Saturday, December 01, 2007
FYI - LET THE CATHOLIC BEWARE
JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION: A STUDY IN FOLK RELIGION, Joshua Trachtenberg, Foreword by Moshe Idel
Chapter 3 - "The Powers of Evil", subheading "Terminology"
It may not be amiss if before we proceed to a consideration of the features of this demonology, we devote a few lines to the nomenclature employed in our literature. The terms most frequently met with are those made familiar in the ancient literature of the Jews:mazzik, from a root which means "to damage, destroy"; shed, an obscure word which occurs in the Bible in the plural, and which in the Talmudic literature acquired the exclusive sense of "demon"; and ruah, "spirit," often ra'ah, "evil spirit." (Trachtenberg, p. 27, emphasis mine - ct)
Welcome to the Ruah Spirituality Center of the Sisters of Charity of The Incarnate Word in Houston, Texas where you can read "Ruah cannot be translated by any single English word."
But apparently it can, since it is a Jewish word that means "spirit" according to an expert in Jewish spirituality, and it is often used in conjunction with ra'ah to designate an evil spirit.
So what's it doing in a Catholic retreat center when we have a perfectly good Catholic word to designate spirit--"Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost"? Why is it trendy in Roman Catholicism to borrow from the Jews?
Of course since the nuns are offering centering prayer, Taize prayer, Tai Chi and yoga, it just might be that ruah ra'ah has made an appearance in their spirituality center and found itself at home.