Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

SF’s Zen Rabbi Alan Lew Has Passed Away

Posted by Oyster on January 12, 2009


Rabbi Alan Lew, z”l, studied Zen Buddhism for ten years before he became ordained as a Conservative Rabbi. He’s the author of “One G-d Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi“, served as the pulpit rabbi of SF’s Congregation Beth Sholom, and founded Makor Or, a center for Jewish meditation. The following is an email that was sent from Beth Sholom:

Dear Friends,

With heavy hearts and great sadness, we regret to inform our community that our beloved, esteemed Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Alan Lew passed away on Monday, January 12/Tevet 16.

This morning, after teaching rabbis at a Seminary leader training institute, Rabbi Lew meditated, prayed Shacharit, went for a run, and left this world.

The funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 15, at 12 noon at Congregation Beth Sholom.

Shiva minyanim, will be held on the following days at the home of Sherril Jaffe at 734 Balboa Street:

Thursday, January 15, 5 p.m.
Friday, January 16, 8 a.m.
Saturday, January 17, at 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 18, 9 a.m., and 5 p.m.
Monday, January 19, 8 a.m., and 5 p.m.
Tuesday, January 20, 8 a.m., and 5 p.m.
Wednesday, January 21, 820a.m.

If you would like to bring food to a shiva minyan, the family welcomes vegetarian food prepared in a Kosher kitchen.

Makom Sholom meditation room will be open this afternoon through Mincha for anyone who wishes to join us for meditation.

Our hearts go out to Sherril, Hannah, Malka, Steven, and their family and friends.

May his memory be a blessing.
Zichrono Li’vracha

Our condolences to his family, friends, and congregation.
Baruch Dayan Emet.


5 Responses to “SF’s Zen Rabbi Alan Lew Has Passed Away”

  1. […] H/T Oy Bay […]

  2. […] an obit from the SF Chronicle, and here is information about the funeral and shiva. Here are a few words I wrote about this […]

  3. Jerry Pannone said

    He was a wonderful, enlightened, spiritual person, who brought, wisdom, comfort and the essence of spirituality to his people. No rabbi could give a greater gift. May his legacy live on in all those he touched.

  4. Barbara Zucker said

    Those of us here in NY, where Rabbi Lew was our first full time rabbi, are sending our love to Sherill, Steven, Hannah and Malka. Our hearts are so heavy. Rabbi Lew really changed the Jewish face of Monroe, NY and was loved by so many. His presence in this world will be missed by so many.

  5. Sheila Ornstein said

    I am also from Monroe, NY and there is a pervasive sadness among the Congregation Eitx Chaim community. Many individuals in the congregation still remember Rabbi Lew with love and respect. He was our first full time Rabbi – our “first love” so to speak. We lost him once before when he left for California and we feel that loss again now at news of his passing. I spoke to him recently. I lost my husband and year and a half ago and Rabbi Lew called to check up on me. My heart now goes to Sherrill, Hannah and Malka – be strong and of hope. The love continues.

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