Universal Faith – Bha”i Faith

  • The Torah given by Moses to the Jewish people and the world is both a Universal faith and a specific faith and religion for the Jewish people to be the law and constitution of the Nation of Israel when Joshua entered the land.
  • Bha”i faith gives a solution to religious conflicts.  However religions remain fundamentalist and avoid changing their scriptural teachings even to the point of violent opposition to universal faith like Bha”i.
  • When the majority will accept Bha”i peace will be revealed in the world.

Universal faith means that religions of the world were revealed in order of progressive revelation. This means that God sent each religious founder prophet to progressively advance religious teachings.  The Bha”i faith in Haifa is a Universal faith. Unlike other universal religions, the Bha”i writings do not state that the human race is a whole but celebrates the variety of religions and the differences among peoples. The Bha”i faith was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by Bahuulah who claimed to be a prophet.  He was persecuted and spent over a decade in prison in Ottoman Palestine.

TOP PIC: The Bhai Center in Haifa, Israel. ABOVE: The Bhai Gardens in Acre.

The Torah given by Moses to the Jewish people and the world is both a Universal faith and a specific faith and religion for the Jewish people to be the law and constitution of the Nation of Israel when Joshua entered the land.  The law was handed down from generation to generation until the final conquest of Israel when it became the Law of the Kingship.  The Universal aspect of the Torah was suppressed throughout the time of the kingship and after the destruction of the two temples when the Jews went into exile.

Movements began after the destruction of the first temple to reveal the Universal aspect of the Torah.  The Jewish prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jerimiah and other prophets wrote about a new revelation of the Universal law of the Torah.  Jerimiah in chapter 29 clearly writes about a new covenant and describes several aspects of this new revelation. Fundamentalists persecuted Jerimiah and even sent him to prison. Some sources say that Isaiah was killed by the King Menashe.  The Kings of Israel in almost every generation were strictly fundamentalist to defend their kingdoms from universal influences.

King Solomon understood both aspects of faith national religious Jewish faith and universal faith.  His writings Ecclesiastes, proverbs, and the Song of Songs expresses universalism.  However his nation he ruled over with a strict hand which caused the people to rebel. After the death of King Solomon who built in Jerusalem the holy temple, a civil war broke splitting the nation into two parts.  Jerbeon Ben Navat a Torah Scholar of the highest level established the new nation of Israel in Samaria more universal consisting of about ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. Israel of Samaria lasted more than two hundred years until it was conquered by the Assyrians.  The Nation of Judah where was the holy temple and   kingship of David survived another 100 years until it was conquered by the Babylonians.  The Nation of Judah even in exile preserved the Jewish heritage and the divine law given to it by Moses and Joshua. After seventy years in exile they returned to Jerusalem to build the second temple.  Jewish law has continued throughout history according to the instructions of the Men of the Great Assembly at the beginning of the time of the second temple.  Jewish law is almost completely national.

At the end of the period of the second temple the prophet Jesus started a new messianic movement which became Christianity a religion without demanding Jewish lineage.  Judaism continued throughout this period in Europe and in the Middle East.  Mohammed was born in 570 CE and successfully began the religion of Islam.  Christianity was an open religion without requiring circumcism.  Their religion is centered around the coming of their prophet Jesus the Messiah which distinguished it from Judaism which was waiting for the coming of the Messiah to rebuild their nation and its holy temple.  Islam reinforced traditional worship of God without focusing on the Messiah, or connecting to God through the Messiah like Orthodox Judaism.  Islam did not require lineage like Judaism to enter into their covenant.  In Judaism those with lineage from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are Jews from birth.  Converts accept the covenant of Moses.  Islam accepted converts who accepted their law and scripture the Koran and Sharia.  Christianity and Islam became two empires in the world Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Universal faith like Bha”i faith accept Judaism, Christianity and Islam as progressive advance of religious teachings.  Judaism does not accept any other religions.  Even though Judaism has in its heritage two Torah laws, the Oral law which is strictly National and the written law which has in it also history and esoteric teachings, it completely suppresses the Universal aspect of faith. Christianity came to reveal the universal aspect of faith which became like Judaism a religion with laws and commandments but without stressing lineage connecting to Adam and teaching that all men are created in the image of God. Islam would not accept belief in Jesus as a Godhead, and began a new religion worshipping God like Judaism.  Judaism did not accept Jesus as the Messiah but Islam accepted Jesus as the Messiah a prophet but not accepting the Christian religion.  Islam called Mohammed the last prophet. Islam also called Adam a prophet which was never stressed in Judaic scriptures.

According to Bha”i starting with Judaism World faith developed progressively.  Judaism according to Jewish law which doesn’t change suppresses the universal aspect of religion connecting to Adam.  The written Torah and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden gives Adam the status of a great soul and prophet.  Jewish lineage begins with the twelve sons of Jacob.  In Judaism Moses is not considered living but after death.  He lived 120 years and went up on the mountain Nevo his grave is unknown. Jesus died on the cross and is considered by his followers to have resurrected unique to Judaism.  Jewish law cannot accept the king the Messiah after his death since they wait for a living king to reign upon their nation like in the days of old.

Christianity clashes with Judaism.  Judaism is essentially Anti-Christ who came into the world initially as a universal figure of faith.  Judaism and Islam national religions do not accept Jesus as a Godhead.  Universal faith and Bha”i accept Moses, Jesus and Mohammed as prophets in the progressive advance of the picture of religion.  Christianity gave the world a Godhead.  Judaism and Islam defended worship of God without an intermediate and preach the strict observance of their laws.  Hindu and Buddhism also worship God with a Godhead, messianic figures.

Universal faith accepts the whole picture of world faith as divine providence.  Judaism protects its lineage which requires Jewish law to exclude lineage of Adam.  Judaism has difficulty accepting Adam as a universal prophet before the sin because in Jewish law history starts from Mount Sinai as a new beginning without considering before or after the sin of the Golden Calf.  Islam although it considers Adam a prophet, he is not considered to be greater than Mohammed called the last prophet.

The prophet of Bha”i came after Mohammed called the last prophet which is a contradiction.  It is no contradiction because the prophet of Bha”i accepts Judaism, Christianity and Islam but the essential purpose of Bha”i faith is to unite them together in harmony.

The written Torah of Moses already from the beginning prophesized the coming of Jesus and Mohammed in Numbers 11, when Moses accepted Eldad and Midad as prophets in the camp against the wishes of Joshua who was a national fundamentalist.  The study of esoteric teaching of the Bible such as the Zohar reveal the Universal faith hidden within Judaism.  Religions continue to clash despite the efforts of Bha”I faith.  Universal faith according to Bha”i does not teach conversion like did Christianity through Baptism or Islam.  Essentially Universal faith emphasizes the importance of Freedom of Religion a concept which needs more strengthening and development to include in it religious ethics and morality.  Freedom is the beginning of all religions. Judaism began with freedom exodus.  Christianity began with freedom resurrection of Christ. Islam shares both the freedom of Moses and the freedom of Jesus but is separate from both of them. Religion will suppress freedom until it is forced to unite with freedom through the strong hand and the outstretched arm of America called in the Kabballa the sword of Esau. Can the sword of Esau bring a solution of peace to Israel and Palestine? Bha”i faith gives a solution to religious conflicts.  However religions remain fundamentalist and avoid changing their scriptural teachings even to the point of violent opposition to universal faith like Bha”i. When the majority will accept Bha”i peace will be revealed in the world.

If you are visiting Israel you can visit the Bha”i Gardens in Haifa.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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