Jmag Staff: Yaakov, what do you see in this coming year, 2010?
Yaakov: It is going to be a year with changes. The planets are starting to move signs. Saturn is moving from Virgo, which is a weak sign to Libra where Saturn is exalted and powerful. Uranus the planet of sudden change is moving from the weak sign Pisces to the very powerful sign of Aries, which is the sign of warfare. Pluto just entered the sign of Capricorn which is also very powerful. In the next year all three of these planets will be square and opposite each other. When two planets are at 90 degrees from each other it means that they are in conflict with each other. When they are 180 degrees opposite they are even more intractable foes. We see that Saturn is opposite Uranus, and both of them are squared to Pluto. Pluto is a very warlike planet so this year it looks like we will see a lot of problems.
The first time Saturn and Uranus went opposite each other in 2008, the stock market crashed and there was a financial crisis in the world. This time it seems that we are heading towards political crises between and within countries. There is a good chance that we will be seeing more military operations in the world. This seems to be in the middle of the summer, June or July. There is quite a chance that there will be a war with Iran. More than Israel is afraid of Iran, the other Arab countries fear Iran's getting a nuclear bomb and it is quite possible that they are quietly pushing America to do something about it.
It seems that after every economic crisis comes political crises in their wake. In order to save their country, America went heavily into debt. Many other countries also went into debt to aid in reviving their countries. The fallout from the economic crises has not really begun yet. We can expect to see much instability both financially and politically. There are now several European countries which are on the verge of bankruptcy and if they falter they will trigger a larger financial crisis.
The world is heading for a shortage of raw materials and there might be a water shortage somewhere in the coming year. The shortages of raw material could possibly trigger political and economic conflicts between countries and even rebellions inside countries.
It will not be a quiet year; it will be one of much global action. Israel is going to be part of the global action; hopefully it will be only a small part.
Netanyahu still has a very difficult chart, but this year will go easier for him. Next year, 2011, it will become more difficult for Netanyahu and Israel. Economically speaking, Israel's chart the economy is okay; the major problem in Israel is housing. Now it does not seem like there is much pressure for Israel to do much to make peace with the Arabs, but in 2011 there will be quite a bit of pressure put on Israel to make compromises or as they say, painful concessions.
ABOUT JEWISH ASTROLOGY ( from Ohr Sameach)
A Jewish college professor told me that the symbols of the Jewish month, i.e. fish, scales, scorpion, pail, bow etc. originate from the Romans. I would like to know if this is correct because I thought that they originated from the Jews. Your web site talks about the symbols so I thought you may know the answer. Thanks, RS.
With due respect to your professor, it is widely accepted in academia that the zodiac signs as we know them [Aries, the Ram; Taurus, the Bull; Gemini, the Twins; Cancer, the Crab; Leo, the Lion; Virgo, the Virgin; Libra, the Balance; Scorpio, the Scorpion; Sagittarius, the Archer; Capricorn, the Goat; Aquarius, the Water Bearer; and Pisces, the Fishes] originated in ancient Mesopotamia. The Greeks later adopted the symbols from the Babylonians and passed them on to other ancient civilizations such as the Romans who came much later. If the Jews received the zodiac signs from another culture, it was not from the Romans but from the Babylonians.
However, the Jewish perspective is that the signs of the zodiac were positioned at the time of Creation, and their influence is intimated in the Torah. Thus our Talmudic Sages describe in great detail the dynamic between the progression of the creation of the zodiac signs and their corresponding influence on Mankind (Pesikta, ch. 4). Furthermore, the entire wisdom of the Torah, including the knowledge of the zodiac, was taught by G-d to Adam and his descendents. Even though it was eventually perverted and incorporated by most of humanity into idol worship, a select few such as Abraham retained its true meaning.
So writes Rambam, "Their mistaken reasoning was that since G-d created the skies and spheres as part of nature, and placed them high up and gave them dignity, as servants who serve Him, it would be appropriate to laud, glorify and honor them as wellOnce this matter was decided upon, they proceeded to build temples to the stars, to bring sacrifices to them, to laud and glorify them verbally and to bow down to themBut as for the Creator, only certain individuals recognized Him, such as Hanoch, Metushelach, Noah, Shem and Ever. Things continued in this manner until Abrahamwas born" (Avodat Kochavim 1:1).
