Unlike Christianity, Judaism embraces astrology and the wisdom it provides for us on our human journey.
Levi Brackman of Chabad.org, tells us:
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.’” 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. A birthday is therefore viewed by the rabbis as a day on which personal astrological fortune is at its most potent.
The Book of Formation, Sefer Yetzirah, explains that each of the twelve zodiac signs appears in each month of the Jewish year.
According to Sefer Yetzirah, each month of the Jewish year has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that correspond to it.
Similar to Christianity, however, Judaism cautions against seeking the advice of astrologers.
A Midrashic parable explains:
There is an uncomfortable contradiction inherent in all this. Although astrology is prominent in rabbinic thought, Jewish law cautions against seeking the advice of astrologers. But if astrology is a true science, why not consult it? The following Midrashic parable sheds light on this.
A king conquered a new province, the elite of which decided that they needed to forge connections with the new rulers. Some decided to become acquainted with the dukes, others with the knights and yet others with the ministers. The wisest amongst them declared, “I will forge a connection with the king himself.” He reasoned, “All the ministers, knights and dukes change; however, the king will always remain king.
While astrological influences are recognized and accepted, the Talmud seeks to encourage us similar to the Bible: “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else shall be granted.”
One of the Ten Commandments states: “You shall have no other gods before me.”
One of the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith is: “God is first and last.”
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