Dr. Marc Lieberman, an ophthalmologist and self-proclaimed “Jewish Buddhist” who, when he wasn’t treating glaucoma, organized a dialogue between Jewish scholars and the Dalai Lama, and who later brought sight back to thousands of Tibetans stricken by cataracts, died on Aug. 2 at his home in San Francisco. He was 72.
His son, Michael, said the cause was prostate cancer.
Dr. Lieberman, who called himself a “JuBu,” retained his Jewish faith but incorporated aspects of Buddhist teachings and practices. He kept kosher and observed the sabbath, but he also meditated several times a day. He studied the Torah, but he also led efforts to build a Buddhist monastery in Northern California.
If it seemed like a contradiction to some, he was OK with that, seeing in both religions a complementary pursuit of truth and path away from worldly suffering.
“I’m a healthy mosaic of Judaism and Buddhism,” Dr. Lieberman said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 2006. “Is that fair to either religion? Fair schmair! It’s what I am.”
Visioning Tibet,” a 2006 documentary about his work. “There were so few role models of people who were connecting with patients as other humans, and the very reasons that motivated me to go into medicine became more and more distant the further I got in the field.”