In fact, regarding Abrahams having no children, the Torah states, "And Abraham said, Lord G-d, what will you give me, seeing I go childless?.And He brought him outside and said, Look toward the heaven and count the stars if you are able to number them, and He said to him, So shall thy seed be" (Gen. 15:5-8). Our Sages explained that Abraham saw in the stars that the astrological influence under which he was born dictated that he would have no children. G-d replied, I will intervene such that your offspring will be as numerous as the very stars in which you see you'll have no children (Shabbat 156a).
The Zohar, which according to Jewish tradition is attributed to the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai of the 2nd century, correlates the 12 signs of the zodiac to the 12 Hebrew months and the 12 tribes of Israel (I:173). Since the essence of each tribe is essential to the nature of the Jewish People, which is inextricably bound with the purpose of Creation and its future fruition, this supports the ideas mentioned above that the influence of the zodiac was fixed from Creation and known to the Jewish People from the time of their inception.
It is important to remember that since the Hebrew months literally correspond to the moon, each month begins and ends with the new moon, and the full moon is in the middle of the month. Therefore, unlike the common, incorrect version of the zodiac based on the Gregorian calendar, each sign is in harmony with one month, with its greatest influence during the full moon of that month. One of the earliest, ancient Jewish texts called Sefer Yetzira correlates the zodiac signs with the months, tribes and 12 faculties as follows:
The sign of Nisan is Tleh/Aries/Ram corresponding to Judah and the faculty of Speech. This is the month the Jews overcame the Egyptian deity of the ram. Judah means "thanks", related to speech and on Passover of this month the Pascal lamb was offered and we recite the haggada.
Iyar is Shor/Taurus/Bull corresponding to Issachar (Torah scholars) and the faculty of Thought. In this month we must be as strong and stubborn as a bull in preparation to receive the Torah.
Sivan is Teumim/Gemini/Twins corresponding to Zevulun (Torah supporters) and the faculty of Motion. This is the month of Shavuot when we received the double Tablets and should strengthen our efforts to support Torah.
Tamuz is Sartan/Cancer/Crab corresponding to Reuven (means "see") and the faculty of Sight. Just as the crab hides, so we should refrain from the distractions of this summer month and direct our sights toward spiritual pursuits.
Av is Ari/Leo/Lion corresponding to Shimon (means "hear") and the faculty of Hearing. In this month, the lion-like nations of Babylon and Rome destroyed the Temple and we must listen to the lesson and return to G-d.
Elul is Betula/Virgo/Virgin corresponding to Gad and the faculty of Action. This is the month of repenting, to purify our thoughts and deeds in preparation of Rosh Hashana.
Tishrei is Moznaim/Libra/Scales corresponding to Ephraim (fruitful) and the faculty of Coition. In this month is Rosh Hashana on which we are judged, and hope to merit a productive new year.
Cheshvan is Akrav/Scorpio/Scorpion corresponding to Menashe and the faculty of Smell. This month lacks a holiday and may be spiritually cold as venom, yet one must work hard to change the letters of Menashe to "neshama" spirituality.
Kislev is Kashet/Sagittarius/Archer corresponding to Benjamin (warriors) and the faculty of Sleep. Here we must direct and propel the inspiration from Chanuka through the rest of the winter to overcome spiritual slumber.
Tevet is Gedi/Capricorn/Kid corresponding to Dan (judge) and the faculty of Anger. The siege against Jerusalem began in this month as a result of baseless hatred among Jews. Here we must be as steadfast as a goat to refrain from judging unfavorably which leads to anger and destruction.
Shevat is Dli/Aquarius/Water Drawer corresponding to Asher (wealth) and the faculty of Taste. By this month most of the rain in Israel has fallen and we celebrate Tu bShevat by eating bountiful fruits.
Adar is Dagim/Pisces/Fish corresponding to Naftali and the faculty of Laughter. Just as fish are covered by the sea, in this month we observe Purim which celebrates the hidden miracles of G-d which bring salvation and joy to the Jewish people.