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Sikhism and Judaism: Separated at Birth?

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

The Sikh faith was founded in the late fifteenth century in India by Guru Nanak, who preached tolerance and equality for every person. Sikhs are monotheists who, like the Jews, lost their kingdom. They have long struggled to re-establish an independent homeland, meanwhile creating vibrant Sikh communities worldwide. Yet there are marked differences between Sikhism and Judaism. For example, Sikhs have a martial tradition and cult of martyrdom, emphasize karma and reincarnation, practice cremation, are strict vegetarians, and outlaw fasting.

In this multi-media survey, Ken Blady and Amrik Pannu Singh will compare and contrast various ethnological and religious concepts and symbols of the two faiths: holy city, holy writ, holy fraternity, holy sanctuary, and holy food.

Ken Blady, MA, is an educator, writer, and Yiddish translator. He grew up in Hasidic Brooklyn, attending yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. He is the author of the books Jewish Communities in Exotic Places and The Jewish Boxers' Hall of Fame, and is the translator of numerous works from Yiddish. Amrik Singh Pannu, MA, was born in India. An initiated Sikh, he has for many years served the El Sobrante Gurdwara as religious school administrator, teacher of Punjabi and Sikh doctrine, and as temple librarian.

Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica.

Program made possible, in part, by Elizabeth Andrews.