all over the world gathered to cognize the spiritual life of the East.

Being only 21, Dovid opened his center in Haifa. People used to come there looking for him after classes. He continued his promotion and achieved the status of swami - the man who observes the strictest asceticism. Swami wear purple, which symbolizes flame, in which they burn their ego.

"Oriental religions preach to escape from material world. It comes from the understanding that there is nobody, but God". Therefor, adherents of These religions try to avoid everything in this world and approach God. This is the meaning of monasticism in Oriental religions. On the other hand, Hassidism teaches that the aim is to unite with physical facets of the world and to elevate them to sanctity.

From what do swami abstain? From marriage, from meat, fish, eggs and from a cup of hot tea or coffee even in winter.

After Dovid Gar-Tsyon got acquainted with the world of Judaism and Hassidism, it changed all his life, as he says. Journalists in Israel learned about him and all mass media began asking him questions why the famous guru returned to Judaism, leaving his religion behind.

"I don't want to go into details", says Dovid, "I'm not in the center of it all, but Judaism and Hassidism, I can say sincerely that I would have never become an observing Jew, if not Rebe, Hassidism HaBad and "Taniya".

Dovid Gar-Tsyon speaks Hebrew fluently. Sometimes he speaks with confidence, sometimes with hesitation, for example, when he apologizes and says: "I haven't learnt enough" quoting our wise men during the conversation. His life story is interesting, but his logical approach to the Torah and Hassidism is fascinating, when he explains that a lot of maxims of Oriental religions are picked up from the Torah and Hassidism. This is the basis of his philosophy. Today he meets young people and advances those who experience spiritual hunger for the Torah and Commandments, instead of sending them to India. "The only approach from deep and wide sea of the Torah, which can complete with philosophy and wisdom of the East, is the approach of Hassidism. Intellectual approach of "Taniya" and Hassidism can overcome everything", he says.

"Let's consider the wonderful combination that Hassidism HaBad suggests. On the one hand, the Jew is confronted with demands to enhance his intellect into extremely high level of hysbonenus (meditation) and intellectual understanding. On the other hand, Hassidism demands absolute subordination to tsadik, the righteous man. There are two complete polarities - intellect and emouna, belief; but nevertheless, they harmonize. The man, who combines them, possesses a wonderful weapon against Sytra Akhra (opposite to holiness)".

Dovid Gar-Tsyon has been studying Oriental studies for thirty years. He was studying, teaching others and believing. When he understood that the truth is in Judaism, he changed his life completely and followed the right way under rabbi Lifshits. It was not so very easy to refuse his position, richness of his knowledge, not mentioning esteem and a lot of conveniences. "I take it as if I have accomplished a great deed in my life and for the organization founded by me. Suddenly I realized why I had spent so much time in the foreign land. God showed me this way in order I could return other Jews their belief. They know me as guru, and they come to me and say: "I want to be your follower, listen to you and understand your instructions".

Then they begin to study the basics of Hassidism, he himself learnt them from "Taniya". "Taniya" opened the world of Judaism to him. "Taniya" is a wonderful book. Alter Rebe was writing it thoroughly, paying attention to each word". "Oriental studies try to explain that every man has something of the Universe and everyone should follow its laws in order to discover it. To eat special food, follow guru - that is what we call commandments. Alter Rebe formulated it very simply: "Every Jew is a part of God." If you want to maintain order of the Universe, you being a Jew, can do it. You have something to study in the Torah, you play your own role in this world. Alter Rebe cultivates this idea more deeply.

The Jew, who departs to the Orient, thinks, that if he dresses like a Hindu and shaves his head may become a Hindu. Alter Rebe says that it is just a dress, because this man moves away from the root of his soul. Jew is Jew, and he must follow the way of Judaism.

This is what the preparation for the coming of Moshiah consists of. This is the spirit of Moshiah's days.

"Geula", Dnepropetrovsk

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