بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
“You should know that it is ‘ibâdah that instils the aqâid [in the mu’mins] making them a very part of their character. For if matters of the conscience and reason are not nurtured and strengthened by ‘ibâdah, which consists of carrying out Allah's commands and abstaining from His prohibitions, they remain ineffectual and weak. The present state of the Islamic world testifies to this.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 160 )
“Then in order to secure obedience to [its] commands and avoidance of [its] prohibitions he is in need of perpetuating the idea of the grandeur of As-Sâni’, and that is [possible] through the manifestation of the aqâid. Then in order to perpetuate this idea and fix the aqâid firmly in their minds, he needs a constantly repeated reminder and renewed act, and that reminder is nothing but ‘ibâdah.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 161 )
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that I have observed during my journeying in the “layers of darkness” that the Sunnahs, as well as the bounds of Sharî’ah, are like stars that guide us among innumerable ways of dhalâlah in darkness. Deviating from the Sunnah makes one a plaything of shaytan, a mount of wahm, a target of fear, and a mountain of unbearable burdens. Deliverance from such things comes only from following the Sunnah.
I have also observed that the Sunnah are like ropes hanging down from the samâ. Whoever holds fast to even a part of them can be elevated. I have also observed that whoever opposes them and relies on their own or even public mind is like one who desires to obtain the means of travelling through the samâwât spheres in earthly vehicles and is ridiculed like Pharaoh, who said: يَا هَامَانُ ابْنِ ل۪ى صَرْحًا 1 .” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (117-118)
“In Maktubat, Imam-i Rabbani (Radiallahu ‘anh), the hero and a sun of the Naqshbandi Order, said: "I prefer the unfolding of a single matter of the haqiqahs of îmân to thousands of azwâq, ecstasies, and instances of karâmât."
He also said: "The final point of all the tarîqs is the clarification and unfolding of the haqiqahs of îmân."
He also said: "Walâyah is of three sorts: one is the 'lesser Walâyah,' which is the well-known Walâyah. The others are the 'middle Walâyah' and the 'greater Walâyah.' 'Greater Walâyah' is to open up by way of the legacy of nubuwwah a direct way to haqiqah without entering the barzakh of tasawwuf."
He said also: "The ma’nawî journeying on the Naqshi way is with two wings." That is, "Through having a firm belief in the haqiqahs of îmân and carrying out the religious fardh. If there is a defect in these two wings, the way cannot be traversed." In which case, the tarîq of Naqshi consists of three 'veils':
The First and most important is direct service to the haqiqahs of îmân; Imam-i Rabbani (ra) travelled this way in his later years.
The Second is service to the religious fardh and Glorious Sunnah under the veil of the tarîqah.
The Third is to work to eliminate the sicknesses of the heart by way of Tasawwuf and to journey with the feet of the heart. Of these, the first is the equivalent of fardh, the second wâjib, and the third Sunnah.
Since this is the haqiqah, it is my estimation that: If persons like Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadîr Jilânî (ra) and Shah Naqshband (ra) and Imam-i Rabbânî (ra) were alive at the present time, they would expend all their efforts in strengthening the haqiqahs of îmân and aqâid of Islam. For they are the means to eternal happiness. If there is a deficiency in them, it results in eternal misery. One may not enter Jannah without îmân, but very many have gone to Jannah without Tasawwuf. Man cannot live without bread, but he can live without fruit. Tasawwuf is the fruit, the haqiqahs of Islam are the essential sustenances. In former times, a person could only rise to some of the haqiqahs of îmân through the ma’nawî journeying from forty days to as many as forty years. But now, if, through the rahmah of Janâb-i Haqq a way is found to rise to those haqiqahs in forty minutes, to remain indifferent is to surely not sensible.2
Thus, those who have carefully read it reach the decision that the thirty-three pieces of Words have opened up such a Qur'anic way. Since this is the haqiqah, I am of the conviction that the Words written about the mysteries of the Qur'an are a most appropriate medicine and salve for the wounds of this age, and a most beneficial nûr for the totality of Islam which is being subjected to the assaults of darkness, and the truest guide for those bewildered in the valleys of dhalâlah.
