Judaism and Dreams

From: The history of the rites, customes, and manner of life, of the present Jews, throughout the world. Written in Italian, by Leo Modena, a rabbine of Venice. Translated into English, by Edmund Chilmead, Mr. of Arts, and chaplain of Christ-Church OxonModena, Leone, 1571-1648., Chilmead, Edmund, 1610-1654.

They take very great heed to dreams; induced thereto by the Examples, which are found written in the Scripture, of Jacob, Joseph, Pharaoh, Nabuchadonosor, Daniel, and others; and by that passage in Job, chap. 3. 14, 15, 16. For God speaketh once, yea twice; yet man perceiveth it not: In a Dream, in a Vision of the Night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed: Then he openeth the eares of men, and sealeth their instruction.

And so great is the regard they have to Dreams, that if any one dream of any Ill, so that it causeth him to be sad, and melancholy; particularly, if it be any of the Four kinds of Dreams, which are spe∣cified by the Rabbins; they Blesse them∣selves; and so Fast all that day, as the manner is in all other Fasts; as shall be declared hereafter. Insomuch, that, even upon the Sabbath day also, whereon it is forbidden to Fast, for any other cause whatsoever, in this Case of a Dream it is lawful to Fast, as well on It, as on any other Feast day.

And in the Evening, when he hath ended his Fast, before he eareth any thing, he calleth unto him three friends: to whom he saith, seven times thus: May the Dream which I have seen be fortunate; and they answer him every time; May it be Fortunate; and God make it Fortunate. And then, repeating some certain Verses out of the Prophets; wherein are Promises of Life, Redemption, and Peace, they say unto him that of Ecclesiastes, chap. 9. 7. Vade ergò, et comede in laetitia panem tuum, &c. Go thy way, eat thy bread with Joy, &c. and so he goes to Meat.

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