Taste of Hebrew title graphic


July

Emuná (Ashkenazi: Emúne) 'belief (in God and the Torah)'
'What his family had to go through was enough to try anyone's emuna'


'Every afternoon, Ira and I had a chavruta in Tenach (Bible), but he's started college now.' 'Cheryl, I'm looking for a chavruta to learn with during the week. Know anyone?'

The chavruta is the secret of the old Jewish study skill -- but a secret that Jews would willingly share with the world's Secretaries for Education, if only they would ask.
Emuna is the foundation stone of Judaism. It is often said that Judaism is a religion of deed rather than belief. Emuna is crucial -- but as a premise upon which the Torah is built -- the first two of the Ten Commandments ("I am the Lord your God..." and "You shall have no other gods...") are a preamble to "Remember the Sabbath Day", "Thou shalt not steal" and the rest.
From the same root, Hebrew forms the most universal Hebrew word of all, amen.

The word emuna was on the lips of the masses as they went to their death in the gas chambers. They sang a Hebrew lament to these words:

I believe with perfect emuna in the coming of the Mashiach (Messiah), and though he tarry I shall await him
    The thirteenth and last of Maimonides' Principles of Faith



By kind permission of Oxford University Press,
publishers of The Joys of Hebrew by Lewis Glinert.



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Last Modified February 12, 2006