Talk:Jewish views on astrology

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(Comments)[edit]

JayJG, please stop reverting facts that make you uncomfortable. Most Jews do not believe in astrology today, and that is very pertinent. Your comments in the article history edit lines indicate that you are unfamiliar with this. Are you seriously under the impression that most Jews really still believe in astrology? That position is untenable. Further, it is a requirement of our NPOV policy that:

One important task for encyclopedias is to explain things. In the case of human beliefs and practices, explanation encompasses not only what motivates individuals who hold these beliefs and practices, but an account of how such beliefs and practices came to be and took shape. Wikipedia articles on history and religion draw from a religion's sacred texts. But Wikipedia articles on history and religion also draw from modern archaeological, historical and scientific sources.
Many adherents of a religion will object to a critical historical treatment of their own faith, claiming that this somehow discriminates against their religious beliefs. They would prefer that the articles describe their faith as they see it, which is often from a non-historical perspective (e.g. the way things are is the way things have always been; any differences are from heretical sects that don't represent the real religion.) Their point of view must be mentioned, yet note that there is no contradiction. NPOV policy means that we say something like this: Many adherents of this faith believe X, which they believe that members of this group have always believed; however, due to the acceptance of some findings (say which) by modern historians and archaeologists (say which), other adherents (say which) of this faith now believe

Thus, we are obligated to explain not only ancient beliefs of rabbinic Jews, and beliefs of Haredi Jews who adhere to Kabbalah, but we are also obligated to explain the beliefs of other Jewish groups. We are obligated to explain why certain groups have changed their position over time. RK 16:02, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

In contrast, instead of adding anything to this article, you keep reverting and censorsing views about science and non-Orthodox Jewish belief that makes you uncomfortable. That is unacceptable behaviour, and a clear violation of our NPOV policy. RK 16:02, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)


RK, this is not about me or my personal beliefs. Please do not try to make it so. Instead, just provide evidence for your broad claims (e.g. "Most Reform and Conservative Jews" etc.) or leave it out. Do you have some recognized author who makes this claim? Perhaps a poll indicating these beliefs? As I've said many times before, my "POV" is that claims must be supported with citations. Jayjg (talk) 16:45, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

