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LALISH, IRAQ In Northern Iraq there is a place called Lalish where the Yezidis say the universe was born.

  

Category:  Travel, Geography and Foreign Cultures

Via:  krishna  •  7 months ago  •  40 comments

By:   As We Saw It

LALISH, IRAQ In Northern Iraq there is a place called Lalish where the Yezidis say the universe was born.
Because it has fewer than a million followers, few people have heard of Yazidism.

A while back I seeded an article re: the Yazidis. They are a unique and very unusual religion. I believe they were originally Kurds but have developed their own religion.

Like the Kurds in Iraq and vicinity, they are persecuted but very peaceful, so often the Kurds defend them. I had seeded what was one of the most interesting articles i've read about an ethnic group,  but apparently that article no longer exists: 

The Beginning Of The Universe (Who Are The Yazidis)

So I just googled and found the one I'm seeding here (It is information about the Yazidi religion and culture,  as well as what the authors experience visiting the holy site of Lalish).


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Visit Lalish, the Yazidi Holy Site of Iraqi Kurdistan


One of the most memorable places we visited during  our trip to Iraqi Kurdistan  was the town of Lalish. Hidden in a mountain valley with only one road in or out, you might be forgiven for bypassing the unassuming stone village.

What a mistake that would be, because the little town of Lalish, Iraq is a holy pilgrimage site for the Yazidi people. No matter where they live, all Yazidis are expected to make a pilgrimage to Lalish at least once in their lifetimes.

ⓘ  Yazidi is often spelled Yezidi. I’ve chosen to spell it with an  a  for consistency.

What do Yazidis believe?


Moving on from the Peacock Angel story (which explained the many bird motifs in town that we saw), like most Middle Eastern religions, Yazidis believe in one god. They also:

    • practice baptism like Christians,
    • believe in reincarnation like Hindus,
    • don’t eat pork like Muslims,
    • sacrifice bulls like ancient Mithraists,
    • consider fire sacred like Zoroastrians,
    • pray facing the sun at sunrise, noon, and sunset like ancient Egyptians,
    • and keep Saturday as their day of rest, like Jews.

Because  Yazidism is so hard to understand,  it’s little wonder that its followers have been persecuted again and again. This ethnic group has endured genocide over 70 times. In 2014, Islamic State militants declared a “total jihad” on Yazidis, killing entire families, raping the women, and worse. 

(Much more information about this fascinating group of people in the original article)


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Krishna
Professor Expert
1  seeder  Krishna    7 months ago

Lalish is nearly 4,000 years old. It has only one full-time, permanent resident (the Emir). The dozens and dozens of homes in Lalish are vacant, left unlocked and available to pilgrims and refugees who might need them. Yazidis care for their own.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @1    7 months ago

Is the Emir allowed to marry?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    7 months ago
Is the Emir allowed to marry?

Interesting question.

I know a little about the Yazidis but I'm by no means an expert.

I don't know the answer, I'd have to google it.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
2  seeder  Krishna    7 months ago

Yazidi traditions

Some other interesting Yazidi traditions and beliefs are:

    • All Yazidis are born into the faith.
    • It is forbidden to convert or to marry an outsider.
    • Doorways are sacred, and pilgrims will kiss and bless them.
    • They hug sacred trees.
    • Women must not cut their hair.
    • April marriages are forbidden; it is a holy month.
    • Wednesday is their holy day.
    • They won’t wear dark blue because it is “too holy.”
    • They also refuse to eat lettuce, okra, pumpkins, and gazelles.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @2    7 months ago

I was a little surprised to see some people in the seed photos wearing dark blue, but perhaps they were just tourists.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Krishna @2    7 months ago

If you met a mentally ill person in the street and they recited this list as their personal beliefs, anyone would chalk it up to an affect of the mental illness.  But if you meet a group of people who recite the same list of personal beliefs it gets the respect of being a religion.  That says a lot.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3  seeder  Krishna    7 months ago

Because   Yazidism is so hard to understand,   it’s little wonder that its followers have been persecuted again and again. This ethnic group has endured genocide over 70 times.

