Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming Out Of The Closet (It's not what you think...)

18 of the Twelfth Month 5771

Well, now that I have your attention, I will tell you that this post is much an experiment in the use of "shock value" to increase the hits on this blog, than anything else.

But, don't call me a publicity whore just yet.

We'll shall see....

Now, I have gathered all of you here today to "come out" as one with a fascination with Astrology.

What's the big deal? Well, let's just say that I am concerned that a few in my circle of friends might not remain so. I suppose that if that were the case, perhaps they were never really my friends to begin with.

That includes least at least one or two bloggers. On the other hand, a few other bloggers will be pleased that I finally wrote this post.

There are conflicting Jewish views on Astrology, which can essentially be summed up by two, diametrically opposed midrashim on B'reishith (Genesis).
בראשית טו
וְהִנֵּה דְבַר-יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר, לֹא יִירָשְׁךָ זֶה: כִּי-אִם אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ, הוּא יִירָשֶׁךָ. ה וַיּוֹצֵא אֹתוֹ הַחוּצָה, וַיֹּאמֶר הַבֶּט-נָא הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וּסְפֹר הַכּוֹכָבִים--אִם-תּוּכַל, לִסְפֹּר אֹתָם; וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, כֹּה יִהְיֶה זַרְעֶךָ.
Genesis 15
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying: 'This man shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.' 5 And He brought him forth abroad, and said: 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them'; and He said unto him: 'So shall thy seed be.'
One midrash states that this was where HaQadosh Barukh Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He) lifted Avraham Avinu above the stars, demonstrating that his fate, and the fate of his descendants, will not be tied to the stars (as long as we follow His way). Another suggests that this is where HaQadosh Barukh Hu is showing astrology to Avraham Avinu.

Most Jewish opinions I have heard concerning Astrology assert that both of the above midrashim apply. If we follow His path, his Torah, we are not bound by Astrology, and can rise above it, like Avraham Avinu. Those who do not, are [fated to be] bound by it.

I believe there is a balance here, yet one which may always be usurped by His Will.

But, like I said, I am interested in looking character and personality A Virgo who is judgmental and a perfectionist, does not have to remain so, if he works on these middoth (attributes). A Taurus can learn to use his stubbornness when called for, yet does not have to be imprisoned by it.

Here is a very good introductory video, a lecture by Rabbi Eliyahu Kin in Los Angeles. Lectures on each of the mazaloth (signs) can also be found, and downloaded, easily on Google Video, both in English and in Hebrew.

There is more than one approach to Astrology, including that of Rabbi Yitzhaq ben Shlomo (Luria), the Ariza"l. The focus of this video is on the adaption of the modern, Greek approach.

Any sort of divination, magic, summoning of spirits is forbidden by the Torah. The approach to Astrology here is the examination of the ofi (character) Jews are born with, and how Astrology can help one determine his tiqunim (what he needs to work on), personality wise.

Finding ones ideal mate can also be assisting here. Certain personality traits complement each other well, while others do not. Some combinations can even spell disaster for a marriage. Looking at ones astrological chart can provide some insight into a prospective couple's strengths and challenges.

Of course, everyone is more that just his mazal. There are several other factors in one's "chart" to be taken under consideration.

Take a look at Rabbi Eliyahu Kin has to say, for starters.

Additional Note:
Here is a point of interest I would like to make. Just for the heck of it, I made a table of good friends, listing each of them under their mazal. The number of friends with Earth and Fire signs more than doubled those with Water and Air. All of my friends from when I lived in the Shomron were either Earth or Fire signs. All five of those of us in the same roll at work are Earth signs. There are several more patterns I have found in my relationships over the years, which cannot be explain by simple matter of coincidence.


Ben-Shmuel said...

Gotta disagree with you on this one. Astrology is complete nonsense and more importantly it is dangerous to the Jewish soul. Here is a link to an English translation of the Rambam's treatise on astrology. http://www.mesora.org/philosophy/

Unknown said...

The videos on Astrology by Rabbi Kin are now hosted on YouTube. Please fix the link. Also, see Rabbi Kin's explanation as to which aspects of Astrology are completely supported by Judaism.

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks for letting me know. I'll fix it as soon as I can.

You Might Also Like...