Moshe Chaim Luzzatto discusses the influence of stars on humanity and events on earth. He gave two reasons for the existence of stars and planets. The first is that stars and planets maintain the existence of all physical things on earth, acting as the means by which spiritual forces are transmitted to physical entities. The second is that events on earth are also initiated through planetary and stellar activity. Luzzatto states that each earthly phenomenon is assigned to a specific star, which controls it. Quoting the Talmudic dictum in Shabbos a — "for Israel, there is no mazal "luck", literally "planet" or "constellation" ", he also states that higher powers i.
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God or angels may overcome the influences of this system, and that they typically do so for Jews. Luzzatto notes that the laws and rules governing this system of astrological influence are extremely complex, and not easily ascertainable through direct observation; thus astrologers are rarely able to predict the future accurately or clearly. The accuracy of their predictions is further reduced by the aforementioned propensity of divine providence to intervene and override the system.
This, Luzzatto states, explains the use of the word me'asher "something" in Isaiah "Now let the astrologers, stargazers and fortunetellers stand up and tell you something about what will come upon you" ; in Luzzatto's view, this means they can tell you something about the future, but not everything. Strictures against astrology appear in the official Torah commentary of Conservative Judaism and on the official website of Reform Judaism , and a number of Conservative and Reform rabbis have written against the practice. The opinions of contemporary Orthodox rabbis are divided; some reject astrology altogether, while others continue to follow pre-modern opinions that accept the validity of astrology but limit its practice.
However, astrology is by and large nothing more than magic. The Torah is very clear that we are to steer clear of magicians and practitioners of "witchcraft. The idea that if only we could say the right words or take the right actions, God will give us anything we want is nearly idolatrous. It turns God into nothing more than a tool for us to use when we want something, rather than the majestic creator of the world.
Salkin derides astrology as "a new-age trap":. If you visit a Barnes and Noble superstore, you will see what much of American religion has become. There are three bookcases for Judaism; three bookcases for general religion and Christianity; three for general inspiration; two each for Bible, eastern philosophy, and myth; and nine bookcases for New Age.
The New Age menu is diverse, including spiritualism, astrology, and psychic phenomena; alchemy, tarot, goddess worship, and Wicca witchcraft ; out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and reincarnation: angels, Satanism, and the occult Modern Orthodox rabbis have written against the practice as well, some seeing it as forbidden by Jewish law. The Torah tells us in Deuteronomy , that when the Jewish people enter the land of Israel, they must not follow the abominable practices of the nations that reside there. It is strictly prohibited to cause a son or a daughter to pass through the fire, to practice divination, astrology, or to visit one who reads omens It is quite extraordinary that Maimonides In a letter to the rabbis of Southern France he distinguishes between astronomy as a true science and astrology which he deems to be sheer superstition.
Many hundreds of years passed until the Western world came to the same conclusion. Maimonides boldly declares that in Judaism a person's fate is determined by G-d alone, not by the stars. Wrestling with men: since the days of Abraham, to be a Jew is to be an iconoclast. We challenge the idols of the age, whatever the idols, whatever the age. Sometimes it meant wrestling with idolatry, superstition, paganism, magic, astrology, primitive beliefs. It seems that most of the authorities believe that astrology has some sort of power, but there is a fine line between believing in this and believing in power other than God, which is not the Jewish view.
Thus, one cannot give credence to any power except God nor use astrology on a regular basis to guide one's life. An article published by the Orthodox Union takes a similar approach:. In Judaism, Astrology is not regarded as "idol worship," even though the generic name for "idol worship" is "Avodat Kochavim U'Mazalot," Worship of the Stars and the Signs of the Zodiac. From the Jewish perspective, the stars are not unrelated to events on earth.
Each day is special and has a unique imprint. On the other hand, if an individual was born under the "sign" of Mars, the Talmud says that he will have a tendency to spill blood. This tendency can be realized in a number of very different ways, however, which are subject to an individual's choice. In this case, options might be a soldier, a surgeon, a murderer, a "shochet," a ritual slaughterer of animals, or a "mohel," one who performs ritual circumcisions.
These options correspond to a potential hero, a healer, one who violates the "image of G-d," to those who do "holy work" of different types. So deeply ingrained is this knowledge and feeling, that the Jew rarely has cause to think about astrological factors.
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It is the belief that one cannot escape from the grip of the stars that distinguishes Astrology from "Worship of the Stars and Signs of the Zodiac. Aryeh Kaplan , known for his rationalist synthesis of modern scientific thinking and Kabbalah, and creator of a modern translation of Derekh Hashem , echoes the viewpoint of its author Moshe Chaim Luzzatto on astrology.
In his translation of and commentary on Sefer Yetzirah , Kaplan writes:. In order to understand the significance of the astrological forces, we must first understand the role of angels in the chain between the Sefirot and the physical world. The Sefirot are in the universe of Atzilut, and below this is Beriyah, the universe of the Throne, which serves to allow the Sefirot to interact with the lower worlds. Between Beriyah and Asiyah is Yetzirah, the world of the angels.
When we speak of "God's word," we are actually speaking of His interaction with the lower worlds. The force that transverses the spiritual domain is what we call an angel. The stars also form an important link in God's providence over the physical world. Between God and man, there are many levels of interaction, the lowest being those of the angels and the stars, The Midrash thus teaches, "There is no blade of grass that does not have a constellation Mazal over it, telling it to grow. Faith and trust in God are partners, since one who believes in an omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God must also believe that He will provide for His faithful.
Therefore, one should trust in God and not be overly concerned about the future Therefore, one should not seek to ascertain the future by fortune telling, astrology or other superstitions. Kabbalistic astrology, also called mazal or mazalot , " zodiac ," " destiny " is a system of astrology based upon the kabbalah.
It is used to interpret and delineate a person's birth chart , seeking to understand it through a kabbalistic lens. Most astrologers cast and use horoscopes to depict planetary placements which are believed to influence daily activities. Kabbalistic astrologers tend to take a slightly different approach because they wish to observe the planets as they relate to each sephira in the Tree of Life.
Each sephira points to a specific character trait. Each sephira in the trestleboard corresponds with a specific planet and is therefore closely aligned with the celestial art of astrology. The work Sefer HaMazalot identified the 12 constellations of the zodiac with the 12 months of the Hebrew calendar. The correspondence of the constellations with their names in Hebrew and the months is as follows: .
Each of the ten sephirot corresponds to an astrological feature. The ancient Hebrews were well aware of the Sun, Moon, and five planets seen with the naked eye and Hebrew mysticism recognized their great importance. The Torah reflects this with Genesis being 7 words and 28 letters 7x4 in its original Hebrew. This is known as God's signature. Genesis , "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons, days, years and festivals' From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Judaism portal. Cassel , Juden , in Ersch and Gruber 's "Encyc. Fuller text: "The gist of the Jewish attitude toward astrology as formulated by Ibn Ezra has usually been understood—in general, correctly—as follows. The deity has delegated to the stars the governance of the sublunar world. Archived from the original on Retrieved Added September 14, Online Courses. Event Lectures. Live Streams.
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