by Reb Nati at Mystical Paths
There is a problem that stems from lack of faith in Hashem and His chachamim, His sages. Through faith in the holy sages and the true tzaddikim we bring out our Jewish mishpat, the righteous judgments to light up this world. Conversely, a person or group or nation who repudiates this faith is condemned to a mind plagued by confusion and doubt. They are unable to attain judgment or derive true laws of conduct from their studies, and are never clear about the path to follow.
This pollution of the mind and inability to exercise mishpat result in conferring authority on unworthy leaders. This in turn causes our writings, aka the Holy Torah, to lose their authority, and leads to the Jews being exiled from their land and their places in which they have settled. (Sound familiar?)
This is the issue of mazal. As a result of the breaking down of the Authority of the Holy Torah, the wisdom of SOD HA-IBUR, 'the mystery of intercalation', was taken from the Jewish people and given over to the nations. This wisdom was, until the 4th century CE, only in the hands of the elite members of the Sanhedrin and passed down by smicha, from teacher to worthy student until Hillel the second (the last of the princes from the house of David) in 358 CE after the exile of the Romans.
In ancient times we were the the foremost authorities of this wisdom. Our knowledge included mastery of both the astronomical calculations, which are the revealed portion of this wisdom, as well as the astrological meanings, the hidden portion and esoteric aspect. Previously, the nations had only a basic external knowledge of the this vast subject.
As this moved to the nations, they developed Astrology, a bastardized version of this wisdom that is still practiced today. Astrology falsely attributes powers to the spheres of the Solar System. While this is party true, it misses the truth of the functioning of this. In the the traditional Jewish teaching of Mazel there is galgalim, "spheres" - not the planets and stars. These galgalim are a series of concentric transparent spheres fixed in the firmament surrounding the Earth. While the planets and moon and physical bodies (the celestial bodies) lie within these spheres, the spheres themselves are metaphysical in nature thus unseen.
Thus a veil was placed in front of this esoteric wisdom as it transferred to the nations, hiding the hand of Divine providence. (All of this is discussed in multiple holy seforim of kabbalah, Etz Chaim being the most notable.)
We were commanded to sanctify the new moons, keeping a fixing the months to preserve the Pesach in the spring time. Our calendar is lunar, a month being 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 2.37 seconds to be exact. A year is 354, 12 x 29.5 days. And the solar calendar is 365.25 days, 11.25 days difference in the calendar's that must be justified.
3000 years ago and without a telescope Moshe rabbaynu calculated the the average molad period to within less than .50 of a second only using the rules that Hashem transmitted to him on Har Sinai. Science has, only with multi-million dollar devices, proven this to be correct: 29d 12h 44m 2.87s, wow! And the great sage Hillel calculated the calendar to an accuracy of less than one day in 15,304 years without a computer!!!
This is some of the greatest mysteries of the Torah.
At the heart of sod ha-ibur is the awareness that all the mysterious ways in which the world appears to operate and develops are nothing other than the work of Hashem. Behind every galgal is an angel and guiding this angel is an intelligence and behind this intelligence is EIN SOF. Thus the Hidden Hand in the guise of nature, or in this case the motions of the planets and the stars according to the ways of Astrology of the nations (which is for them and not for us). As Hashem says 'My glory I will not give to another'. We are above the mazalot and if we live by faith we are above time as well. All of this nature around you is just a veil to hide the divine providence.
Some choose to life blindly attributing all success or failure to the stars. Others, who do not believe and do not see, live a confused life of seemingly random circumstances in this world. But all who trust in Hashem and His sages live knowing without a doubt that He is running the world and not some chance star planet moon mix, moon soup as it were.
These are just the very lightest basics on this subject. There are volumes of material that can be read, learned and studied. I am not opening a dialog on the Astrology of the nations and will not engage in a debate on the subject. Further, there is neither time, space, nor permission to write further. This will suffice for those of understanding.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
// 5/28/2008 //