In 2014, Islamic State militants declared a “total jihad” on Yazidis, killing entire families, raping the women, and worse. 

(Cont'd in the seeded article)

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4  Gsquared    7 months ago

I had a client a few years ago whose was originally from the city Khorramshahr in southern Iran and whose religion was Mandaeism.  I had never heard of Mandaeism before, but it is an ancient gnostic, monotheistic religion.  The chief Mandaean prophet is John the Baptist and they believe that Mandaeism is older than Judaism and Christianity, as my client informed me.  I found it all quite interesting.

the  Mandaeans , revere  Adam Abel Seth Enos Noah Shem Aram , and especially  John the Baptist . Mandaeans consider Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem and John the Baptist prophets, with Adam being the founder of the religion and John being the greatest and  final prophet .

...

The Mandaeans speak an  Eastern Aramaic  language known as  Mandaic .

...

Principal beliefs

  1. Recognition of one God known as   Hayyi Rabbi , meaning The Great Life or The Great Living (God), whose symbol is   Living Water   ( Yardena ). It is therefore necessary for Mandaeans to live near rivers. God personifies the sustaining and creative force of the universe. [39]
  2. Power of Light, which is vivifying and personified by   Malka d-Nhura   ('King of Light'), another name for   Hayyi Rabbi , and the   uthras   (angels or guardians) that provide health, strength, virtue and justice. The   Drabsha   is viewed as the symbol of Light. [39]
  3. Immortality of the soul; the fate of the soul is the main concern with the belief in the next life, where there is reward and punishment. There is no eternal punishment since God is merciful.

Fundamental tenets

  1. A supreme formless   Entity , the expression of which in time and space is a creation of spiritual, etheric, and material worlds and beings. Production of these is delegated by It to a creator or creators who originated It. The cosmos is created by   Archetypal Man , who produces it in similitude to his own shape.
  2. Dualism : a cosmic Mother and Father, Light and Darkness, Left and Right,   syzygy   in cosmic and microcosmic form.
  3. As a feature of this dualism, counter-types ( dmuta ) that exist in a world of ideas ( Mshunia Kushta ).
  4. The soul is portrayed as an exile, a captive; his home and origin being the supreme Entity to which he eventually returns.
  5. Planets and stars influence fate and human beings, and are also the   places of detention   after death.
  6. A savior spirit or savior spirits which assist the soul on his journey through life and after it to 'worlds of light'.
  7. A cult-language of symbol and metaphor. Ideas and qualities are personified.
  8. 'Mysteries', i.e. sacraments to aid and purify the soul, to ensure its rebirth into a spiritual body, and its ascent from the world of matter. These are often adaptations of existing seasonal and traditional rites to which an esoteric interpretation is attached. In the case of the   Naṣoraeans , this interpretation is based on the Creation story (see 1 and 2), especially on the Divine Man, Adam, as crowned and anointed King-priest.
  9. Great secrecy is enjoined upon initiates; full explanation of 1, 2, and 8 being reserved for those considered able to understand and preserve the gnosis.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @4    7 months ago
I had a client a few years ago whose was originally from the city Khorramshahr in southern Iran and whose religion was Mandaeism.

Thanks for posting this-- very interesting information! jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.2  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @4    7 months ago
Power of Light, which is vivifying and personified by   Malka d-Nhura

1. I don't have much of a command of Semitic languages. I don't remember exactly, but I believe Melech is King in Hebrew, and possibly Malka (Malka) is Queen in Hebrew.Also maybe Malka is Queen in Aramaic???).

