Who are the Druze?

Interesting news from Israel, concerning the Carmel fire: Police have taken two Druze brothers in for questioning. According to Ynet news, the boys’ relatives are enraged over the issue… one saying this:

The police have excuses. They have nothing to do and are trying to evade responsibility for the fire. I am certain that the detainees will be released soon, as there is no proof that they caused the fire. We will work to prove that they’re innocent.

Any way you cut it, the entire episode is a tragedy, one that is hopefully coming to an end. Reports of arson at other locations is a sign of how awful it is to witness division: Hate, greed, murder, and envy are not suffering any scarcity on Planet Earth.

Who, though, are the Druze? Here is what I found out, from an article by Dr. Naim Aridi:

  • The Druze consider their faith to incorporate all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
  • The Druze reckon that ceremony and ritual have caused too much turmoil in the world; therefore, they have “no fixed daily liturgy, no defined holy days, and no pilgrimage obligations. The Druze perform their spiritual reckoning with God at all times, and consequently need no special days of fasting or atonement.”
  • The Druze accept no converts–either you are born Druze or you aren’t. No new members are accepted. Why? When the religion was first revealed (ca. 1000 A.D.) everyone was invited to join. Since (according to Druze belief) “everyone alive today is the reincarnation of someone who lived at that time, there is no reason to allow them to join today.”

How about them apples? More about Druze culture is reflected in their primary creed:

Speaking the truth (instead of prayer)
Supporting your brethren (instead of charity)
Abandoning the old creeds (instead of fasting)
Purification from heresy (instead of pilgrimage)
Accepting the unity of God
Submitting to the will of God (instead of holy war)

Top it off with no pork, no tobacco, and no alcohol and you’ve got a primer in Druze. For more insight, check out the article by Dr. Aridi:

Shalom to all… and a very, merry Christmas.

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