Ruach HaKodesh - Holy Spirit
Tehillim 51:12 Create a pure heart for me, O G-d, and
a steadfast spirit renew within me. 13 Cast me not away from Your Presence,
and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
ruach ha-kodesh (holy spirit) is Divine inspiration or
prophetic inspiration and is not the same as what is taught in Christianity as
in the doctrine of the Trinity. No where in the Hebrew Scriptures is there
any reference to a spirit divine in itself or 'Holy Ghost', as distinct from a
spirit that comes from G-d to inspire human beings.
For example, in Shemot
35:31, where it refers to Betzalel, the architect
of the Mishkan, being filled with ruach
Elokim...the meaning is that he was filled
with a spirit which came from G-d to guide him in his task. This is the
meaning in Rabbinic literature, where the term denotes a level of divine
The books of Tehillim
were compiled under the ruach hakodesh, i.e., by a
degree of inspiration, somewhat less than the degree of prophecy, although on
occasion, the prophetic vision itself is also said to be by means of the ruach
Maimonides (Rambam) [Guide of the Perplexed, 2. 45)
lists the ruach ha-kodesh as a degree of prophecy but understands it in a more
or less rationalistic manner as a certain thing that descends upon an
individual, 'so that he talks in wise sayings, in words of praise, in
useful admonitory dicta, or concerning governmental or divine matters - and
all this while he is awake and his senses function as usual'.
With the passing of the last three prophets (Chaggai,
Zechariah, Malachi) the ruach hakodesh is said to have departed from Yisrael
(Tosefta, Sotah 13:2; Sanhedrin 11a) and subsequent revelations were given by
a bat kol,
a mysterious heavenly voice.