Friday, August 8, 2014

The Yazidis' Religion, Sufi type people, Monotheistic but Different-Running For Their Lives

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

IS is after the Yazidis right now who live in northern Iraq.  They call them "Satan" worshippers.  IS should spend their ill gotten money from robbing banks on a computer and use Wikipedia to learn something about them.

Yazidis are a monotheistic religion like the rest of us Jews, Christians and Muslims.  They believe in one G-d who created the world.  Here's where they are different.  They believe that G-d entrusted the world into the care of 7 angels or heft sirr (the 7 Mysteries).  The head one is known as "Melek Taus" or the Peacock Angel.

By the way, the Hebrew word for angel is Malakh (messenger).  In Jewish literature angels have appeared in human form as emissaries and convey G-d's words to mortals.  The Yazidis heptad of angels are G-d's emanations which are formed out of the light of G-d.  G-d delegates most of his action to the heptad (group of 7) and is somewhat deistic in nature.

They say they are not an offshoot of other religions such as Christianity or Islam but they do show having had influence from other religions in the Middle East.  The Core Yazidi cosmology has a pre-Zoroastrian Iranian origin.  Yazidism includes parts of ancient nature-worship and well as influences from Christianity, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism.

They have this reputation of being devil worshippers because they are connected to the other name of Melek Taus;   Shaytan, which is the same name the Koran has for Satan.   (In Hebrew, the letters sin and shin are the same letter with a dot on either side making it into an S sound or an Sh sound.)

The Yazidis tell the story about Tawuse Melek's rise to favor with G-d.  It is almost the same ass the Islamic story of the jinn named Iblis.  The Yazidi revere Tawuse Melek for refusing to submit to G-d by bowing to Adam.  Muslims believe that Iblis' refusal to submit caused him to fall out of Grace with G-d, and to later become Satan himself.

Judaism doesn't say much about Satan other than he is usually identified with the devil, Lucifer or the prince of Demons.  This definition comes to us late, not in the Bible.  Satan in the Bible was no demon or evil spirit, but belonged to the Divine household like other angelic beings  such as shown in Job 1:6 with the function apparently being that of the accuser.  His story had developed into a hostile, destructive and hence evil spirit, finally becoming the tempter in I Chronicles 21:1.  He seduced David, an act ascribed to G-d Himself in the parallel passage in II Samuel 24:1.  Negative or destructive characteristics or actions originally attributed to G-d were gradually transferred to independent, autonomous demonic beings, the representatives of the principle of evil with Satan as their chief of king.  In early Christianity their power was great and the whole world was actually considered to be under the dominion of the devil.  Found in the Qumran tests, Satan is known as Belial.  In Jewish legends Satan is the Angel of Death, others as the arch-enemy of Israel.  In Judaism Satan is a reference in a paragraph, not a part of our religion.

Angels in Judaism did not acquire a name until the time of the 2nd Temple period. The Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzaar of Babylon.   Names were first mentioned in the Book of Daniel who were Gabriel and Michael.  Talk of them increased in the hellenistic period when they included a group sometimes listed as consisting of  7 and sometimes 4, of whom the best know are Gabriel, Michael, Uriel and Raphael who were the archangels, meaning they were permanently close to G-d.  Then this differentiation disappeared and the importance of angelology grew under foreign influence.  We have the Yiddish words, yetzer harah, the evil inclination.  Each person has this.  We have good and evil in us, so we  keep the evil inclination in us checked by being good.  You don't have to make up an angel or the Devil that is the cause.

Tawuse Melek is identified by Muslims and Christians with Satan (Shaitan).  Yazidis believe that he is not a source of evil or wickedness.  They think he is the eader of the archangels, not a fallen angel.  They are not permitted to say his name "Shaitan."  Yazidis feel that the source of evil is in the heart and spirit of humans themselves, not in this character, Tawuse Melek.

The active forces in their religion as Tawuse Melek and Sheik Adi.  " a descendant of Umayyad Caliph Marwan ibn al-Hakam, was born in the 1070s in the Beqaa Valley of present-day Lebanon.  .Adi is said to have been born in the village of Bait Far, near Baalbek, where the house of his birth was in and is still the place of pious pilgrimage.   The Yazidi consider him an Avatar of Tawûsê Melek, the "Peacock Angel". His tomb at Lalish, Iraq is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.
Şêx Adî spent much of his early life in Baghdad. To attain a sufi life and seclude himself he sought a quiet haven in Kurdistan, an area strongly associated with indigenous Iranian religious movements such as Zoroastrianism.
Despite his desire for seclusion, he impressed the local population with his asceticism and miracles.
I can see that he is a confrontation for IS, as the head of IS is Baghdadi, who comes from Baghdad.  They are on the list to be converted or killed by him.  

The New Standard Jewish Enchclopedia
CNN news on Yazidis

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