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  • Halacha
  • Mysticism and Ayin Hara

Astrology

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

4 Tammuz 5763
Question
Astrology is one of the seven wisdoms. Using it to see future events is forbidden according to Yoreh Deah 179. But, does that mean it can be used for anything not time-related? For example: Personal Attributes.
Answer
Maimonides in Iggeret Teiman and elsewhere wrote that he investigated thoroughly all the claims of the astrology of his day and found no basis to them. The Temple was destroyed because instead of learning the art of war, Jewish leaders were looking, through astrology, for propitious times to make war. Although the Talmud refers to character traits natural to people born at different times of the year, all the rishonim agree with Maimonides that a person is the one whose free will determines his actions and that even someone with tendencies in one direction or the other can overcome them. Instead of wasting his time on astrology, a Jew changes the universe through his thought, his ethics, his words and his actions.
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