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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 32 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

32 - REGULATING OUR CONDUCT BY THE STARS


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”
Leviticus 19:26 -- “You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.”

In the “Eight Chapters”, Maimonides speaks of “the absurd ideas of astrologers, who falsely assert that the constellation at the time of one’s birth determines whether one is to be virtuous or vicious, the individual being thus necessarily compelled to follow a certain line of conduct. We, on the contrary, are convinced that… man’s conduct is entirely in his own hands, that no compulsion is exerted, and that no external influence is brought to bear upon him that constrains him to be either virtuous or vicious, except inasmuch as… he may be by nature so constituted as to find it easy or hard, as the case may be, to do a certain thing; but that he must necessarily do, or refrain from doing, a certain thing is absolutely untrue.”*

* Eight Chapters, VIII, p. 86, ed. Gorfinkle

The object of the prohibition against the practice of astrology was thus the safeguarding of the doctrine of Free Will – “the pillar of the Torah and of the Commandments”* -, which forms the philosophical basis of one of the Thirteen Fundamental Principles of the Faith, namely, the Principle of Reward and Punishment.**

* Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Teshubah V, 5
** See Vol. I, pp. 6- 7; cf. Mishneh Torah, Mada, Hilchoth Teshubah V

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