Moshe Ben-Chaim
My question is about luck? Can a person be born under a "lucky star"?
Someone, a religious person, recently commented about a common friend who is born September xth 19xx, that his birthdate is a lucky number. Is there any religious substance behind such a statement. Someone gave me your adress today and I would be grateful for an answer.
All objects, such as lucky stars, stem from a person's insecurities in life. People are always searching for a quick fix, or a security blanket. Some are in the forms of rabbits feet, wishbones, penny fountains, etc., they are literally everywhere.
One must ask themselves, why these good luck charms exist?
The answer is clear; people are insecure about what life holds for them, and are seeking protection and security.
Judaism approaches all areas with the utmost rationality.
We learn that there are many types of warlocks, palm readers and enchanters which are strictly forbidden. This is because there are many permutations of this disease of the soul.
Some people want to know if they do a specific "action", whether they will be successful.
Some people need to know what "time of year" is a good time for them.
And some just want to be told things about themselves without asking any questions.
For each one of these questions, there are certain types of people who feign knowledge in these areas. It is interesting, why do these psychics and fortune tellers still sit in small crowded rooms charging a few dollars.
Can't they predict a winning lottery number?
Even in Judaism this disease exists, specifically in the form of people asking rabbis for future knowledge, or blessings, or red bendels. The talmud deals with blessings, but its not as people do today.
In the talmud, blessings were when a knowledgeable and objective individual would look into a person's nature and describe what he specifically needed, or he would point out a flaw. But this is using rational objectivity. Not clairvoyance.
The talmud actually states that two great rabbis both had their son's go to their students for a blessing. Not the reverse.
(Click here to read an article on our site discussing this topic.)
Returning to your question, there is no rational explanation for lucky charms. No one who you will ever speak to in your lifetime will be able to explain how these charms work. This is because they don't. It's a mere projection of one's fantasy wishes onto an object that has somehow achieved popularity. Ask someone why red bendels work, and not green. They have no answer.
Ask someone how a penny thrown into a fountain, or by blowing out birthday candles makes wishes a reality, and again they have no answer. Ask someone about lucky stars, or how a person who is a created being can change nature, and again, no answer. Not even Moses had the ability to alter nature. All miracles performed were rendered by G-d alone. It even says that Moses left Egypt and prayed to G-d to stop the plagues.
Rational thinking is at he core of Judaism. If something makes no sense, even a written command in the Torah, Ibn Ezra, a Rishon, a foremost commentator says that we do not follow it (Exodus, 20:2). He was a great mind, and extolled by Maimonides. If Ibn Ezra tells us that we abandon even a command if it has no intelligible reason, then certainly we should abandon that which is not only ridiculous, as lucky stars, but is not a command.
Judaism is based on following the mind, through which method we penetrate falsehoods. The world at large may feel that certain objects contain fantastic powers. We should not be impressed with world opinion. We should think and see if a claim stands to reason.
I wonder why when it comes to physical health, these people who wish on stars, don't go to witch doctors. All of a sudden, health becomes a matter which a proven, rational doctor with years of schooling must be consulted. But in areas of greater importance as one's philosophy, here, people readily run to palm readers. This tells you about what today's society values most. To them, the body is more important than the soul. But by their same reasoning, since the body is not something you play around with, they admit that the highest form of decision making should be engaged, and this is rational thinking.
So the question is really on them, "If rational thinking, (researching the best doctor) is the best solution for problem solving, why do they abandon rational thinking in areas of the soul?"
This is how you can show someone that they really value rational thinking over superstition, and hopefully get them back on the track of rational thinking, and abandon the world of fantasy.

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