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The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, "holy spirit" also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is a term 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" or "the spirit of the holy place". The Hebrew terms ruaḥ qodshəka, "thy holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ), and ruaḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשׁ֑וֹ) also occur (when a possessive suffix is added the definite article is dropped). 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 the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.
The term ruaḥ haqodesh itself does not occur in the Tanakh, but the the form with a possessive suffix occurs once in Psalm 51:11 and twice in the Book of Isaiah. (Isaiah 63:10,11) Those are the only three times that the phrase is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, although the noun ruaḥ (רוח, literally "breath" or "wind") in various combinations with "God" or "Yhwh" is used often, and the noun qodesh ("holiness" or "holy place") is also used often. The noun ruaḥ, much like the English word breath, can mean either wind or some invisible moving force ("spirit").
The following are some examples of the word ruaḥ (in reference to God's "spirit") in the Hebrew Scriptures:
Genesis 1:2 (Schocken Bible - The Five Books of Moses)
"Rushing-spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters."
1 Samuel 16:13 (ASV)
"And the Spirit of Jehovah came mightily upon David from that day forward."
Psalm 143:10 (KJV)
"Thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness."
Isaiah 44:3 (KJV)
"I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring."
Joel 2:28 (RV)
"I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy."
The first Hebrew Scripture use of the phrase ruaḥ 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 may be considered shituf (or "not purely monotheistic"). The term Ruaḥ HaQodesh (Holy Spirit) 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".
In Rabbinic Judaism, the references to The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit of YHVH, abound, however apart from Kabbalistic mysticism it has rejected any idea of The Eternal God as being either dualistic, tri-personal, or ontologically complex.