2. Light is a powerful symbol in many cultures. I've heard it described ass "Universal Life Force". In many spiritual traditions its what leaves the physical body at the moment of death.(A person's "spirit" which is eternal)

Seems to be equivalency between Light, Life Force. Breath. Spirit, God. I believe the following mean the same thing in different spiritual traditions: .Christianity "Light", Chinese "Chi". Japanese "Ki" (as in "Reiki).

Hinduism "Prana", (breath). Hebrew "Ruach" which means wind (in sky) but also breath.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.2.1  Gsquared  replied to  Krishna @4.2    7 months ago

"Melech" is "King" in Hebrew.

I've studied quite a bit about Polynesian religions.   The Hawaiians talk about "ao", which mean "light, and "po", which means darkness.

The great Hawaiian creation chant is the Kumulipo.  Kumulipo is translated as "up from the dark" or "beginning in deep darkness".  There is a wonderful book with a translation of the Kumulipo by the renowned scholar Martha Beckwith originally published in 1951.  I have had a paperback copy for many years.  If you are interested, you can check this link which has the chant and the translation:

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @4.2    7 months ago
"Light is a powerful symbol in many cultures."

You might know that in Jewish synagogues and temples there is an everlasting light over the ark in which the Torahs are kept.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.2.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.2.1    7 months ago

I learned from hard experience to believe in a Hawaiian curse when one removes from the islands a piece of lava rock.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.2.4  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.2.3    7 months ago

That is kapu!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.2.4    7 months ago
"Removing lava rocks from the volcano is considered bad luck. The lava is property of Pele, and taking a rock for yourself is tantamount to stealing. Trust me, you don’t want an ancient Hawaiian goddess angry at you."

The curse is to experience bad luck from then on.  When I learned of the curse I threw the lava rock away.  It wasn't until later that I learned that if I returned the rock to the Big Island the bad luck would stop, so I went looking for it but never found it again.  

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.2.6  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.2.5    7 months ago

You're doomed.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.2.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.2.6    7 months ago

Don't I know it.  It's the main reason I moved to the other side of the world.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.2.8  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.2.7    7 months ago

Sorry, but I don't think you can escape Pele's curse.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.2.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.2.8    7 months ago

Thanks for blowing away my feeling that I'm safe here.  LOL

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.3  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @4    7 months ago
Khorramshahr in southern Iran

Another ancient Persian ("Iranian") religion is Zoroastrianism. I had thought it was a "dead religion" (no one currently follows it). But in a workshop I took there was a woman whose nametag said "Mehernez". I thought it sounded Persian and she said her family were modern day Zoroastrians! (And both her parents are Zoroastrian priests!!!)

There are still quite a few.

The religion originated in Persia which is modern day "Iran". But they were horribly persecuted (subjected to barbaric tortures) so most of the ones that could leave did. Most went to India where they are called "Parsis" ("Parsees"). Her parents are Zoroastrians living in India, she immigrated to the U.S.

Once some of us from that workshop had a party, At one point she mentioned it was a Full Moon, hushed everybody up and performed a Zoroastrian ceremony for the Full Moon. (Candles, incense, a few other objects and then she led us through a short meditation for the Full Moon!

(Many ancient peoples have rituals for Full and New Moons)

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.3.1  Gsquared  replied to  Krishna @4.3    7 months ago

Zoroastrianism was the state religion of Persian empires for over 1,000 years.  It was based on the teaching of their prophet, Zoroaster.  It was replaced by Islam as a result of the Arab-Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th Century A.D, and it was the Muslims who persecuted the Zoroastrians.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.3.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4.3.1    7 months ago

I have to admit I know very little about the non-major religions.  However, I have learned a fair amount about Buddhism since my wife and her whole extended family are Buddhists.  Leonard Cohen was attracted to Buddhism as well, spent considerable time in a California monestary although I believe it did not change his adherence to the religion in which he was born.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.3.3  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @4.3.1    7 months ago
the Muslims who persecuted the Zoroastrians.  

There's a saying:

Islam was spread by the Sword.

Anyone recognize this? 

