Black Spirituality Religion : Jewish Encyclopedia: Ancestor Worship

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Amnat77, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The same homage and adoration paid to deceased parents and more remote ancestors as usually given to deities. Many anthropologists are of opinion that this was the original form of religion (H. Spencer, Lippert); the school represented by Stade and F. Schwally argues that it was the original religion of Israel before Jahvism was introduced by Moses and the Prophets. According to them, much of the priestly legislation was directed against the rites connected with Ancestor Worship. At present the view that the original religion of the Israelites was some form of Ancestor Worship is the only one that has been put forward scientifically or systematically, together with an explanation of the changes made by the later and true religion of Israel. Nevertheless arguments of some weight have been brought forward to show that this view of the original Israelitish religion is only slenderly based upon facts, and it seems desirable therefore to give a summary of the arguments for and against regarding Ancestor Worship as the original religion of Israel.

    The school of Stade bases its belief as to the former existence of this worship in Israel on the following arguments:

    I.

    Hebrew Views of the Nature of the Soul: According to Stade and his followers, these were identical with the animistic theory of savages, which regards the soul as a sort of immaterial breath or shadow in which the life of the body exists, but which can leave it for a time and inhabit other bodies of men or animals. The nefesh (generally rendered "soul") and ruaḥ (literally "wind," generally rendered "spirit") of the Hebrews are of this kind, either of which leaves a man when he dies (Gen. xxxv. 18; Ps. cxlvi. 4). The ruaḥ can go back to the body (Judges, xv. 19; I Sam. xxx. 12), just as in the animistic belief of savages. But the ruaḥ represents a more exalted state of the soul or spirit than the nefesh, and according to Stade was originally the spirit of the dead, which might be either good or bad, and could arouse men to exalted or to base passions. Jahvism transformed this view by restricting the ruaḥ to that of YHWH (e.g., I Sam. x. 6; Judges, ix. 23).

    Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1488&letter=A&search=ancestors#ixzz0rnCb2S9g

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view_page.jsp?artid=1488&letter=A&pid=0
     
  2. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Offerings to the Dead: In Jer. xvi. 6, 7 it seems to be implied that the mourning customs (lamenting, making incisions, shaving the hair, and tearing the garments) were observed for the sake of the dead, and that "the cup of consolation" offered to the mourner was offered "for his father or for his mother." Similarly in Deut. xxvi. 14, it seems to be implied that the Jahvistic legislation opposed doing certain things and giving certain things in honor of the dead. The same seems to be implied in Hosea, ix. 4; while gifts are brought directly to the dead as late as Tobit, iv. 17; Ecclus. (Sirach) vii. 32 et seq. (compare Abot, iii. 5). The mourning customs of shaving the hair and sprinkling blood are also regarded as offerings of hair and blood to the manes of the dead.

    Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1488&letter=A&search=ancestors#ixzz0rnDLAgTp
     
  3. Onyemobi

    Onyemobi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The original Hebrew religion was the Canaanite one, so this makes sense.
     
  4. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the insight. This is why I am often amazed at how the derivitives of Judaism (Christianity and Islam) refer to similar African systems as pagan and infidel. Things that make me go hmmm...
     
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