Page 11 - Stars Behind the Tortured Soul

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Miriam Slozberg xiii
rology, can be learned, and benefit may be derived from it
without the idolatrous trappings.
In a similar way, the Bible seems to forbid consulting psy-
chics while, at the same time, there are prophets who can in-
terpret dreams and foretell the future. Joseph rose from slav-
ery to a position of power in Egypt because he could correctly
interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Isaiah foretold a time (still to
come) when we would beat our swords into plowshares. An-
gels appeared to Abraham and Sarah to announce the birth
of Isaac. Clearly, there were Jews in biblical times who had
what we might call psychic abilities.
This does not stop with the Bible. The famous “Seer of
Lublin,” an 18th-century Hasidic master who lived in Poland,
was able to look at someone’s forehead and read their entire
karmic history. People came from far and wide to consult with
him. Some seekers even came with their hats pulled down
over their foreheads, trying to hide their past deeds―which
didn’t help. “Surely, youmust realize,”said the Seer, “that if I can
see from one end of the Universe to the other, I can also see
through a hat!”Today, we would call the Seer a past-life reader.
So, things are not always as cut-and-dry in Jewish Law
as they might first appear. There is a spectrum as to which
“occult”practices are permitted or forbidden in Judaism. Wor-
shipping idols—and various practices associated with that
worship—is forbidden, as are outright superstitions. I don’t
worry when my black cat greets me every morning, nor am I
upset if my rooster crows at midnight. But scientific discover-
ies, separate from their sometimes superstitious origins, may
have some truth to them. Jewish Law permits consulting a
pagan sorcerer about medical issues if there is any possibility
for a cure.