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Is #Astrology #Kosher?
By Levi Brackman
#Predicting the future is #bigbusiness. From newspaper astrologers to #corporateConsultants, there are many people out there ready to #profit from our #insatiable #desire to #know the #unknown. Often, when contemplating #majorchanges in my #life, I am #tempted to check my astrological reading. Is there anything wrong with this? Can an intelligent person believe in astrology without feeling #ridiculous?
It is #fascinating to note that the rabbis of the Talmud gave considerable #credence to astrology. The Talmud states that “upon entry into the month of Adar one should become increasingly #joyous. Rav Papa said: ‘Therefore a Jew should avoid #litigation with gentiles in the month of Av, because his #mazal is bad; and he should move the court case to the month of Adar, when his mazal is #good.’”1 The #Hebrew word which Talmud uses here, mazal, is usually translated “luck” but literally means “#constellations.” Astrology is not only a factor to be taken into account when planning future events—it also influences human nature. According to the Talmud, one born under the constellation of the sun will achieve eminence, and one born under Venus will become wealthy and immoral. One born under Mercury will be wise and have a retentive memory. One born under the Moon will suffer evil. One born under Saturn will suffer frustration, one born under Jupiter will be righteous, and one born under Mars will become either a surgeon or a slaughterer.2 A birthday is therefore viewed by the rabbis as a day on which personal astrological fortune is at its most potent.3