Close. Is there an explanation for two very different languages sharing this connection? Its superiority absolutely depends upon the presence of a right-thinking individual to make the adaptation. Rabbi Lenny Levin's Academy in Cyberspace! Please direct me to a source of the current discussion! ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Circle Creative Studio. Seeing With Both Eyes: Ephraim Luntshitz and the Polish Jewish Renaissance, Brill Academic Publishers (2008), Why God is Subject to Murphy’s Law: Dialogues on God and Judiasm, Booksurge Publishing (2007), Abraham J. Heschel, Heavenly Torah, translated and edited by Gordon Tucker with Leonard Levin, Continuum Press (2005), Eliezer Schweid, The Classic Jewish Philosophers, translated by Leonard Levin, Brill Academic Publishers (2007). But Plato's point was different. In the New Testament, the spirit “pneuma” refers to the Holy Spirit. I don't think that relationship is on the Biblical or the rabbinic radar screen. Ruach, Pneuma, and wind/spirit. Jesus says this succinctly, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). I can take it! , the open-handed giving that is still so important in helping to supply today's needs in the world? Call me crabby. God doesn’t need anything to exist. The wind blows wherever it wants. What Is Catechism? Bottom line: Both word and action proceed from spirit, whether you are speaking in Greek or Hebrew. Any thoughts? Topics of this blog will vary. The word reminds us that we breathe, and everything else breathes because the breath of life inhabits us. And that would make it different than "ruach" which has no connection to a speech-writing discussion. That's about as far as I can go, since Mrs. Cheshvan now has to embark upon shabbat grocery shopping. Doesn't seem to jive with the concept of being book- or written-law based. In the most simple and broad definition possible, ruach (and pneuma) refer to a life force. Both words are commonly used in passages referring to the Holy Spirit. In fact, "pneuma" is the standard translation of "ruah" in the Greek Bible, as these instances illustrate. What Are Principalities and Powers in the Bible? With every breath we take, we seek to serve our God who fills us with the breath of life. ...And if "pneu" is associated there with logos, then it's better than writing, because Plato created the logos and saw that it was good. All who are thirsty, come here to drink! It can refer to the life force that animates angels, demons, and even human souls. My tires are pneumatic because they have air in them, not speech. * * * In the most simple and broad definition possible, ruach (and pneuma) refer to a life force. God creates, empowers, emboldens, and sustains all things, and the name Ruach Elohim reminds us of this power and facet of God’s character. They may indeed both mean "breath" or "air" -- the question is, if the connotations are different does that make them mean different things? We witness such instances in verses such as Matthew 5:3, Mark 5:8, Luke 1:47, among several others. Lee Price: I think it would be instructive to see how Plato uses "pneu." Lenny Levin: Not at all. Second, as the argument that you cite claims to contrast “pneuma” with “ruah” in this respect, the relevant question would be: does the association of “ruah” with “speech” occur anywhere in the Hebrew canon? As I understand it, the superiority of the spoken word for Plato depends on the presence of the superior speaker (the philosopher), who, as its "father" is always there to explain it. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. The other occurrence is in Isaiah 11:4, speaking of the Messianic ruler: “He shall judge the poor with equity and decide with justice for the lowly of the land. Everything needs some life force to animate them. Any sources you'd suggest? In the Phaedrus or the Phaedo or one of those dialogues starting with "ph" there's some myth purportedly from Egypt in which speech (logos) is held to be better than writing. The oral word is “pneumatic”—breathing, if you will, just as it is the product of the breath of the person who utters it. Derrida thought it showed Freudian suppression of writing b/c writing implies the death of the father (since it lives on after him.) Post Mar 28, 2018 #1 2018-03-28T14:01. More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. First, I find delightful layers of irony in the fact that Plato (whose medium was writing) is making Socrates (whose medium was exclusively oral speech, for he wrote nothing) praise the virtues of the oral word over the written word (which I am guessing was the chief morsel of insight that Derrida gleaned from this passage). Without Him, nothing can exist. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8. The Greek "pneuma" and Hebrew "ruah" both originally meant the material substance that we call "air=breath=wind" and by transfer of meaning through metaphor came to mean that which is completely immaterial. And why should we care about the meaning of this Hebrew word? So why do we see such a dichotomy? Because God exists, we exist. This is a delightful piece of insight but hardly justifies equating the meaning of “pneuma” with “logos.”. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Or something like that.One last comment: you end with both word and action proceeding from spirit, and I don't dispute the validity of that statement for both Greeks and Hebrews. The plain sense here is that the oral judgment that he pronounces dooms the wicked; you might want to use it in support of the conjunction of word and action. This is most commonly air (or wind, or breath -- all different forms of the same thing). and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. Old English Fneosan, to sneeze. Is Pneuma and Ruah is connected to the sacrament of confirmation? (4) What does Jewish wisdom have to say about. We’ll dive into these questions and more. Ruah is associated with life itself (as in Genesis 7:15 and Ezekiel 37:10). Hi AcademicBiblical, I've been told by numerous bible footnotes that the Greek and Hebrew words for wind, breath, and spirit are identical. sami. Crabby, crabby. I'll try to do this next Thurs when things have eased a bit... Shabbat shalom! The difference is what's commending itself to my attention: "ruach" ultimately translated itself into "action" whereas "pneu" translated itself into "spirit.". Whereas, "ruach" has no relation to writing that I know of -- I don't think that relationship is on the Biblical or the rabbinic radar screen. I gather(though am undoubtedly too under the gun to examine it out) that "pneu" has a unique derivation arising from its relationship with " images," and the relative brilliance of (pneu-borne) conversation over composing. Nothing can exist on its own. 3 of those were quotes (by Plato) from Homer, and one just means "wind." Can you find the English passages? Lenny Levin: That can be tested. What are pneuma and ruach? He is. Yazmin Lebbe May I suggest another source? Pneuma in greek, though, is neutrum. An Overview of the Catechumen Process, How to Find Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love This Advent. Not surprisingly, as a lookup of the word “ruah” in a Biblical concordance will reveal, there are several associations of “ruah” with orality, especially with the phenomenon of oral prophecy inspired by God’s ruah. 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