Jewpernatural: Signs, spirits and superstition in Jewish belief
As we understand the natural world better, we have only grown more fascinated by mysterious topics like the meaning of dreams; the existence of angels, demons, and extraterrestrials; and the power of the evil eye. With record interest inspiring curiosity, dread, and mockery, this course probes the Talmud, Jewish philosophy, and kabbalah to provide Jewish
perspectives and guidance for those curious about these perennial questions.
When should we follow our dreams, and when do we say it’s “just a dream”? Let’s explore where inspiration from a lifelike dream can take us. Plus: a time-honored Jewish routine for keeping nightmares at bay.
Judaism insists we can always influence our destiny for the better. Yet, the popular “Mazel tov” wish literally means “good astrology”! What role does destiny play in a tradition that believes humans have free choice?
Can telling someone about my good fortune make it go bad? Can their jealousy create problems for my success? It may sound superstitious, but in Jewish thought, there’s a logical reason to be concerned about “the Evil Eye,” and there’s a practical way to ward it off.
Most people believe in some version of a soul. Do souls continue to exist after death? Can they see us? In this lesson, we will explore what we know about angels, spirits, and extraterrestrial life for insights into our own soul’s nature.