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Tashbetz V Print E-mail

writingsA Responsum of Rav Duran concerns the significance of dreams. The following question was put to hum by Amram Merevas Ehprati of Oran. A man had a dream in which he was informed

that unless the whole community fasted it would be under the ban. Is the community obliged to fast on the strength of the dream?

We have seen how the Rashba deals with similar questions regarding the efficacy of dreams. Rav Duran refers to a Talmudic discussion. A man felt uneasy about a sum of money left to hum by his father. The ‘master of dreams’ appeared to him to inform him that it was tithe money, but the Rabbis ruled that dreams have no significance.

Rav Duran adds that some dreams are true non the less. A man’s imaginative powers can become strong enough to reach the Active Intellect. When this happens, precognition can take place in a dream as part of divine providence, serving as a warning for man to take precautions against the fate foretold in the dream.

Rav Duran refers to a passage in the Zohar ‘by Rabbi Simeon b. Yohai’. But other dreams have no truth in them whatsoever. He relates an incident in which Rabbeinu Isaac b. Sheshet Perfet was involved. A man named Solomon of Tish (or Solomon Matish?) urged Perfet to proclaim a fast because he had dreamed that a fire would break out in the Rabbi’s house. Rav Perfet laughed it off, but the dream came true. Years later, Hakun b. Abu came to Rav Perfet and told him that he had dreamed it was imperative for the community to fast on Monday, Thursday and the following Monday. Rav Perfet, impressed by his earlier experience, proclaimed the fast but so few turned up on the day that it was only with great difficulty that a quorum was obtained for the prayers. Rav Duran is therefore, skeptical and does not advise the fast to be proclaimed.

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