It is very inspiring to talk about spirituality and religion. In this opportunity, we want to talk about the Baha’i faith, the newest monotheistic religion of our world. Several times before we have talked about religions: When we showed you the most inspiring synagogues in Israel, and even when we gave you some useful Hebrew vocabulary related to religion and spirituality.
Today we want to show you a new faith you might have never heard about: The Baha’i religion. Most likely, you have visited their beautiful gardens in Haifa or Akko, but do you know their story? Do you know what they believe in? Well, in case you haven’t enjoyed the guided tour in their Haifa gardens, we are going to give you a bit of information so from now on, you’ll know what the Baha’i people believe in.
A new monotheistic religion: The Baha’i
The most important thing for the Baha’i faith is to teach the essential worth of all religions, together with the unity and equality of all people. Sounds amazing, right? Nowadays, about 7 million people from all over the world follow this religion.
Founded by Bahá’u’lláh, the Baha’i teachings are aligned with other monotheistic religions from the world. Just like Judaism, Islam or Christianity, there is only one God and He is considered omnipotent.
According to Wikipedia “Bahá’í notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of the well-known religions of the world, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God”.
It was initially established in 1863, and it initially grew in several parts of the Middle East, such as Akko, and in Persia.
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A little bit of history: Where does the Baha’i faith come from?
In just a little bit, we are going to speak about the most important figures for this religion, but we can tell you now that one of them is the Bab, he was a merchant who began preaching a new interpretation of Shia Islam.
The Báb’s claim to divine revelation was rejected by the generality of Islamic clergy in Iran, which drove him to be publicly executed in the middle of the 1800s. The Báb taught that God would soon send a new messenger, and do you know who is considered that messenger? Indeed! Bahá’u’lláh, the official founder of this “new” faith, is considered that person.
The Bahá’í community was mostly confined to the Iranian and Ottoman empires until after the death of Bahá’u’lláh in 1892, at which time he had followers in 13 countries of Asia and Africa.
Baha’i Gardens and Houses of Worship: Haifa, Akko, and even in Chile
In the Baha’i culture, temples are called “House of Worship”, and there are several of them all over the world. The “continental” houses of worship are in many different locations, congregating members of the Baha’i faith on a regular base. You can find them in Chile, Uganda, Australia, Germany, Panama, Samoa, India, and even in Illinois.
On the other hand, the beautifully symmetrical Baha’i gardens can be found only in Baha’i Holy Places, and where there is a House of Worship. In Israel, you can find these gorgeous gardens in Haifa and Akko.
The most famous ones (but not the holiest ones) are the hanging gardens of Haifa. These “terraces” are garden terraces around the “Shrine of the Bab”, which is a structure where the remains of the Bab (remember we talked about him earlier?) have been buried. These gardens are considered the 2nd holiest place for the Baha’i people, right after the “Shrine of Baha’u’llah” in the middle of Akko, the founder of this new-ish religion.
Just in case you were wondering, the architect who designed and built these gardens is Fariborz Sahba, originally from Iran.
Learn some Hebrew today and better understand all religions
The time to learn Hebrew has come. When learning Hebrew it will become easier to understand the roots and beginnings of all monotheistic religions of the world. But not only that, by learning Hebrew today, you’ll be able to come to Israel tomorrow and enjoy the best shawarma in Tel Aviv, or maybe have the time of your life in Eilat, a magical city in which you don’t pay taxes.
You can now learn the language of our ancestors in a fun, engaging and easy way. Check out all of the Hebrew courses Rosen School of Hebrew has to offer. Begin now and you’ll be amazed by the extraordinary results you’ll see. Behatzlacha!