IS ASTROLOGY PERMITTED FOR NOAHIDES?
- Category: ASK A POSEK
- Written by Rabbi Avraham Bloomenstiel
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The simple answer is “yes.” However, this must be strongly qualified.
There is something to astrology. The motions of the planets, stars, etc., as natural processes, are expressions of G-d’s will. Just as we can look at nature and marvel at the skill of the Creator, deriving insights as to His will for the world, so too it is possible to look upward and see manifestations of His will in the sky and stars. Since such an exercise is basically concerned with determining G-d’s will, it is not inherently idolatrous. This is why the Talmud (Shabbat 156a )and later poskim (decisors of Torah law) write that astrology is not prohibited for Noahides.
Furthermore, the Talmud itself and many, many, other sources write that G-d’s hashgocha, influence, flows into the world through natural mechanisms. All of these mechanisms work to manifest His will in this world. Included in this is the influence of the planets stars, etc.
However, the reliability of astrology is a whole other issue – the problem is with our ability to interpret and perceive such things. Do we really have enough understanding, wisdom, and insight to perceive and correctly interpret such matters? Furthermore, modern concepts of astrology are heavily polluted with idolatrous ideologies and silly theories. So, while there is something to it, it is not terribly reliable because of our own weaknesses.
For a far more in-depth and advanced study of all the Seven Noahide Laws consider taking the Noahide Laws Yeshiva Course.