You know that if dhalâlah arises from ignorance, it is easy to dispel. Whereas if it proceeds from science and ‘ilm, it is difficult to eliminate. In former times, the latter was one in a thousand, and of this only one in a thousand could come to the way through guidance. For such people fancy themselves. And they do not know, but they suppose that they do know. I think that Janâb-i Haqq has bestowed the Words at this time, which are ma’nawî flashes of the Qur'an's miraculousness, as an antidote to this zandaqa of dhalâlah.” The Fifth Letter
Because at this time, there are two terrifying conditions:
The First: Since man's feelings, which do not see the consequences and prefer an ounce of present pleasure to tons of future pleasures, have prevailed over the mind and reason, the only means to save the people of dissipation from dissipation is to defeat their feelings by showing them the pain present in their pleasure. And through the indication of the âyâh يَسْتَحِبُّونَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا عَلَى اْلاٰخِرَةِ3 in this time, the only means to save the mu’mins from the danger of following the people of dhalâlah while being people of îmân due to the above mystery and the love of the world and the danger of choosing pieces of worldly glass soon to be shattered although they know the diamond-like ni’mahs and pleasures of the âkhirah is showing pains like Jahannam torment even in this world. This is the way the Risale-i Nur takes. Otherwise, in the face of the obstinacy of dhalâlah arising from science, addiction of dissipation and kufr al-mutlaq in this time, perhaps only one in ten or even twenty can receive a lesson by the way of dissuading from evil and bad deeds by proving the existence of Jahannam and its torments after acquainting Janâb-i Haqq. After he receives the lesson he says: "Janâb-i Haqq is Ghafûr and Rahîm, and Jahannam is a long way off" and might continue to his dissipation. His heart and rûh are defeated by his feelings. Thus, by showing the grievous and frightening results of kufr and dhalâlah in this world, the Risale-i Nur, through most of its comparisons, makes even the most obstinate people, who perform ‘ibâdah to their nafs, feel disgusted at dissipation and inauspicious pleasures, which are not permitted by the Sharî'ah; it leads those who still possess the mind among them to tawbah. Among those comparisons, the short comparisons in the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Words and the long one in the Third Stopping-Place in the Thirty-Second Word frighten a most dissipated person, who takes the way of dhalâlah, and cause him to accept its lesson….
….It has been proved with many comparisons in the Risale-i Nur that the people of dissipation and dhalâlah suffer torment in a ma’nawî Jahannam even in this world, and by the stomachs of Islam and humanity and through the manifestations of îmân, in a ma’nawî Jannah, the people of îmân and righteousness can taste the pleasures of a ma’nawî Jannah even in this world. Rather, they can benefit according to the degree of their îmân. But currents of this stormy time, which numb the senses, scatter man's view and plunge it into âfâkî matters, have made man stupor of the sort of numbing the senses so that the people of dhalâlah temporarily cannot feel their ma’nawî torment, while the people of hidâyah are overwhelmed by ghaflah and cannot appreciate the real pleasures of hidâyah.
The Second Terrifying Condition at This Age: In former times, comparing this time, dhalâlah arising from kufr al-mutlaq and science and rebellion arising from the obstinate kufr were very few. Therefore, at those times, the instructions and proofs of the former muhaqqiqîn of Islam were completely sufficient. They were removing kufr al-mashkuk quickly. Since îmân in Allah was general, most people could have been made to give up dhalâlah and dissipation by acquainting them with Allah and reminding them of Jahannam’s torment. But now, a hundred kâfir al-mutlaq can be found in one small town in place of one in a country in former times. Those who enter dhalâlah by science and ‘ilm and oppose the haqiqahs of îmân with obstinacy and rebellion have increased a hundredfold comparing former times. Since these rebellious obstinate contend against the haqiqahs of îmân with their terrible dhalâlah and pride to the degree of being Pharaoh, surely, a sacred haqiqah like an atom bomb against them is necessary, which will smash the bases of their kufr into pieces in this world, so that it may halt their transgression and bring some of them to îmân.
