Shabbat 75 – Knowledge, when is it Kosher

A fascinating piece of Talmud

והלומד דבר אחד מן המגוש – חייב מיתה, והיודע לחשב תקופות ומזלות ואינו חושב – אסור לספר הימנו

And one who learns [even] one matter from a magosh, [a Persian priest,] is liable [to receive the] death [penalty]. And one who knows how to calculate astronomical seasons and [the movement of] constellations, and does not do so, one may not speak with him [because his actions are improper].

The Koren about the Magosh:

The magi were the Persian class of priests, which apparently descended from a Median tribe. Their prayers were intoned in an ancient tongue that was not understood by most of the magi themselves. They and especially others considered many of their actions to be sorcery.

Clearly the Talmud was strongly against obtaining knowledge from the magi as a dangerous form of wisdom. However to read the stars – that was acceptable?!?

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About bookabazza

I am an Osteopath and University Lecturer who is trying to keep up with the 7 year daf yomi cycle. I thought I would try and share a few small thought on the daf each week.
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