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The Holy Spirit in Judaism generally refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It also refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God Most High (Hebrew El Elyon) over the universe or over God's creatures, in given contexts.
The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, "holy spirit" also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is used in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH (רוח יהוה). It literally means "the spirit of holiness." The Hebrew terms ruacḥ qodshekha, "thy holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ), and ruacḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשׁ֑וֹ) also occur. (When a possessive suffix is added the definite article is dropped.)
The term "ruacḥ haqodesh" does not occur in the Tanakh, but occurs once in Psalm 51:11 and twice in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 63:10,11) with a possessive suffix. Those are the only three times that the phrase "holy spirit" is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, although ruach (רוח, literally "breath" or "wind") in various combinations with "God" is used often, and qodesh ("holiness") is also used often. Ruacḥ, much like the English word breath, can mean either wind or some invisible moving force ("spirit").
The first Hebrew Scripture use of the phrase ruacḥ haqodesh (but in a modified form as explained above) in Psalm 51 contains a triple parallelism:
The other two times that the expression occurs, in Isaiah 63 (R.V.), read:
The term is discussed in the Babylonian Talmud, Makkot 23b and elsewhere. Rabbinical use is discussed by Joseph Jacobs and Ludwig Blau in the article "Holy Spirit" in the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1911.
In Judaism, God is One; the idea of God as a duality or trinity is considered shituf (or "not purely monotheistic"). The term ruacḥ haQodesh is found frequently in Talmudic and Midrashic literature. In some cases it signifies prophetic inspiration, while in others it is used as a hypostatization or a metonym for God. The rabbinical understanding of the Holy Spirit has a certain degree of personification, but it remains, "a quality belonging to God, one of his attributes".