Sunday, January 18, 2015

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Astrology?

   by Reb Gutman Locks     

  Ilcho asked:  

       My question is what's the Judaism view on Chinese and Japanese astrology?

And what about the Chaldean astrology? Does Judaism accept it?

Best regards

 

Gutman's response:

    Astrology and its place in the Torah is a long conversation with a variance of authoritative opinions. What are you asking? Is it permitted? Does it work?

    Most briefly, a Jew is commanded not to follow the stars.[i] This is because only Hashem dictates what will come to a Jew. We find many times that the readers of the stars have said certain things will happen, but Hashem changed those judgments. For instance, according to the stars, Avraham was not to have children, but Hashem changed that and made Abraham the father of many nations.

     Many people believe that the stars and constellations have power over a person's life. For instance, they believe that their birth sign rules over them, that stars exercise power over people.

     A Jew is ruled over only by G-d, unless he or she delves into the mysteries of such things as magic and idolatry. In these cases Hashem, so to speak, steps back, and allows those "unclean" forces to rule over that Jew. They will rule his life until he vigorously discards them, and returns to a Torah life.

     Having said that, still, there are certain times of the year that are known to be auspicious for Jews, and certain times that are known to be dangerous. When we see historically that this is true, we listen to experience and act accordingly. For instance, when the month of Adar enters, Jewish joy increases and the times become auspicious for us. As opposed to this, when the month of Av enters, the times become inauspicious for us, and we guide our lives accordingly.

     Bottom line, do I believe that the constellations have power? No, not at all. But I do believe that the constellations, as all things, reflect the moment, and since they are so huge they do so in a way that is discernible.

     Perhaps stargazing is how worship of the stars came about, and that certainly is forbidden.

    Stargazers know that stars have no mercy, but thank G-d, our Creator does.

 

 



[i] Leviticus 19:26    "You shall not act on the basis of omens or lucky hours."

1 comments:

Dave said...

There are piyutim however that seem to reference the zodiac signs

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