Yesterday was the Jewish holiday, Lag BaOmer. This holiday commemorates the death of the sage and mystic, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who who lived in the second century of the common era, and was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the “Kabbalah.” He is the author of the basic work of Kabbalah, the Zohar. There is more to this holiday than that, however, because of the mystical association, the blog will not celebrate it, in line with the commands of the Torah.
The word Kabbalah means, receiving. It is the native theology and cosmology of Judaism. Yes, that is cosmology… which does include astrology. It is completely separate from the Hebrew Bible and is not a godly doctrine.
“The actual word for astrology in the Hebrew language literally means, ‘divining the heavens’. Divination is the act of foretelling future events, or of revealing secret knowledge, by means of signs and omens or other supernatural agency. The practice of pagan divination is prohibited by God. It’s in the Bible, Leviticus 19:26 NIV, “Do not practice divination or sorcery.”
Divination was common among the pagan peoples of the Bible lands. When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, God warned them not to practice astrology. Says Deuteronomy 18:9, 12 & 14 NIV, “Do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there… The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so… Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” Divination is actually regarded to be a grave sin. Declares 1 Samuel 15:23 NIV, “Rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.”
You can read more about Kabbalah here. The teachings are very much like some forms of Eastern mysticism, very confusing and so spiritual, they are almost impossible to understand. If you go to any Jewish gift shop, you will see a lot of Kabbalah jewellery, symbols to ward off the evil eye, astrology products and in short, things that under the revered laws set down by Moses, should not ever be in any Jewish heart or mind.
So how to should Christians react to Jewish mysticism? The Scriptures are crystal clear on this.(These Scriptures also cover the other Jewish holy books, the Talmud.)
– “Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you.” Deuteronomy 4:2
– “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32
– “I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.” Galatians 1:9
The Meaning of the Chamash
The Hamsa Hand is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. In all faiths it is a protective sign. It brings it’s owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.
The hamsa hand has a wide variety of different spellings which includes hamesh, hamsa, chamsa, and khamsa. It is also identified as the Hand of Miriam, Aaron and Moses’s sister, and the Hand of Fatima. The hamsa hand has two main styles. One style is shaped like a regular hand, and the other has two symmetrical thumbs. The second of the two styles is the most popular. The wearer of the hamsa hand can wear it facing up or down and it is believed to give the owner success, harmony, and protection from the “Ayin Ha’ra,” also known as The Evil Eye.
The hamsa hand meaning has a variety of interpretations, depending on the culture. The word, “hamsa,” derives its name from the five fingers on the hand. In Hebrew, the number five is “hamesh” and the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is “Hey,” one of God’s holy names. “Hamesh” is representative of the five books of the Torah. In Judaism, it is also interpreted to be the Hand of Miriam, and symbolic of the owner’s five senses in an effort to praise God.
In Arabic, it is “khamesh.” In the Sunni culture, the hamsa is associated with the Five Pillars of Islam. For the Shi’tes, it symbolizes the Five People of the Cloak. In the Islamic faith, it symbolizes as The Hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.
The hamsa hand sometimes includes an evil eye symbol, which is thought to protect against the evil eye. It is often worn as a pendant on a necklace but also is found on key chains, house decorations, baby carriages, and other jewelry items.
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