256

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.3.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @4.3.3    7 months ago

I don't, but could it possibly be the Crusaders?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @4    7 months ago

Different religions can be quite interesting.  It's unfortunate that some encourage terrorism, and some feel the need to convert others to it.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.5  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @4    7 months ago

Fundamental tenets

A supreme formless   Entity , the expression of which in time and space is a creation of spiritual, etheric, and material worlds and beings. Production of these is delegated by It to a creator or creators who originated It.

The cosmos is created by   Archetypal Man , who produces it in similitude to his own shape.

That reminds me of this:

Genesis 1:27 - King James Version

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.5.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @4.5    7 months ago

Are you sure Genesis 1:27 - King James Version wasn't written by Yoda?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
5  seeder  Krishna    7 months ago

The Mandaeans speak an    Eastern Aramaic    language known as    Mandaic   .

I had heard the word "Mandaens" but knew nothing about them. 

I have known that there are many "minor" religions in the Middle East-- many are ancient religions, some with a very small surviving population.

One of the major language families is the Semitic language family: Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic. There are many Arabic speakers today, a fair number of Hebrew speakers--- and very few speakers of Aramaic.

IIRC one group of Aramaic speakers are the Assyrians (these are not "Syrians"). There are not many of them. I had thought that they were the only extant Aramaic speakers-- but apparently there are other groups as well. 

(I have learned some Hebrew, a few words in Arabic...and even a very few in Aramaic. Many words are similar in all three-- its sort of like if you know a Romance (Latin) languages like Italian you can understand a lot of Spanish & vice-versa.. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
5.1  Gsquared  replied to  Krishna @5    7 months ago

Although most Jewish prayers are in Hebrew, the prayer always recited at graveside during a Jewish funeral, the Kaddish, is in Aramaic.  It is very beautiful and always gives me a certain feeling when I hear it.  It does not mention death.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
5.1.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Gsquared @5.1    7 months ago
Although most Jewish prayers are in Hebrew, the prayer always recited at graveside during a Jewish funeral, the Kaddish, is in Aramaic.  It is very beautiful and always gives me a certain feeling when I hear it.  It does not mention death.

I think that a lot of these ancient religions were aware of the concept of "vibration"-- a unique energy of each sound in their language.

I remember reading that in Jewish Mysticism (the Kabbalah) each hebrew letter has a unique significance-- a unique "vibe" that conveys more meaning than the mere sound of the letter.

So I guess the Aramaic language is similar (that perceptive people can feel certain"vibes" to each sound)

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6  Kavika     7 months ago

Great article, Krish. 

There are religions here in America that very few are familiar with yet many are thousands of years old. 

The ME, North Africa, and the Balkans are some of my favorite areas to study which include their religions and where they originally came from.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @6    7 months ago
The ME, North Africa, and the Balkans are some of my favorite areas to study which include their religions and where they originally came from.

Many people consider the countries of Northern Africa to be "Arab".  I believe the word "Arab" originally meant an inhabitant of Arabia. So while Arabs from further East invaded and settled in Northern Africa, many of the indigenous people were not Arab but rather "Berbers"/ (Or ""Amazigh"). 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @6.1    7 months ago

One of the most interesting is the Moors. a people from Arabia (Arabs) and North Africa the Berbers when they intermarried with the Spanish became Moors.

If I remember my history correctly.

When Israel became independent in 1948 as your aware Jews from different parts of the world came to Israel, some came from the Balkans and I had the chance to meet and talk with some who stayed behind and did not move to Israel. A very interesting group of people. After the Genocide of Muslims by the Serbians (Orthodox Christians) many were rescued and settled in St. Louis, MO where they have revived a whole decayed section of the city.

When we talk about the Balkans the history is fantastic and complex in both religions/race/language etc.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.2  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @6.1.1    7 months ago
After the Genocide of Muslims by the Serbians (Orthodox Christians) many were rescued and settled in St. Louis, MO where they have revived a whole decayed section of the city.

