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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 31 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

31 - PRACTICING DIVINATION


Deuteronomy 18:10 -- “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer”

Now it is necessary for those who have these powers of conjecture to stimulate them and rouse them to activity by one means or another. One of them will knock on the ground several times with his staff, utter strange cries, and concentrate his thoughts for a long time, until he falls into a kind of trance and commences predicting the future. I once saw this done in the extreme West (i.e. Spain).* Another will throw pebbles into a piece of skin, look at them for a long time, and then prophesy – a common practice in all the places I have visited.** Yet another will throw a long leather belt on the ground, observe the shape in which it falls, and prophesy. The object of all this is to stimulate the powers he possesses; his ritual does not produce any effect or give him any information.

* Vs add: “Another will smooth the sand and draw pictures on it – a practice very common in the West.”
** Maimonides left his native Spain at the age of thirteen, and together with his father and family traveled through Northern Africa and Palestine. He finally settled in Cairo.

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