What does Emunah mean?
Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:08 PM
Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:45 AM
I think the word emunah has two primary meanings (which are related). The first is loyalty and the second is affirmation. One who is ne'eman is one who is loyal, steady and consistent in their commitment to the one they are loyal to. A person who has emunah is one who is loyal regardless of the circumstances or situation - regardless of whether it is easy or hard. Being hard isn't just physically hard - it can also be emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, socially, financially, politically, etc., difficult to stay loyal to G-d. The personal of emunah sticks with G-d no matter what (by sticking with G-d, that means both positive affirmation of His existence and Hashgacha as well as a personal commitment to His laws and ways).
The source of this loyalty begins, I think, with the other meaning of emunah - which is affirmation (as in the word Amen). Very few of us come to HaKadosh Baruch Hu on our own. Usually, we have to rely on our family, friends, rabbeium and teachers to inform us about G-d and tell us about His Torah, etc. It is our job then to affirm that which we have been taught and told. By personally affirming and staying true the tradition that started with Avraham, Yithak and Yaakov we are then able to build our own personal loyalty to G-d and His Torah.
So, in short - emunah is loyalty born from affirming that which the the tradition has taught us.
Yediah - knowledge - builds off of this emunah - it's when we take the time to intellectually, personally and spiritually deepen our understanding of that which we have previously affirmed.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:57 AM
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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:19 PM
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