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    Signs of the Zodiac – B’reshit

    The beginning of the Bible announces the formation of the heavenly bodies.

    The Chaldeans thought that what went on in heaven affected human behaviour. The Talmud quoted a verse from Jeremiah, “Learn not the ways of the nations, for their customs are empty” (Jer. 10:2-3) and rejected any belief in influences from the planetary system (Shab. 156a).

    Nonetheless, the zodiac entered Jewish art and illustrated documents like marriage contracts. Against Maimonides’ view, zodiac signs were accorded a connection with historical events, e.g. the bull (taurus) recalled the golden calf and the lamb recalls the Pesach sacrifice.

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