Monday, March 20, 2023

Astrogy and magic -Rambam

 Rambam (Letter on Astrology): I know of course that it is possible to search and find isolated opinions of some sages in the Talmud and Medrashim whose views contradict what I have said ... These statements should not trouble you because one doesn’t simply discard a clearly established halacha and revert back to the initial analysis. Similarly it is not appropriate to discard a well validated principle and simply rely on a minority opinion of the sages instead. That is because the sage is not infallible and might have erred by overlooking some important facts or hints when he stated his views. Alternatively he might have stated his view only concerning a unique situation that had been presented to him and he had not meant to state a general principle. This caution is illustrated by the fact that many verses of the Torah are not meant to be taken literally - as has been clearly established by impeccable proofs. Therefore they are explained in a way that makes sense rather than taken literally. The general rule is that a person should never easily toss aside his well considered views.. His eyes should look unflinchingly forward and not backwards..

Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Kokavim 11:16): Magic and techniques of divination are all false and deceptive and they were used to convince people that idol worship is valid. Jews who are very wise and intelligent should not be involved in this nonsense and not even to think that they might work… Whoever believes in the validity of these type of things and entertains the thought that they might be true but that he can’t use them only because the Torah prohibited them is foolish and naïve like the women and children who don’t have sophisticated minds. Wise men with straight minds know with absolute proofs that all these that the Torah prohibited are not things of intelligence but are utter nonsense that only fools pay attention to them. That is why the Torah prohibited all this nonsense be tamim with your G-d .

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