Finding Zen at the Heart of Tel Aviv

East Asian scholar Jacob Raz has brought the teachings of Zen Buddhism to countless Israeli students and readers. Just don't call him a guru.

We meet at a coffee shop in Tel Aviv. Not the most Buddhist or spiritual of places to meet Jacob Raz, but I already know that this cafe, too, is a Zen monastery. In his new book, entitled “Kakh Shamati” ‏(“So I’ve Heard,” Modan Press; in Hebrew‏), Raz details the daily schedule of the monastery. There is teeth brushing and also meditation and also sitting opposite Moshe the...