Friday, December 30, 2011

Shoghi Effendi’s sayings regarding teaching of Jews

"Regarding your question concerning the future of the Jews: They certainly have, as explicitly stated by the Master, a great spiritual destiny, and will gradually enter the Faith in large groups."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 13, 1937, Lights of Guidance, no. 1681)

"...You should certainly Endeavour to establish further contacts with your Jewish fellow-citizens, as their spiritual destiny is assuredly bright. The age-long sufferings and tribulations which the Jews all over the world have so cruelly experienced will be terminated during the Bahá'í era, as they will be gradually led to embrace the Faith which, indeed, constitutes the only means of salvation to their race."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 22, 1937, Lights of Guidance, no. 1817)

"...If the Jews study the teachings they will find in them the hopes and aspirations that they have always cherished. Bahá'u'lláh bears a wonderful message to the Jews and many of them have come to appreciate it and are active in carrying it to others of their race. Through Bahá'u'lláh, the Master tells us, they shall regain their ancient glory and become loved by all the people of the whole world."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 14, 1932, Lights of Guidance, no. 1818)

There are also some pilgrim's notes which speak to their having a special role in the future as administrators, protecting/championing the Faith in the Holy Land, etc. Moreover International Teaching counselor Mr. Ayman Rohani and Mr. Bijan Farid during their visit to an Asian country in 2008 have clarified that, very soon the teaching activities will start in the Holy Land of Israel. In fact it has already started in one of the University of Israel. The present House of Justice Member Mr. Payman Mohajer has also assured the Bahá'is that Universal House of Justice has made elaborate plans to teach in the Holy Land.

As Jew Bahá'is we are sure that once the teaching activities will start in our Holy Land, the progress of the Faith in Israel will become an example for the whole World.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Very soon ‘Teaching Activities’ will start in the State of Israel for our Jewish brethren

Letter of The Universal House of Justice to a Baha'i :

Dear Bahá’i Friend,

In reply to your email of 23 October 2002 to the Universal House of Justice, we have been asked to convey the following. It is not possible, given all of the instructions and exhortations addressed to the believers by Baha’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, that the House of Justice would ever advise communities that are free to pursue teaching plans that it was not timely to talk about such efforts and enroll new Bahà’is.

Nor could it, contrary to Baha’u’lláh’s explicit command, allow any other activity in the Bahá’i community to diminish the responsibility of individuals to teach the Cause. Precisely the opposite is true. A major object of the recent emphasis on establishing training institutes is to increase the capacity of individuals to teach the Cause effectively. Study circles, which are local extensions of an institute, are intended to serve this purpose. While it is highly desirable to include seekers in study circles wherever possible, the individual believer retains the inescapable duty to teach the Faith on his or her own initiative. Anyone who carefully reads the messages of the House of Justice will find that it has consistently exhorted and encouraged individuals to teach the Faith, pointing to the many possibilities of exploiting the opportunities that the turmoil of the present age provides. In this regard, there is abundant evidence from countries around the world, including the United States, that the institutions of the Faith at all levels and institutes through their courses focus attention on the importance of teaching.

The friends should not allow discussions that go on in the community to confuse or divert them from what has always been a clear understanding of their individual responsibility for teaching the Cause of God. The unfortunate consequence of so much discussion about teaching is that the friends often talk themselves out of taking action, when this is clearly a matter in which action speaks louder than words. Indeed, it is always time to teach the Faith and enroll new believers.

We are to assure you of the prayers of the House of Justice in the Holy Shrines on your behalf that your individual efforts to teach the Faith may be divinely confirmed.

With loving Bahá’i greetings,

Department of the Secretariat

This letter of the Universal House of Justice clearly states that the Bahà’is can teach in Israel. Only two very important aspects should be considered : One is WISDOM while Teaching the Faith and Second, the Message of Universal House of Justice Regarding TEACHING THE FAITH IN SENSITIVE COUNTRIES b'coz Israel is one of the sensitive countries. The day is not far that we will have numbers of Study circles, Children classes, of course Moral ones and IPGs of Bahà’i Faith in every city of Israel.