Thus, infinite shukr to Janâb-i Haqq that, as a panacea for exactly the wounds of this time, the Risale-i Nur, which is a ma’nawî miracle of the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition and its gleams, destroys with many comparisons even the most terrible obdurate rebels with the diamond sword of the Qur'an. Its proofs and arguments on wahdâniyyah of Allah and the haqiqahs of îmân to the number of the particles of the universe show for twenty-five years that it has not been defeated in the face of the severest attacks; it has prevailed and it prevails.
Yes, the Risale-i Nur, the comparisons of îmân and kufr and hidâyah and dhalâlah prove those haqiqahs to the degree of witnessing. For example, if attention is paid to the proofs and flashes of the Second Station of the Twenty-Second Word, the First Stopping-Place of the Thirty-Second Word, the Windows of the Thirty-Third Letter and the eleven proofs of The Staff of Mûsâ and the other comparisons are compared, it would be understood that it is the haqiqahs of the Qur'an manifested in the Risale-i Nur that will smash and destroy kufr al-mutlaq and the obstinacy of the rebellious dhalâlah at this time.
The Fifteenth Ray-2nd Station-The introduction to the translation of the Arabic lesson called Al-Khutbah Ash-Shâmiyyah (Damascus Sermon)
Yes, the ma’rifatullah gained by means of ‘Ilm al-Kalâm does not give a perfect ma’rifat and a complete hudhur. When it is in the way of the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition, it gives complete ma’rifat and also causes one to gain a complete hudhur; InshâAllah, all sections of the Risale-i Nur perform the service of an electric lamp on that luminous highway of the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition.
The Twenty-Sixth Letter Fourth Topic-Second Matter
“It is a very powerful sign of the ghayb and is an Ilahî ‘inâyah that the Risale-i Nur’s parts proving brilliantly all the important haqiqahs of îmân and Qur'an against even the most obstinate. For among the haqiqahs of îmân and Qur'an there are those that someone like Ibn Sina, who is considered the greatest genius, admitting his impotence to understand, saying: "The mind (aql) cannot find a way to this." Yes the haqiqahs for which that person could not reach with his genius, has been shown in the Risale of the Tenth Word to ‘awâm and to children.
For example: A great ‘âlim like great Sa'd Taftazani could only solve the mystery of Qadar and juz’ al-ikhtiyârî in forty to fifty pages with the famous Muqaddimat-i Ithna 'Ashar in his book titled Talwihat. Those same matters, which he only disclosed the khawass, are explained completely in two pages of the Second Topic of the Twenty-Sixth Word, which is in a form that discloses to everyone. If that is not a mark of ‘inâyah, then what it is?
Also, that which has left minds in wonder and could not be discovered by the hand of any philosophy and is called the mystery of the creation of ‘âlam and the enigma of the universe, that abstruse enigma and astonishing mystery which has been discovered through the miraculousness of the Qur'an of Mighty Stature; has been unravelled in the Twenty-Fourth Letter, and the Allusive Subtle Point at the end of the Twenty-Ninth Word and the six instances of hikmah in the transformation of particles in the Thirtieth Word. They have been discovered and explain the enigma of the astonishing activity in the universe, the riddle of the creation of the universe, its result and the mystery of the hikmah in the motion of transforming particles. They are there for all to see.
Also, the Sixteenth Word and the Thirty-Second Word explain with perfect clarity astonishing haqiqahs like the Wahdah of Rubûbiyyah without shariks, and the mystery of Ahadiyyah; the infinite Ilahî proximity together with our infinite distance to Allah. So too, in the explanation of the phrase وَهُوَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ in the Twentieth Letter and its addendum, which contains three comparisons, have discovered this great mystery of Wahdah that in relation to Allah’s Qoudrah the particles being equal to the planets, and that for that Qoudrah, bringing back to life all rûh beings in the great resurrection is as easy as resurrecting a single nafs, and that the interference of shirk in the creation of the universe is so distant from the mind as to be impossible. These have been demonstrated with perfect clarity.
