November 1, 2012 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #605633Torah613TorahParticipant
We are above Mazal. But apparently it can have some influence on us. What parts of astrology have some truth to it?November 2, 2012 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1022758old manParticipant
Nobody responded to this, so I will.
“What parts of astrology have some truth to it? “
Answer: No parts. Absolutely none.November 2, 2012 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #1022759NaysbergMember
Isn’t the twelve mazalos (zodiac) used in Judaism?November 2, 2012 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #1022760Derech HaMelechMember
Maybe the mazalos only say something about us al pi derech hatevah, but we can raise ourselves above tevah through Torah and tefillah.
I think there is a popular translation that “ein mazal l’yisrael” is saying that Hashem (Ein Sof) is our mazal and the 12 mazalos are for the goyim.November 2, 2012 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #1022761
I don’t know about the astrology of today’s astrologers, but as for having a Mazal, it plays a big role. With Teffila things can be changed. However, life span, children, and Parnasa are harder to change and have more to do with Mazal.November 2, 2012 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1022762yichusdikParticipant
My father z’l used to say that 99% of what passes for astrology today is absolute fabrication. The 1% that might have some meaning falls in two categories. The first is that 99% of that 1% that is in the same category as a baal ov or a baal yedoni – forbidden mideoraisa even though they have some power, according to Tanach.
The other 1% of 1% can only be interpreted through the prism of kaboloh taught by a pure and knowledgeable mekubal. There is reference to the mazalim in our davening, fyi.November 2, 2012 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1022763Torah613TorahParticipant
I posted a response that didn’t show up yesterday. Thanks to the above posters answered the question about Mazal.
What about Paroh, whose astrologers saw a savior would be born?
I mentioned this concept to my partner in Torah, and she wasn’t so comfortable with the idea that only we can overcome our Mazal.November 2, 2012 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #1022764
Do you know if there is much connection between astrology and Kabbala? Pardon my ignorance, I still have a lot to learn. And, is Kabbala something that is given much emphasis in various Orthodox circles?November 3, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am #1022765zeena.kastaMember
There is truth in interpretting the zodic through Kaballah, however Jews have control over the Zodiac and it influences us, rather than controls us. Non-Jews however are controlled by the ZodiacNovember 4, 2012 4:15 am at 4:15 am #1022766yichusdikParticipant
aurora, that’s a tough question to answer. On the one hand, some basic elements of kabala have become known broadly, such as the methodology of interpretation of esoteric concepts from text, or the meaning behind some of our lifecycle or holiday traditions, but there really is no “basic” knowledge – everything about genuine kabala is very deep and only to be approached after many years of study of the basics of Jewish law, Torah, etc. there are unfortunately many purveyors of fake kabala out there.
there is some engagement with the symbolism of the zodiac in kabala and in some of our prayers. For example the piyutim (medieval liturgy) said after the evening service (maariv) on Yom Kippur, for example, have specific connections to the different symbols. But it is not something I have investigated deeply, nor is it something I feel compelled to do or comfortable doing. Perhaps some of those more connected to chasidut can enlighten you about the elements of kabala that infuse their perspective, but I wouldln’t want to speak for them, other than to attest that there are elements of chasidut that stem from kabala.November 4, 2012 6:48 am at 6:48 am #1022767
aurora, about Kabbala and the Orthodox circles, you should know that kabbala is a very important facet but it is only for the extremely learned. From what I understand, a person has to know all of the rest of the Torah (written and oral) BEFORE he even starts to delve into the depths of Kabbala, which is to learn the Zohar. This is known as the hidden Torah. If someone isn’t properly/sufficiently learned enough, the material he gleans from the Zohar can lead him to totally wrong conclusions. It has been trivialized by people like Madonna and other Hollywood stars who go to “Kabbala centers” and think they are getting something. It is such a shame because I think these people are really looking for something that they are missing in their lives and are unfortunately going about it in a totally wrong way.
I hope this helps and I hope other posters come in to add/fix what I have said above.
Hope all was well and safe with you and your family in the storm.November 4, 2012 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #1022768
What’s the matter with Paroah’s astrologers knowing about a savior being born?
Many newcomers have a hard time with anything that differentiates us from other people. The society that we live in has a certain understanding, or agreement, that nobody can claim to be more correct than anyone else. (Of course, it usually only applies to ideas that aren’t our own.) It is a topic that has to be addressed wisely. I’m sure you have a contact, with whom to discuss such matters. It will have to be explained, a little at a time.
I’m not sure I can do justice to the topic. However, these are some things to keep in mind and convey, or discuss, over time:
November 4, 2012 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #1022769
- There is such a concept as actual true and false, not just relative truth.
- Anyone should have the right to believe that they are correct, especially when they aren’t trying to convince others.
- We have to first agree that the Torah is indeed true, and denying it is therefore not true.
- Finding out the truth does not equal mocking others, or stepping on others.
- Hashem gave us the Torah for a reason.
- He gave us the Torah so that we should stand out. Through the Torah we become different.
- Anyone who finds the Torah to be true is welcome to follow it, by joining its followers.