This picture is imaginary. We pray to Baha'u'llah to give us success and make it true.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jewish groups urge release of Baha'i Academics in Iran

Wednesday 17 August, 2011 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE

By Marcus Dysch , August 17, 2011

Iran's detention of 11 Baha'i academics has been condemned by the Board of Deputies and Union of Jewish Students. British Jews have repeatedly raised concerns about the treatment of Iran's Baha'i community. More than 100 are being held in Iranian prisons, including seven of the community's most senior leaders, some having been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Those detained worked for the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), which had been established to meet the educational needs of young Baha'is denied access to Iran's higher education system.

In a joint statement calling for the academics' immediate release, the Board and UJS said the detention was "totally unacceptable and a violation of Article 27 of the UDHR, which guarantees all citizens the right to freely 'participate in the cultural life of the community'.”Only through fostering a culture of mutual respect can Iran progress to a legal and political situation worthy of all its citizens. We believe that all people, and all Iranians, should be given equal access to higher education on the basis of merit, and not de-barred because of their religious beliefs." Iran has repeatedly repressed its Baha'i community and has for more than 30 years barred Baha'i academics from working in universities.

Dear Jewish Brothers and Sisters (Board of Deputies and Union of Jewish Students),

We are indeed very thankful to you for taking up our cause and calling for the immediate release of the Academics in Iran. We acknowledge that this is not just your first support but since the emergence of the Baha’i Faith our Jew brothers and sisters are on forefront for help and support. Since the Establishment of our beloved holy Land the State of Israel. The government has left no stone unturned to help and support us.

We also take this opportunity to convey to you that please bring your generous pressure on the Israeli Government, because we Baha’is are not permitted to Propagate Baha’i Faith in Israel. This prevention of Teaching and propagation of Baha’i Faith in Israel is totally unaccepted and it is clear violation of Religious Freedom. We also believe that the State of Israel should give same opportunity of teaching and propagation of Baha’i beliefs as it has been granted to the followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Since the Establishment of State of Israel in 1948 the prevention and prohibition is only for the Baha’is. Although we are very sure that the State of Israel takes all the care for the Baha’is, not only in Israel but through out the world. In fact the Israeli ambassadors in every country takes a deep interest in well being of Baha’is of that country taking utmost care to see that no law is made to prevent the Baha’is from teaching the Baha’i Faith in that country. So then the natural question arises is why the Baha’is are not allowed to teach in Israel?

In 2009 the beloved Universal House of Justice gave a Message in which they exhorted the Baha’is to “Go and teach the Iranians, and face whatever consequences are there”. Although the law of obeying the government is still not abrogated in Baha’i Faith.

There is a very strange contradiction here! The Iranian Government is deadliest Enemy of Baha’i Faith, yet the House says go and teach the Iranians and become Martyrs, whereas The State of Israel is so friendly with Baha’is - extending all the facilities and hospitality to Baha’is - yet we are not supposed to teach the Israelis.

Please campaign for removal of this discrimination. We would be greatly obliged and forever pray for your well-being.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jews are an example of God’s wrath

{When followers of a religion became totally attached to dogmas and blind imitations and gave up the essential foundation and reality of their religion}

… When the Jews became fettered by empty forms and imitations, the wrath of God became manifest. When they forsook the foundations of the law of God, Nebuchadnezzar came and conquered the Holy Land. He killed and made captive the people of Israel, laid waste the country and populous cities and burned the villages. Seventy thousand Jews were carried away captive to Babylon. He destroyed Jerusalem, despoiled the great Temple, desecrated the Holy of Holies and burned the Torah, the heavenly book of Scriptures. Therefore, we learn that allegiance to the essential foundation of the divine religions is ever the cause of development and progress, whereas the abandonment and beclouding of that essential reality through blind imitations and adherence to dogmatic beliefs are the causes of a nation's debasement and degradation. After their conquest by the Babylonians the Jews were successively subjugated by the Greeks and Romans. Under the Roman general Titus in A.D. 70 the Holy Land was stripped and pillaged, Jerusalem razed to its foundations and the Israelites scattered broadcast throughout the world. So complete was their dispersion that they have continued without a country and government of their own to the present day [1912].

From this review of the history of the Jewish people we learn that the foundation of the religion of God laid by Moses was the cause of their eternal honor and national prestige, the animating impulse of their advancement and racial supremacy and the source of that excellence which will always command the respect and reverence of those who understand their peculiar destiny and outcome. The dogmas and blind imitations which gradually obscured the reality of the religion of God proved to be Israel's destructive influences, causing the expulsion of these chosen people from the Holy Land of their Covenant and promise.