Also, there is a breadth in the haqiqahs of îmân and Qur'an, although the greatest human genius cannot comprehend them; to emerge the absolute majority of those haqiqahs with their subtleties to a man like me -whose mind is scattered, state is wretched and who is in distress and writes hastily, and when there were no books to refer to- is a work of ma’nawî miraculousness of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm and a manifestation of Rabbânî ‘inâyah and a powerful sign of the ghayb.” The Twenty-Eighth Letter-The Seventh Matter-3th Sign
“This Second Topic is the most profound and difficult of the questions of the mystery of Qadar. It is held by the all muhaqqiqîn ‘ulamâ to be one of the most important and debating matters of aqâid of Kalâm, yet the Risale-i Nur has solved it completely.” The Words-480
“In connection with the Third Point, we shall indicate briefly a matter which is a point of dispute between the Shi'a and the Sunnis and has been magnified to such an extent that it has entered the books on the aqâid of îmân and among the fundamentals of îmân.” The Flashes ( 39 )
“Two Points comprising a concise explanation of one comprehensive result of the numerous spiritual benefits of the aqîdah of îmân in resurrection and of its vital consequences; a demonstration of how essential it is for human life and especially for the life of society; a summary of one universal proof out of numerous proofs of the aqîdah in the resurrection of the dead; and a statement of how indubitable and self-evident is that aqîdah.
FIRST POINT: We shall indicate, as a measure, only four out of hundreds of proofs that aqîdah in the âkhirah is fundamental to the life of society and to man's personal life, and is the basis of his happiness, prosperity, and achievement.” The Rays ( 203 )
“A subtle point of the âyâh, فَقَدْ جَۤاءَ اَشْرَاطُهَا 5 written in order to protect the aqîdah of the ‘awâm of mu’mins and preserve it from doubt.” The Fifth Ray - Introduction
“Now, with Rabbânî assistance, out of hundreds of examples of those events of the ghayb, twenty-three 'Matters' will be explained extremely concisely, since they have been spread by mulhids with the idea of corrupting the aqîdah of the ‘awâm. I beseech Rabbânî rahmah that these 'Matters' will cause no harm, as the mulhids surmised, but that when it is seen that each is a miraculous prophetic utterance and their true interpretations are proved and made clear, they will be an important means of strengthening the aqîdah of the ‘awâm. And I entreat my Rabb Ar-Rahîm to forgive my faults and errors.” The Rays ( 102 )
How the expressions of Sufis, which are oppose to aqâid, and mutashâbih hadiths should be understood:
In one noble hadith arrived that اِنَّ اللهَ خَلَقَ اْلاِنْسَانَ عَلٰى صُورَةِ الرَّحْمٰنِ 6 [As he said (asm)]. Some of the people of tarîqah have interpreted this hadith in a strange way inappropriate to the aqâid of îmân. Among them, some people of ‘ashq even considered man's ma’nawî face to be a form of Ar-Rahmân. Since the people of tarîqah are mostly in sakr7 and people of ‘ashq are mostly in istighraq8 and confused, they are perhaps excusable in their understanding which is contrary to the haqiqah. But those in their senses cannot accept by mind their meanings which are contrary to the fundamentals of aqâid. If they do, they are in error.
Indeed, the Most Pure and Holy Essence of Allah (Dhât Al-Aqdas), Who administers the whole universe with an order like a palace or house and easily spins the stars like particles and causes them to travel with hikmah and employs particles like orderly officials, has no sharik, similar, opposite or equal. So according to the mystery of لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ 9 , He also has no form, similar, peer or like. But according to the mystery of وَلَهُ الْمَثَلُ اْلاَعْلٰى فِى السَّمٰوَاتِ وَاْلاَرْضِ وَهُوَ اْلعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ 10 , His shuûn, attributes and names can be looked at through parable and comparison. It means that there are parables and comparisons in regard to His shuûn.
One of the many aims of the above-mentioned Noble Hadith is this: man is in a form that completely displays the Name Rahmân. Yes, as we explained before, it means that just as the Name Rahmân, which manifests from the rays of a thousand and one Names, is seen on the face of the universe; the Name Rahmân, which manifests through the infinite manifestations of Allah's absolute rubûbiyyah, is shown on the face of the universe, so He also shows the complete manifestation of the Name Rahmân on man's comprehensive form like the face of the earth and the face of the universe but in a small measure.