- The system of Mazalos is the system of time. There is a cycle of how things happen. This is the system of nature, that there will always be rich and poor, long and short life, week and strong; sometimes war and at times peace.
- By following Hashem’s rule we are circumventing the regular order, much the same way it says that all lands are under a heavenly minister but Eretz Yisroel is only under Hashem.
- There are certain things that even we cannot overcome with good deeds.
- Eventually, everyone gets rewarded for their behavior.
I heard a story about Rabbi Shmuel Dishon. A gentile once complained to him what right do we have to consider ourselves chosen people? Rabbi Dishon asked him, do you know what we say about you? He didn’t.
He began to extoll the greatness of the human being, being created in the image of G-d, the purpose and focal point of the universe. The guy was stunned and exclaimed, “Wow, I never thought that way of myself!” Rabbi Dishon then said, “Nu, so why would you mind if we think of ourselves a little better?”November 4, 2012 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1022770
One more thing, a suggestion from HaLeVia. You can learn together the Ramchal’s Derech Hashem. It puts the choosing and the Chosen People concept in the broader context of Hashem’s plan for the world.November 5, 2012 4:07 am at 4:07 am #1022772
Thank you yichusdik and Nechomah for explaining this…I have seen the Zohar on the shelf at Barnes and Noble and thought about getting it to read, but it sounds as if I would need to have a lot of other knowledge first to even begin to understand what is written there. Do either of you happen to know if women who go very far in their studies ever study the Zohar?November 5, 2012 4:10 am at 4:10 am #1022773
Oh, I forgot to say thank you Nechomah for your well wishes for my family in the hurricane…we were SO lucky where I live — for whatever reason, this part of Pennsylvania and Delaware made out virtually unscathed. I hope you and yours are safe and well too?November 5, 2012 7:08 am at 7:08 am #1022774
Aurora, I’m overseas, so only my source of income (which is NJ-based) has been affected. I am hoping that things on that front will return to normal for me today. Glad to hear all is well with you.
As far as I know regarding women learning Zohar, I spent some time learning in a school run by a woman who suggested that women should spend their time first learning about all of the responsibilities that we have, which are very numerous, and deal with anything else afterwards. This would include, in her opinion, the things that only Orthodox men do (as opposed to Orthodox women). This would include putting on tefillin (phyllacteries) and tallis (prayer shawl).
Basically her idea was that a woman’s day-to-day obligations are so vast and the learning that she can do should be focused on them. An example of this is the 6 constant commandments. There are 6 commandments that we are supposed to be cognizant of at all times. Focus on these and on practical laws affecting your daily life. You can decide after you know everything there is to know what to learn after that.
Just as an aside, the Zohar would probably seem to be dealing with very esoteric ideas and things because without the foundation of knowing the entire Torah (written and oral), the issues that the Zohar deals with are probably meaningless. Since it is the men who learn the oral Torah, then the Zohar is really primarily for them to learn. You won’t find too many people doing that these days.November 5, 2012 7:09 am at 7:09 am #1022775
Double postitisFebruary 26, 2014 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #1022776chanoch123Member
It is frustrating for me to read what some of the people here have written.
Jewish Astrology has always been a very important component of Chinuch for thousands of years. Over the last few hundred years the knowledge has dwindled.
Unfortunately, many of the posters here are not educated AT ALL in Jewish Astrology, yet feel comfortable making absolute-style statements on the topic.
There are many many old seforim, which are out of print which discuss this in detail. I have been studying all this for about 9 years as a hobby, and I am not an expert on the topic.
Firstly, I am a frum Torah-observant Yeshiva-educated Jew.
To respond to some of the points here would take me days to type. But I will respond to some of the misinformation here.
As for sources for everything I write, many of it comes from the Ibn Ezra, the Ramban, Derech Hashem, kabbalistic seforim, and the Ralbag.
1) The term “Ain Mazal Li’Yisroel” (There is no Mazal for Klal Yisroel) is actaully part of a longer sentence. The sentence is actually:
Ain mazal l’yisroel AVAL MAZAL l’YISROEL MAZAL DLI”
“There is no mazal for Yisroel, but the mazal of Yisroel is Mazal Dli”
Mazal Dli is Aquarius and its ruling star/planet is Saturn. Saturn in Hebrew is “Shabtai” and is actually spelled out as the letters SHIN BAIS TUF YUD
Getting into the deeper meaning behind this sentence is ebyond the scope of a response on Yehsiva World, however, I will explain this point in relation to how it was discussed above.
Klal Yisroel – WHEN OBSERVING THE TORAH AND MITZVOS – AND VERY MOST IMPORTANTLY THE MITZVA OF SHABBOS – is not subject to the planetary influences. It is a novel concept, since, Jewish astrology stipulates that NO NATION and NO INDIVIDUAL is subject to this exclusion, except us.
Also, contrary to popular belief, the mazal a person is born under, is not only the month they are born under. It is far more complex than that. An accurate birth chart would require an exact birth time (e.g. 5:16am ) and an exact birth dat as well as birth location.
