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>>   Essays and short articles Introductory

Judaism and the Bahá'í Faith:
Warwick Leaflets

by Warwick Bahá'í Bookshop

2004
Judaism, one of the oldest of the world religions, is based on a series of Messengers and Prophets Who have revealed God's will over many centuries. Jews see it as their duty to follow God's laws to the best of their understanding and in return, God promises to guard and guide them.

Bahá'ís believe that this guidance has continued through the ages and that the latest of the Messengers is Bahá'u'lláh. He was born in Persia (now Iran) in 1817. Bahá'ís believe Him to have been the Promised One of all religions.

The Messengers of God

Bahá'u'lláh emphasised the Oneness of God, the Unknowable Lord:

"Know thou of a certainty that the Unseen can in no wise incarnate His Essence and reveal it unto men. He is, and hath ever been, immensely exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived. From His retreat of glory His voice is ever proclaiming: "Verily, I am God; there is none other God besides Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. I have manifested Myself unto men, and have sent down Him Who is the Day Spring of the signs of My Revelation.."
The divine Founders of religion, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh, are, for each age, the Mouthpiece of God, but they are not God Himself. God, in His essence, remains indescribably far removed from His creatures. In Their Persons and through Their teachings they manifest to mankind the will of God for that particular time. The basic truths of religion do not change but may be developed further. Some social teachings may change according to the needs of the times. Moses, for example, brought Commandments for which society, in the time of Abraham, had not been ready. In this age Bahá'u'lláh has taken these teachings further, as appropriate for today.
"The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require."

Prophecy

There are many prophecies in the Jewish Scriptures about the coming of the Promised One, the Lord of Hosts. It is clear from these Scriptures that He will come to the Holy Land from the east:

"And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east." [Ezekiel 43:2]

Bahá'u'lláh, Whose name means "Glory of God", came from Persia which is east of the Holy Land. And again:

"And the glory of the Lord came into the house by way of the gate whose prospect is towards the east." [Ezekiel 43:4]

The Person Who came to prepare the way for Bahá'u'lláh was called the Báb, which means the Gate.

Because of His claim to be a Messenger of God, Bahá'u'lláh was sent as a prisoner and an exile through different parts of the Turkish empire and eventually to the Holy Land. As Micah prophesied:

"In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain ... Feed thy people in the midst of Carmel..." [Micah 7: 10-12]

Bahá'u'lláh was banished first to Assyria (now part of Iraq), then to the city of Constantinople, then again to the fortress within the fortified city of Akka. When finally released from the fortress, he stayed on an island in the Na'mayn river. During His banishments He travelled on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, lived as a Holy Man on Mount Gar-lu and pitched His tent on Mount Carmel, the "Mountain of God" where Elijah had dwelt in his cave.

The Holy Land

In "The Tablet of Carmel", Bahá'u'lláh wrote:

"Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come!...Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven ... Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee."

It is on Mount Carmel that, in response to Bahá'u'lláh's own instructions, the beautiful Shrine of the Báb has been erected and surrounded by gardens. Within these peaceful gardens now stand the buildings which constitute the Bahá'í World Centre. Bahá'u'lláh Himself is buried near Akka, so, for Bahá'ís, this part of the Holy Land is the most sacred spot on earth. Bahá'í prophecy states that the twin cities of Haifa and Akka will become the future capital of a federated world.

The Family

The basic building-block of society is the family unit. Its healthy functioning is therefore vital:

"The integrity of the family bond must be constantly considered and the rights of the individual members must not be transgressed."

Respect for parents remains important:

"O My people! Show honour to your parents... Beware lest ye commit that which would sadden the hearts of your fathers and mothers."

To Bahá'ís, as to Jews, the stability and progress of the family depend on its unity:

"If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual."

"Note ye how easily, where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the world. Their concerns are in order, they enjoy comfort and tranquillity, they are secure, their position is assured, they come to be envied by all."

In this age Bahá'u'lláh teaches that all mankind must become like one human family:

"The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord."

Justice

Bahá'u'lláh makes justice the primary teaching underpinning a righteous and spiritual society:

"O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to the world."

"The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men."

The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are based on the principles of justice and unity and include:

  • Removal of all prejudice
  • Equality of women with men
  • A spiritual attitude to economics
  • Removal of poverty
  • Education for all
  • A universal peace treaty
  • A world federation
  • A common language for world communication

In this New Age the Lord of Hosts is summoning His people to follow His guidance.

The text of all these leaflets remains the copyright of Warwick Bahá'í Bookshop. The Bookshop is happy for people to download individual copies for their own purposes. Printed copies can be purchased from the Warwick Bookshop. Individuals or communities wishing to translate or print these leaflets in other countries please contact the Bookshop for permission.
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