JayJG, I have already offered nine sources with quotes. They are phrased on NPOV fashion. If the official Torah commentary of a movement isn't a good source, then nothing is! Also, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom (Orthodox) is not a bad source, either. He speaks for many, many Orthodox Jews - though by no means all! In contrast, so far you have brought forth no sources.
If you wish to state that many religious Jews believe that astrology is acceptable within Judaism, I have no problem with this. In fact, I would be happy if you made edits to this effect. I already have done so, and you can make more! I am more than happy to totally agree with you that many Jews feel this way. I am not trying to write people with such views out of Judaism. Rather, I am trying to describe the sea change that has occured within the Jewish community within the last 200 years on this position. Describing this change does not mean that I am trying to deligitimize those who have not changed! In fact, that is why I already brought forth two sources that agree that astronomy is valid, including the eminent Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. (And I own ten of his books, which I would not have purchased if I did not respect him.) I am more than happy to add points of view that you wish to add, or for you to add other POVs. Its all good. RK 22:01, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
This is tiring, Robert. Please stop inserting irrelevant information into the page; this is about Jewish views of astrology, not other views, so we don't need a summary of the current scientific consensus. Nor is this article about my views of astrology, or yours for that matter; "multiple POVs" means multiple cited POVs of Jewish authorities, and that doesn't include RK's POV. Quote relevant authorities, and leave it at that. Your cites are all good, and if you have some evidence that "Most Reform..." etc. Jews or Rabbis believe anything at all, or that there has been a "sea change", then bring that as well. But please stop inserting unreferenced claims into the article, they add nothing to it. Jayjg (talk) 03:06, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Adding historical context is not tiring or inappropriate. JayJG, I have not brought forth the views of other groups. I am only describing the views of Jews. In any article on the religious subjects, we need to discuss not only what Jews may believe, but also why they think this way. Science is key to this topic. The writings of Maimonides, Gersonides and many other Jewish philosophers are deeply involved in the science of their day, which greatly shaped their views. The writings and teachings of modern day Modern Orthodox, Reform and Conservative Jews are similarly influenced by science. Many of the classical Jewish views of astrology specifically quote the science of their day, and these rabbis based their conclusions on that science. The same is true today. Today most Jews are well-read in science in general, and in their view modern science has proven astrology to be false. As such, most Reform and Conservative Jews reject astrology, and view it as forbidden by the Torah as superstition. Many, but not all, Modern Orthodox Jews apparently feel the same way. This article can't simply say "Some Jews believe X, and other Jews Y". It needs to explain why they have these beliefs. In fact, the text that you approve of already does so...for rabbis in the past. The text you keep reverting simply does the same thing for Jews in the present era. RK 18:12, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
When you described the views of modern scientists, you are no longer describing "Jewish views" of astrology, but rather "modern scientific views" of astrology, which are already well covered in the astrology article.
False. I did not elaborate on modern science alone, but rather on Jewish views of modern science. I understand that the Jewish religious community you are fond of rejects modern science, but that is no reason to delete facts on this topic. RK
RK, when you state that Belief in astrology has declined in the last two centuries; peer-reviewed research by scientists has found no evidence for claims made by astrologers, you are discussing the view of modern scientists regarding astrology, not the Jewish view of modern science. And in any event, this article is not about the "Jewish views of modern science", but about the "Jewish views of astrology". Please re-read the title of the article for further elucidation. Jayjg (talk) 16:07, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As for the rest, the "context" you wish to provide appears to be purely your own POV and original research; if the article needs context, then quote someone who provides it, or quote some polls of various Jewish groups which support your conclusions. Jayjg (talk) 19:32, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
JayJG, you have to stop falsely attacking me as contributing "original research" every time you find out something about the modern Jewish community that makes you uncomfortable. I have done absolutely no original research on this topic at all. Your repeated false claims about me are inappropriate. Stop pretending that Reform and Conservative Jews believe in astrology, because you know full well that they don't. Demanding "surveys" that Reform and Conservative Jews do not believe in astrology is like demanding "suverys" to prove that Reform and Conservative Jews do not believe in magic, unicorns and palm reading. You know full well that nearly all non-Orthodox Jews reject such beliefs outright, and your claims to the contrary are bizarre. Stop trying to make all Jews look Orthodox. RK 01:04, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)
RK, please stop commenting on me, or what you think makes me "uncomfortable", and deal with article content. I have made no claims at all about what Reform and Conservative Jews believe; on the contrary, it is you who keep doing so. As it stands, the section is pretty clear already that astrology has no support amongst the Reform and Conservative rabbinate, as there are no Reform or Conservative sources brought which support it, and a number brought which dismiss it. Your claims that "the great majority" of this or that believe something are unsourced, and add nothing to the article. If you can find sources backing your claims up, then put them in. If not, then move on to claims you can actually support. Jayjg (talk) 16:04, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hello guys, a gut voch and pleasant edit warring. I find the article fairly balanced in its present form. It is clear that since the time of the Rishonim there has been disagreement over the power of astrology, and Maimonides clearly states that practical magic is always trickery. Are there any specific issues we should settle? JFW | T@lk 20:13, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I just want RK to stop making unsupported claims, like "Most Jews think X". They are completely unproven (and likely unproveable), and in any event add nothing of value to the article. The views of the "average Jewish Joe in the street" on astrology, even if it were possible to find out what they were, are simply not of interest here. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is no real "edit war". Simply a difference of opinion on what should go into the article. For some reason, Jay takes offense at pointing out that the great majority of Reform and Conservative Jews view astrology as false. He started off by demanding statistics or studies, which I found incredible. Jay later admitted that "astrology has no support amongst the Reform and Conservative rabbinate", yet then contradicts himself by claiming that we may not say that "the great majority" do not believe in astrology. So I ask how can he say that this is true, yet hold that we may not say this in the article? RK
Please provide evidence for your claim that "the great majority of Reform and Conservative Jews view astrology as false", and then explain why it is significant. And please stop making personal comments regarding your opinions about my emotions or motivations or desires (e.g. "Jay takes offense"); instead, stick to discussing article content. Is it possible for you to make even one set of comments that actually provide evidence for you claims, and do not make any comments about me personally? That would be a very welcome change. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Secondly JayJG does not want the article to mention the relationship Jews have seen between astronomy and astrology. I do not understand why. For all of rabbinic Jewish history - from the Talmud to Maimonides to the Acharonim - rabbis have quoted the works of scientists, especially in the areas of astrology, astronomy and medicine. The Encyclopedia Judaica article on this topic (which I can forward) discusses this in depth. This interplay is a traditional part of classical and modern rabbinic works. Yet JayJG writes "you are discussing the view of modern scientists regarding astrology, not the Jewish view of modern science." That is just incorrect; that is discussed in a separate article. JayJG then claims "this article is not about the "Jewish views of modern science", but about the Jewish views of astrology." I respond by asking: How can we discuss the Jewish view of astrology if we cut out half of the subject? From the Talmud to Maimonides to modern day rabbis of all denominations, the two subjects are often discussed together. Here we do not have a disputed fact nor a disputed POV violation. He seems to regard them as totally separate topics, but as far I can find, they have always been related in rabbinic works. RK 01:23, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
I have not removed any cited statements regarding "the relationship Jews have seen between astronomy and astrology"; rather, I removed one irrelevant statement regarding modern science's view of astrology. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Notic of CfD nomination[edit]

Removed cfdnotice, cfd has completed. --Kbdank71 16:50, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


There does not seem to have been any actual discussion on this, or any changes made. I found this article while searching for information on Jewish astrology. The information in it has been helpful and I hope the article is kept; and, although renaming might not be too big a deal, it seems okay to me as it is. Kwork 14:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

astrology template[edit]

The edit of 08:32, 13 April 2007 172.148.56.84 (Talk) (astrology template) created undesired--and probably unintended--white space at top of the article's text (at least, that's what I saw viewing it in IE6). Since I'm not familiar with template edits, I'm reverting it for now. I'll make a similar comment on the talk page of user 172.148.56.84, who can then restore the template, if desired, with appropriate correction. --Rich Janis 00:08, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Modern view of astrology section[edit]

I find the above mentioned section highly irrelevant for the general scope of Judaism bout astrology. Hence, I remove this section. Please discuss it here if you have anything to say about that.--Gilisa (talk) 12:45, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

12 tribes and 12 signs of Zodiac[edit]

See: David Womack's 12 Signs, 12 Sons: Astrology in the Bible, Harper & Row, San Francisco 1978, page 43. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.218.248.127 (talk) 19:03, 8 December 2012 (UTC)