Also, it is a sign: the indication of the places of manifestation like living beings and man, which are the proofs and mirrors of the Rahmânurrahîm One, to Al-Wâjib Al-Wujûd One is so certain, clear and obvious that just as in order to indicate the brightness of the mirror and clarity of its indication, it is said to a shining mirror, which holds the image and reflection of the sun: "That mirror is the sun", so in order to indicate the clarity of his indication and his perfect connection, it has been said and is said: "The form of Ar-Rahmân present in man". As a consequence of this mystery, the non-extreme ones amongst the ahl al-wahdah al-wujûd11 said: لاَ مَوْجُودَ اِلاَّ هُوَ 12 as a title of the clarity of this indication and perfection of this connection.
The Second Station of the Fourteenth Flash-Fifth Mystery
“The principles of the Usul ad-dîn about the Islamic aqîdahs, which the ‘ulamâ of the ‘Ilm al-Kalâm and genius muhaqqiq ‘ulamâ of the ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamâ’ah agreed on after their minute examination and rational arguments, and through weighing the âyâhs of Qur’an and Hadiths, command to preserve the outlook of Risale-i Nur, and strengthen it. Nowhere, not even ahl al-bid’ah may attack our outlook. Since the haqiqah of ikhlas is preserved, all kinds of people of Islam enter in it.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (210)
“opened a way to haqiqah within ‘ilm, in place of ‘ibâdah; it has opened a way to the essence of haqiqahs within scientific evidences by logical proofs and in place of ma’nawî journeying and awrâd; it has opened a way of the greater walâyah (walâyah al-kubra) directly within the ‘ilm al-Kalâm, the ‘ilm al-aqîdah and Usul ad-dîn, in place of the ‘ilm al-tasawwuf and the tarîqah. It is victorious over the dhalâlah arising from philosophy, which has defeated the currents of haqiqah and tarîqah of this age, as is clear for all to see.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (91)
“As a result of this important comprehensiveness of man, Al-Hayy and Qayyûm has given him a stomach and appetite through which He allows him to understand all His Names and to taste all the varieties of His bounty, and He has generously laden the table with endless varieties of foods for man's stomach. He has made life a stomach too, like the physical one, and before the senses, which are like the hands of the stomach of life, has spread a most extensive table of ni’mahs. Through its senses, life offers thanks for each sort of benefit on the table of ni’mahs.
And after the stomach of life, He has bestowed on man the stomach of humanity, which requires rizq and ni’mahs in a wider sphere than life. Intelligence, mind, and imagination, like the hands of this stomach, benefit from the table of rahmah, which is as broad as the samâwât and the earth, and offer shukr.
And after the stomach of humanity, He has spread before man another table of ni’mahs which is infinitely vast. He has made Islam and aqîdah of îmân like a ma’nawî stomach requiring much rizq and has extended its table outside the sphere of contingency and included in it the Ilahî Names. Thus, through this stomach and the greatest pleasure of rizq, man perceives the Names of Rahmân and Hakîm and exclaims: "Alhamdu lillâhi ‘alâ Rahmâniyyatihî wa ‘alâ hakîmiyyatihî!" And so on. Man is able to benefit from limitless Ilahî ni’mahs through this vast ma’nawî stomach.” The Flashes ( 456 )
Mixing the stories of israiliyat 13 in the aqâid of Islam:
"And it had the right, for we mixed israiliyat—with the fundamentals of Islam, and stories with the aqâid, and metaphors with the haqiqahs, and did not appreciate its value. So to punish us in this world, it left us in abasement and penury. And what will save us, is again its mercy.” Rational Arguments ( 15 )
"To include the base metals of stories and the refuse of israiliyyat and misleading similes among the diamonds of the aqâid, the jewels of the Sharî’ah, and the pearls of its injunctions, reduces its value to an even greater degree and disgust their costumers, the seeker after haqiqah, even more.” Rational Arguments ( 56 )
“During that extreme time when irreligiousness was reigning, the people of religion were made to appear humiliated. In fact, the idea was to destroy the Qur’an completely and to destroy the aqîdah as it happened in Russia. But when it was put forward that this would bear the risk of a backlash by the nation of Islam, they gave up the idea and instead took the following decision “With the new methods of education implemented in schools, we will indoctrinate the youths raised in them and they will do away with the Qur’an themselves. We will thus be cutting all ties this nation has with Islam.” The originators of all of these horrifying plans of fitnah were the leaders and members of foreign irreligious currents who are the adversaries and enemies of the current progress in religion….
