Basics in Kabbalah: What is Kabbalah? Part 7 – Using Kabbalah to Predict the Future

In every generation there are true tzadikim “righteous ones,” that possess ruach hakodesh, “Divine Inspiration.” Surely, the devoted study of Kabbalah helps make them worthy to receive this gift. These tzadikim are able to read the minds of others and to intuit future events. They generally attempt to hide what they know by Divine Inspiration or to disguise it in the garb of common intelligence. 

To foresee the consequences of one’s deeds is a “good way” of life, prescribed by the sages for all. They say, “Who is wise? He who foresees the results of his deeds.”

 

On the other hand, Jewish law strictly forbids using the wisdom of Kabbalah to predict the future, by whatsoever form of esoteric logic or manipulation.  It borders on the practice of magic.

Furthermore, many misconceptions exist about the connection between Kabbalah and astrology. The oldest Kabbalah text, Sefer Yetzirah, is the source for charting correspondences between the twelve signs of the zodiac, the twelve months of the year, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve permutations of God’s Name, and so forth.

The Talmud teaches, however, that “Israel is above the influence and forecasts of the signs of the zodiac.” Therefore the study of astrology with the aim of anticipating or predicting the future is totally futile for a Jew. The signs of the zodiac may only be seen to relate to natural inclinations or innate character traits, which may be changed, to the very opposite extremity, by the power of free choice.

It is important to stress that astrology is not a healthy interest for a Jew or a non-Jew. The essential article of faith common to all human beings is the belief in one God and no other. Although the study of astrology does not necessarily constitute a breach of that faith, it can lead to ascribing inordinate power and significance to the heavenly bodies that God set in the firmament–thereby creating fertile ground for consequent inappropriate expressions of worship.

Indeed, the term used in Talmudic sources to denote a pagan is akum, which is actually an abbreviation of the Hebrew words ovedkochavim umazalot, meaning “a worshipper of stars and zodiacal signs.”

 

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