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 362)

Appeal of Baha’is of Jewish background to all the Jews

The only way for Jews to escape the Wrath of God is to join the Bahá'í Community, accept Baha’u’llah as the promised one of all Religions and actively involve themselves in teaching the Bahá'í Faith in the Holy Land of Israel. The best way of teaching the Bahá'í Faith is to concentrate on Children because once the Children accept the Bahá'í Faith it is but obvious that the parents will also accept it and it will open the doors for “Entry by Troops.” This is what has been conveyed in very recent Messages of Universal House of Justice.

“The various recent messages from the Universal House of Justice calling for the multiplication of children’s classes, however, refer to Bahá'í classes that are open to non-Bahá'í children. It is clear that classes focusing on the development of virtues are distinct from the classes we are called upon to establish in the context of the Five Year Plan. The interests of Bahá'í education are best served by the materials and methods being used by the training institutes, including those in the main Ruhi sequence such as Books 3 and 3A (known previously as Book 5), and the Core Curriculum, which is a branch course after Book 3.

Experience has abundantly demonstrated that many parents of non-Bahá'í children who attend neighborhood classes are receptive to the Faith. If children’s classes are established as a means of social and economic development alone, then their potential to serve as one of the “portals for entry by troops” will remain unrealized. The National Assembly understands that this arena of service, like all the features of the Five Year
Plan, is characterized by an increasing appreciation of the value of process and action-learning. Some friends may already have initiated neighborhood classes using the Virtues material, and some may be inclined to begin classes with this approach because of their thoughtful consideration of the receptivity of their friends and neighbors. However, we expect that they would view the use of these materials as only a transitional stage in the process of establishing Bahá'í classes for all children. Where virtues-based classes are already underway we hope that the friends will experiment with a gradual shift toward content that more directly presents the Bahá'í teachings to the students. This would present an excellent opportunity to invite graduates and participants of Book 3 in your cluster to assist with children’s classes.”

Be assured of our prayers in the luminous Mashriqu’l-Adhkár that your steadfast endeavors to prosecute the central elements of the Five Year Plan and advance this mighty Cause of God may attract the bountiful confirmations of His Supreme Manifestation.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

Kenneth E. Bowers
(Message To, the American Bahá'í Community)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Teaching the Baha'i Faith in Israel

The mystery of not teaching the Baha'i Faith in Israel is getting deeper. The question is being asked from every corner of the Baha'i World. The only document which prohibits the teaching in Israel is the Message of the Universal House of Justice dated 29 June 1995:


The Universal House of Justice has received your email message dated 29 June 1995 and we have been asked to respond.

You have asked how the policy of not teaching Israelis applies in the situation in which you have contact with an Israeli via an “interactive relay chat” (IRC) connection. The House of Justice has not asked the friends to avoid contact with Israelis. When you discover that a person you are in contact with via IRC is an Israeli, you should feel free to maintain friendly contact, but you should not teach the Faith to him. If he has already developed a personal interest in the Faith and seeks more information, you should refer him to the Offices of the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa. For your information, the people in Israel have access to factual information about the Faith, its history and general principles. Books concerning the Faith are available in libraries throughout Israel, and Israelis are welcome to visit the Shrines and the surrounding gardens. However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bahá’u'lláh, Bahá’ís do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel. When Israelis ask about the Faith, their questions are answered, but this is done in a manner which provides factual information without stimulating further interest.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Department of the Secretariat

  • Note that two things are missing from this statement:
  • There is no direct quote from Baha’''llah specifying that we should not teach the Faith in Israel, and
  • There is no direct reference to any Israeli law forbidding the teaching of the Faith either. Indeed, in all my Baha'i life, I never saw any such thing myself, even when I asked about the matter. It seems to be all a myth made up to hide something!
  • In fact many Presidents/Prime Minister of Israel have visited our World Centre and always showered love affection and generosity towards the Baha'is and the Baha'i Faith.
  • Residents of Israel are allowed to become members of the other sects of Baha'is.

Shimon Peres, the then Foreign Minister of Israel, views one of the models of the Terraces Project, during his visit to the Baha'i World Centre on 4th August 1994.