Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dreams

The halachah is nowadays that we do not consider our dreams messages. If you did have a bad dream, that is, a dream that described harm coming to you or someone close to you, you can say hatavas chalom (it's in the siddur). If necessary, you can even fast a taanis chalom.

Dreams are sometimes things our soul picks up while it "travels" upstairs during the night, but usually they are just plain meaningless psycho-biological random activities of the brain. Even when the dreams do come from a real source, they are always mixed in with some nonsense, so there is no way of knowing what is real and what is not. At least not for people like us.

It’s not true what you often hear about signs that your dream is true, such as having it 3 times in a row, etc.

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There is something called Hatavas Chalom - you can find it in a well-equipped siddur (ArtScroll has it). When you have a bad dream, you say that Tefilah as per the instructions you will find in the Siddur.

PS -- None of this means that the dream necessarily has any shred of truth to it. This tefilah is said because of the bad dream, not because you got a bad "omen".

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There’s no way to tell if a dream really means something or if it’s becuase of something you ate or thought about etc.

And even when they do mean something they always have mixed in with them some nonsense as well.

We don’t worry about dreams. We do say hatavas chalom when a bad dream happens, but as Yidden we know that whatever is going on in Shamayim is controlled by our Mitzvos and Aveiros, not our dreams.

A fast is also something that can be done about a bad dream. Nowadays we minimize our fasts as much as we can, so we don’t fast unless really necessary. But in any case, a bad dream is certainly not a "good" sign.

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