Our duty is to be concerned and engaged exclusively with the haqiqahs of îmân and Qur’an. We are only of the current of îmân and Islam.” Biography (167)
“and since the Nur students also sacrifice their lives without hesitation to perform this duty of serving îmân and Islam within the circle of Ahl al-Sunnah, they do not chase lowly benefits; and since hundreds of thousands of Nur students have actively proven this truth, despite all the pressures and threats they have faced; and since all the students are trained and continue their learning to provide true and logical replies to the false beliefs of philosophy prevalent in modern times; and since the Qur'an fulfils all our needs, and all truths ever required can be explicitly found in it; and since the Qur'an is a gift, a nûr and rahmah of Allah that delivers its lessons in the best way; therefore, it is the greatest ‘ibâdah and source of delight to avoid wasting our precious times in futility, and to attentively and continually read and write the Risale-i Nur with tafakkur. This treasure of rahmah is the source of haqiqah and teaches the haqiqahs of the Qur’an, in a manner comprehensible to the youth and the ‘awâm. It is an extremely delightful, desirous, beneficial and sufficient medicine and antidote. It is a ma’nawî saviour for our youth in the present and the future. With these certain haqiqahs are evident, to not embrace it with all our strength, to avoid investigating it thoroughly, and to remain disinterested, can only be a sign of ghaflah.” Biography ( 663)
سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
2 “KNOW, O FRIEND, that one receiving Allah’s help can proceed from the outward (dhâhir) to the haqiqah without joining a barzakh of tarîqah. I have seen in the Qur’an one way leading directly to haqiqah without any tarîqah, and another way leading to the attainment of desired ‘ilms without studying instrumental ‘ilms (Like grammar, syntax, logic, linguistics…) The all-embracing Rahmah is expected to grant the children of the present time—a time flowing too fast—a short, yet safe, way.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (295)
4 (Insignificant matters pertaining to the universe and the events inside of it. Matters not concerning the nafs and inner ‘âlam. Valueless matters and words.) (Tr.)
5 [Its signs have already come (47:18)]
6 (Allah created man in the form of Ar-Rahmân.)
7 (Literally: Intoxication, drunkenness.
The ma’nawî ecstatic state of the people of tarîqah that occurs due to their ‘ashq for Allah being increased in their ma’nawî journeying.) (Tr.)
8 (Literally: A being totally plunged and immersed (in a thing, figuratively), being wholly taken up (with it).
Awliyâ’s being totally immersed in ecstatic contemplation and bliss. Forgetting the world through losing one’s self by the ‘ashq of Allah.) (Tr.)
9 (There is nothing like Him, for He is Samî’ and Basîr.)
10 (To Him belong the most elevated attributes in the samâwât and the earth, for He is ‘Azîz and Hakîm.)
11 (Wahdah Al-Wujûd: A Sufi term, the literal meaning of which does not express the real meaning intended with it. The meaning intended to be expressed with this term in the Sufi path is hard to explain even with rational explanations. The way of wahdah al-wujûd, which is the subtlest of the Sufi paths, is a way relying on the unfolding of rûh that can be taken by the heart. Although it outwardly looks like pantheism, the philosophical religious belief that imagined the universe and the creation are identical to the creator, their source and essence are totally different.
Ahl Al-Wahdah Al-Wujûd: Followers of the way of wahdah al-wujûd.) (Tr.)
12 (There is no existence but He)
13 (Forged and insubstantial stories, beliefs and knowledge of Judaism.)