I do remember reading about that (the massacre of Bosnians {Muslims} by the Serbs).

In fact IIRC wasn't a Serbian leader tried for war crimes? (Milosevic?)

Also, I beieve I had read that the U.S. may have bombed a few targets in Serbia?

As I remember when Yugoslavia broke up. there were 3 main groups:

Serbs (mainly Eastern Orthodox/Russian Orthodox), Croats (mainly Catholic) & Bosnians  (mainly Muslims).

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.3  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @6.1.2    7 months ago

As I remember when Yugoslavia broke up. there were 3 main groups:

Serbs (mainly Eastern Orthodox/Russian Orthodox), Croats (mainly Catholic) & Bosnians  (mainly Muslims).

All 3 groups didn't get along very well. However European Muslims (which includes Albania) tend to be very moderate Muslims. And this was due to the fact they were ruled or affiliated with The Ottoman Empire-- the Turks. And at least up 'til Erdogen seized power, the Turks were actually very moderate Muslims. 

Their moderation was enforced by the military. Which is not usually the case in military ruled countries-- but in Turkey the military actually was the enforcer of democratic norms!

Then Erdogan seized power, getting rid of the militaries' powers to enforce democracy.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1.4  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @6.1.3    7 months ago

P.S; Before Erdogan, Turkey was one of the most popular spots for Israelis to go on vacation. Because in the past Israel was surrounded by hostile Arab states (where not only Israelis but also foreign  Jews could not be admitted), so another factor in choosing Turkey before Erdogan is that is was close

Since Egypt* was forced to recognize and then Jordan* finally recognized Israel, now Israelis can vacation there (especially appealing is Petra in Jordan and Egyptian ruins are especially appealing)..

__________________________________

*The other two countries bordering Israel-- Syria and Lebanon still refuse to make peace with Israel. They both have been technically at war with Israel since 1948 and still  adamantly refuse to make peace.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @6.1.2    7 months ago
I do remember reading about that (the massacre of Bosnians {Muslims} by the Serbs).

Srebrenica was the worst of the slaughters, in a period of a few days Serbs slaughtered 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

In fact IIRC wasn't a Serbian leader tried for war crimes? (Milosevic?)

Yes, that is correct.

Also, I beieve I had read that the U.S. may have bombed a few targets in Serbia?

Yes, and more than a few.

As I remember when Yugoslavia broke up. there were 3 main groups: Serbs (mainly Eastern Orthodox/Russian Orthodox), Croats (mainly Catholic) & Bosnians  (mainly Muslims).

That is correct there were three main world religions in what was Yugoslavia (Land of the South Slavs) 

Also, two alphabets were used and numerous languages and a large number of Muslim in many parts of the Balkans. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.6  Kavika   replied to  Krishna @6.1.3    7 months ago
All 3 groups didn't get along very well. However European Muslims (which includes Albania) tend to be very moderate Muslims. And this was due to the fact they were ruled or affiliated with The Ottoman Empire-- the Turks. And at least up 'til Erdogen seized power, the Turks were actually very moderate Muslims. 

The cause of the war was Serbia wanted to restore the old Serbian Empire. 

Yes, Muslims of the Balkans which in addition to Albania is North Macedonia and Montenegro have large Muslim populations as do Romania and Bulgaria as well as Bosnia Herzegovina.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.7  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @6.1.6    7 months ago

An interesting note is that Croatians who are mostly Roman Catholic today trace their history back to Northwest Iran and DNA testing shows that many Croatians are also mixed with Kurds.

It is thought that both the Croats and Serbs migrated as warriors and settled in what is today Croatia and Serbia and were absorbed into the Slavic empire.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6.1.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @6.1.4    7 months ago

Although I only stepped into Egypt when I was in Eilat, I did tour Petra and it was quite fascinating. 

 
 

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