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Fwd: Sabra, Salt, and Sai...



     
Sai Ram,
            Though its colour be not deep and its smell
             be faint, use this flower in thy service and
             pluck it while there is time.
                                        -Tagore

On May 21, in multiple fora, srh included, an Israeli claimed
he had been assaulted in his community by `sai missionaries!'

He had made that allegation several times last winter, and I had read his
complaints and had each time written him. He never replied until May
the 27th, after my letter to him of the 23rd, asking him to post my letter
and his reply in public. He said I was a victim of a cult, but still offered
no evidence to support his claims. Instead h esaid that he can feel my pain,
adding that:

         "the truth can hurt.  But honesty must prevail.
         Please call out with all your strength for the Sai
         Baba missionaries to pull out of Israel and to leave
         the Jews alone."

Sir,

Since you feel my pain, perhaps that will help us commiserate
and so better understand one another. However, whether we
agree or not, the truth does prevail, so I thank you for
taking the time to explain your position more clearly.

When I first read your articles many months ago, your words suggested you are
excited, or perhaps angry. For example, you say you want me
to `call out with all my strength' against those Sai Baba
missionaries in Israel whom you know "PERSONALLY."

CAPS express shouting, you know. And `personally' I do
not shout at anyone, especially not those I know personally.

Forgive my chuckling at that, but please examine your words, 
since they are imprecise. (Should you do any actual 
study of Swami's writings, or life, or organization, you 
might soon see your assumption about any missionary work by Sai
is in error.)

It seems to me that you have assumed some kind of 
organizational plot by Sai Baba to `get' Israeli Jews to 
convert so as to worship him.  I too will assume: I will 
assume that you are not excited or angry or simply overly 
assumptive, so please tell:

                Did you personally contact the Sai 
                Organization in Israel about those men whom 
                you know `personally', 
                    or did you just complain online?

As for the truth being a cause of pain... I suggest that it
is more appropriate for us to try avoid giving each other 
pain. "Do you like the voice of  a crow?" Sai asks. " No, you 
drive the crow away, when it starts to caw; its speech is 
harsh, it is too loud for your ears. You must have heard the 
Koel, the cuckoo, haven't you?  That bird looks very much 
like the crow; it grows in the nest of the crow, with the 
baby crows, it is fed by the mother crow, along with her own 
kids.  But, no one will throw a stone at a 'Koel'; everyone 
likes to hear its sweet voice. Speak soft and sweet; then 
everyone will like you."

Your comments suggest you do not like any Sai devotees, since 
you complain in private to me that Sai devotees in Israel 
"wear the garb of Orthodox Jews but their whole service is to 
their HINDU Guru." It appears you are either upset at their
service, or perhaps wish to change their appearance or behaviour.

Sai devotees strive to change no behaviour but their own, so 
I am surprised by your attitude. Surely you agree that all do
well when each man sits under his own vine and figtree with
no one to trouble him, so as to peacefully worship the Lord
God as he sees fit. (As suggested by Micah.)

As if to show me how much you dislike that idea you say
"Evidence of their missionary activities was submitted to the
Chief Rabbis and they were called to a Court of Jewish Law.  
They refused to attend and were put in ex-communication by 
the proper authorities.  I was one of the individuals who 
gave testimony regarding their missionary work on behalf of 
Sai Baba."

You were witness against men who were not present to defend 
themselves?

" The headquarters for the Sai Babaniks is in Haifa.  The 
missionaries have published books of the Guru translated into 
Hebrew."

The phrase Babaniks is perhaps your way of marking them with 
armbands? It does not sound friendly for you to call them 
Babaniks.  As for publishing books by Sai in Hebrew... are
you saying that is in some way wrong?

If so, would you say that publishing the works of Buddha in 
Hebrew was also wrong? how about the English biography of 
Golda Meir-- could that be published in Hebrew without being
scorned by you?  

My point is that you seem somewhat narrow minded, as if you 
alone know what ought to be printed in Hebrew. 

You said, "I can feel your pain as I write this to you.  The 
truth can hurt.  But honesty must prevail."

You are implying that your idea of honesty is more important 
than my feelings.

Those devoted to GOD must speak soft and sweet words to 
everyone. Do you like the voice of  a crow? So, if I am
caawing now, please consider if it is my voice, or your ears 
that cause the rift.

Is this sounding soft now, sir? I am an active member in the 
Sai Organization and for many years served as an officer in 
the United States wing of the international organization. 
I speak daily with persons from many 
faiths (and with atheists). All of them are aware there is
*no* conversion or missionary policy in the Sai Organization.
There are NO Sai Baba missionaries in any country.  Knowing
that, I suggest your articles are based in erroneous 
assumptions on your part.

 Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is just the difference in our 
 cultures, but at any rate your misuse of the word 
 `missionary' seems to be one stumbling block in our 
 communication, but the more serious delay in our 
 understanding each other is that you actually claimed in 
 public fora that Sai Baba *sent* those people from India to 
 Israel to do missionary work for him.

 You are in error.

 Sai Baba (or any one in his organization) does not send 
 anyone anywhere to convert anyone to any religion, period.  
 That you may `personally' know overly fervent persons who 
 wish to convert you is sad, but their actions are not per 
 the direction of Sai nor of his organization.   Yet look at 
 what you said: you said they were sent *by* Sai Baba.

 Those who know Sai are wondering about the basis of your comment.

 Perhaps to make my meaning clear, your answer to this
                question will suffice:

           HOW DO YOU KNOW SAI BABA SENT THEM?

If that shouting did not reach you, let me whisper that it 
appears you assumed much. It appears you not only did not 
contact the Israeli Sai Organization to get the facts 
straight, you also did not contact the Indian Sai
Organization, nor did you ask online for anyone in the Sai 
Organization to contact you about those reprobates.  (The Sai
movement has offices in 137 countries.)

It looks to me like you assumed a great deal, and are telling
folks your assumption is `fact.' Why do that? Do you by
chance want to argue? or is it you want to condemn?


>They tried to work me over.  These are individuals who were 
>born Jewish and became Hindu's through Sai Baba.

While that description may be accurate in your mind, I 
suggest you examine that sentence; it shows much of your 
assumption at work, first because no one `becomes Hindu 
through Sai Baba" and secondly because there is no need for a 
Sai devotee to change religions. (The head of the American 
Sai Organization is Jewish and has in no wise become Hindu).  

Still, if a Sai devotee who was a Jew has become Hindu, of if 
a Catholic becomes Islamic, that has nothing to do with Sai 
Baba or the Sai Organization, since Swami does not promote any religion as
being better than any other, (and he does not initiate people into 
Hinduism or any other religion, period).

If a Jew whom you know has become a Hindu, (or is proclaiming 
that Sai is his god) then he is not being a very good Hindu 
by proselytizing, nor a very good student of Sai neither.  
Such pubic carryings on that you describe are discouraged by 
ALL Sai Baba centers and by the Organizations worldwide , and are in fact 
admonished by Swami. For over 50 years the Sai movement has 
grown in number by one means only: private example.  There is
no publicity nor proselytizing.

That is why I do not believe your account. I think you have 
`enhanced' the story so as to give yourself justification for 
your umbrage.

Still, you now have the chance to end the career of those 
particular `missionaries' whom you have complained of in 
public: if your acquaintances are in fact using the name of 
Sai while trying to convert any Jew to Hinduism, then they 
are doing a disservice to Sai Baba, and I can address that 
via two methods: organizational and legal.

Kindly name (or advise)) the persons whom you describe, 
mistakenly, as `missionaries'. If you prefer to not say, tell them then that 
they are urged to contact me 
via email, and to contact the Israeli Sai Organizatin 
officers in person.  *If* these socalled missionaries are in
fact Sai Baba devotees, they will gladly contact me as I am 
their elder, and *if* what you describe is factual, then I and
the local and international officers in the Sai Organization 
will rebuke them, as will Sai himself if they continue 
despite our advice.

However, if those whom you know `personally' do not contact 
me or the Org, then I suggest they are not Sai Baba devotees 
(and may not be Hindus neither). If they are out of control, 
as well as out of manners, then they are simply Jews who are 
rebels, in which case you might admit online that while 
there are foolish Jewish men doing foolish things in the name 
of Sai Baba, that is not by direction of Sai, since there is
no `Sai Policy' to convert anyone, period.

I ask you to take responsibility for your words, and either document
your claims or retract them, or announce they are but opinion, period.

Also, in your letter you say their `missionary work' brought 
them into disrepute. Please tell me the specifics: dates,
names, places. The Sai Organization has able lawyers onstaff, 
who will see to it that such men do not ever again use the 
name Sai Baba in their `missionary' work, at least not 
without criminal prosecution.

This then is your chance to see to it those whom you know
`personally' now cease using Sai's name.

Please post your reply in public, along with this letter, in 
all the newsgroups where you have advertised your 
displeasure.

Thanks

*+*
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