There is so much astrological misinformation that is distributed as fact, and unfortunately many Rebbeim do not have the knowledge on this topic.
Also, one of the GREATEST MISCONCEPTIONS ( and it is clearly expressed by some posters above), is that Astrology is a “Kabbalistic” tool/power. It is not.
ASTROLOGY IS TEVA (nature) and is considered a pure science in Jewish perspective (as it was with the astrologers of old: Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans). It is no different than Physics, Chemistry, or Biology. We know everything we know about astrology through thousands of years of observation.
Kabbala has MANY correlations with astrology, as Hashem created the planets and the constellations as a way to have an order in the world. Klal Yisroel, through Koach Hatfilla and being shomrei Mitzvos can overcome the negative energies of the planets.
Here are some interesting tidbits I will leave you with:
1) The term “Mazal Tov” when a child is born or when a couple gets married, is a very old saying and is rooted from Tanach (Melachim Bais, Perek 23, Pasuk Heh). Sephardim and Ashkenazim, and way before there was such a thing as Sephardim and Askhenazim, have been using this saying for a very long time.
It is a wishing that the mazal of the moment will be a glad time and it should be a Bracha.
2) The old term “Bshaah Tova” “Good Time”which is said to a pregnant Jewish woman, is a wishing or a Bracha, to a woman that the child should be born at “Good/Positive Time”.
This is rooted in Jewish astrology as well
3) The power of Saturn is Greatly FEARED amongst non-Jewish Astrologers. They straight out admit to its harmful negative consequences if it is badly aspected in an individuals astrological chart.
A Jew becomes subject to its influences if he is not Shomer Shabbos.
There is truly an endless amount I can write here, but this should get anyone who was fed misinformation about the topic to be able to look out and learn more.February 26, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #1022777
The Gemara doesn’t quite say your “complete” sentence. Rashi says what was posted above, that through Tefilla it can be overturned. Mazal of the month is not mentioned in the Gemara, but Mazal of the day is mentioned. Shabsai is considered negative by us as well.
To say, Ein Mazal Leyisroel Aval… makes no sense. If anything, it should say, Ein Mazal Leyisroel Ella Dli. Yes, it is mentioned in Sefarim that Mazal Yisroel is Dli. This has nothing to do with the statement in the Gemara that Ein Mazal Leyisroel.
When you learn through the Sugya in Shabbos of Ein Mazal Leyisroel you see that the Gemara proves this from a few stories where, although the Mazal was overcome, the effect of the Mazal was actually quite visibile.February 26, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #1022778👑RebYidd23Participant
Astrology is a challenge. Part of our purpose in this world is to avoid getting caught up in it.February 27, 2014 1:02 am at 1:02 am #1022779chanoch123Member
Thank you for correcting me on this point of where the source is. You are correct: the Gemara does not say the Mazal Dli portion of the phrase. But again, there are reputable Seforim (Ibn Ezra and others) that do expand on the phrase.
I am familiar with the events/stories that the Gemara reports, but the Gemara does not have a formal discussion about astrology. It is mentioned in many places, but it is more of references/stories, as opposed to a full-blown theological/astrological discussion on the topic.
The Ralbag held that if a person has the intellectual capacity to understand these things, then it is a Mitzvah to study it as one of Hashem’s creations. He writes this in Milchamos Hashem.
A respected told me, when I asked a very well-respected Talmid Chacham if it is ok if I study astrology, he responded and said, “If it brings you closer to Hashem, then you may”
And it does – for me.
However, I respect your thoughts on this, because at times, it can be challenging.July 6, 2014 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #1022781my own kind of jewParticipant
I would love to know how the movement of the planets and how they appear from earth affects us humans living here (assuming, of course, that something doesn’t cause them to break from their orbits and start messing around with the other planets).July 6, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #1022782
It’s not the movement tat causes anything. The idea is that everything in the world is a cycle. This is the reason why a mourner eats lentils, to show that life is cycle. Hashem set the world up with a pattern of ups and downs. The concept of astrology is that the cycle of the planets and galaxies corresponds to the cycle of what happens in the world.
Similarly, the Zohar Hakadosh explains that the lines on the palm show us about the person. The lines don’t cause anything, but since it corresponds to everything in the person we can tell certain things about him.July 6, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #1022783👑RebYidd23Participant
If the lines would cause things to happen, people would have surgery on their hands to change their destiny.July 7, 2014 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1022784my own kind of jewParticipant
So, the basic idea is, Hashem creates everything, and knows what happens to/with everything, and decided to then do two things:
(though for Hashem it would actually be all instantaneous, but we’ll use human speaking patterns because-surprise-surprise- I’m human. Imagine that.)
1)Wanted to give people a way to see the future, and decided prophets weren’t enough, and decided to use the heavenly bodies visible from earth
2)Decided to tell people (but not all people, just a small sect of those who read one specific sefer, the Zohar?) that certain movements in the sky of the aforementioned heavenly bodies correspond to certain human behaviors , traits, and fortunes.
Is that about right?
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