by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
This week is one of the times of the year when negative things have frequently come to the Jewish people. May they never return again. But if this is true, why is being cautious this week any different than following astrology?
The Torah warns us twice not to engage in divination.[i] Astrology is one of a dozen forms of divination. What they all have in common is their claim to be able to predict the future. Some use the stars, some use tea leaves left in the bottom of a cup. From bread crumbs to bumps on your skull, they all say that they can tell you what you should or should not do today because certain things are going to happen to you in the future. Astrologers say that these things will happen because of the influences that the cosmos have on your life.
The astrologers who believe in a Creator say that G-d gave certain powers over to these constellations and that these stars and heavenly bodies are now “partners” with G-d in His creation.
There are also references in rabbinical writings that tell us that certain times are propitious while other times are dangerous. For instance, it is well known that at certain times of the week “Mars prevails” and that this produces a dangerous time for certain activities.[ii] The sages also tell us that certain times of the year bring good fortune to the Jewish People while other times bring danger. How is this different than astrology?
The answer turns out to be quite simple. If it is a natural occurrence, known that at certain times certain things regularly happen, then to act accordingly is simply common sense. But if someone is predicting your future and telling you that this is what is going to happen to you, then this is divination and it is forbidden. The worse thing about this practice is that they are saying that you do not have free will, that you are subject to the will of the stars or bread crumbs, and this is just not true.
Every one of us can turn in any direction at any time. We can direct our futures to go wherever we want. Do not let a soothsayer convince you that any planet, spirit, or good luck sign or anything at all can lead you where it wills. You can set your goal wherever you want and begin to move in that direction today.
And what of their claim that the cosmos have power and therefore are partners with G-d in His creation? When the sages say that at certain times a certain planet prevails, aren’t they verifying that that planet has power and therefore is, in fact, a partner with G-d?
When someone hands you a glass of water, ask yourself, who is giving you the water – the glass or the person? The ones who believe that the planet is a partner with G-d believe that the planet is giving them that influence. Those who know who the Creator is know that it is G-d Who is doing it all.
[i] Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10
[ii] Gemora Shabbos 129b
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא