As a Jewish acupuncturist from Israel, attending a Sufi University was the last thing on the mind of Dr. Isaac Goren. Given his interest many years ago in learning about herbs and energy healing, he was directed to study with Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe. Isaac had no idea he was about to enter the world of Sufism and Islam. As he said, “This was not what I had signed up for.”
As Thomas a Kempis observed: “Man proposes, God disposes.”
During Isaac’s first class session, Dr. Jaffe told him he needed to learn to be gentler and to bow to his wife. When Isaac told her about this, she thought it was an “Excellent idea!” and kept encouraging him to go back each session. (Editor’s note: smart woman!)
The Sufi training created beautiful changes that others noticed as well. Reported one of his acupuncture graduate students, “I saw you walking from the office, about 50 yards away, and had to wonder what happened to you. You were so different, even the way you walked and carried yourself was different.”
Isaac attributes these changes to the Sufi University teaching him how to deepen his connection to God and how to heal through the light of Allah.
Of course, given his religious background, conforming to some of the Islamic practices was very challenging at times. However, he could not deny the real effects he was seeing in his relationship with his wife and in the rest of his life. When he took the promise with Sidi, he was given the name Ishaq. Perhpas this was a sign.
Isaac or Ishaq? In the world of Allah there is no difference. Perhaps that is the point for all of us.
Eventually his wife Vered Rifqa attended the University as well, earning a Masters of Divinity degree in Spiritual Peacemaking. She and Isaac have four beautiful children, two of which often joined her during her studies at the University. We imagine the peacemaking skills must be very useful in such a vibrant family.
Dr. Goren now uses the tools he learned at the UOS in his South Florida medical qigong practice. He guides his clients to understand that the purpose of their lives is to know God. Through the Sufi teachings given to us by Sidi and the exercises of medical qigong, he helps people understand that the deepest healing and the truest guidance for one’s direction in life only come from God.
“I can now say I am happy with who I am.”
Isaac realized that his whole life previously was about trying to be okay with who he was. All his studying and seeking through spiritual practices was intended to help him feel good about himself. The Sufi teachings and University have been the vehicle that led him to be able to state with confidence, “I can now say I am happy with who I am.” He feels truly blessed to be able to serve God and carry the real message of Unity, the message of peace, love and mercy in such a deep and blessed way.
A special prescription from Dr. Goren
“The impact of UOS on one’s life is beyond comprehension. It is bigger than any other experience you have had in your life – bigger than getting married, immigrating to a new country, being the first in your generation to go to college. UOS will have the biggest impact on your life – if you go.”