A Loss

Journal entry by Eve Ilsen — 26 minutes ago


We received news today that Bernie Glassman, roshi, died---zichrono l'vracha.

He had been struggling since a stroke, more than a year ago.

He lived an amazing life, from the Bronx to Israel to California back to the Bronx and eventually to Maine. He created Greystone Bakery, where street people became such proficient bakers that Greystone, when I last heard, was supplying the cookie dough for Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream, and cakes for the White House (some years ago). He did the briliantly obvious thing of providing child care for the (formerly homeless) employees.

He pioneered Zen street retreats, and retreats at Auschwitz.

He is flying free now, unencumbered by the body that could not heal.

I went to my beloved's grave this afternoon, and brought two stones: one for him, one for Bernie.

I doubt that he needed it, but I asked anyway that my beloved meet him and show him the ropes.

The world is poorer for his departure; we will miss him.

I know this journey.

My mind is full of his wife, now his widow; my heart breaks for her.

And a community feels the loss of such a leader like an earthquake.

Baruch Dayyan Emet.

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