Shoftim 5763-2003

"Astrology, Witchcraft and Spiritualism in Judaism"

In parashat Shoftim, the Torah tells us that when the Jewish people enter the land of Israel they must not follow the abominable practices of the nations that reside there. It is strictly prohibited to cause a son or a daughter to pass through fire, to practice divination or astrology, or to visit one who reads omens. Patronizing a sorcerer, an animal charmer, inquiring of the Ov or Yidoni, or consulting the dead is forbidden. The Jews are supposed to be wholehearted with G-d and not support the magic or spirituality of the ancients. The questions remains, is there any efficacy to witchcraft or to the magic of the ancients?

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