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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 16:30:54 -0500 (EST) Subject: Are We Allowed to Follow the "No Kiddush During Mars Custom" I noticed that Stuart Wises question V28n28---why do we follow the (allegedly) Zoharic custom of not saying kiddush between 6 to 7 on Friday night when the red planet Mars is visible-has still not been dealt with. Let me therefore strengthen the question 3 observations. * _If_ I had NOT heard this Zohar, I would say that such a practice is Biblically prohibited. Indeed, Rambam, Idolatry, 11:8,9 explicitly says that >It is prohibited to say, based on astrological considerations, that >'this time' is a good time to do a certain action * Even if the Zohar and other books bring down this concept NO ONE I know has given the remotest explanation for it. Why then do we presume that we understand it? * To strengthen the last point I quote from the Lubavitch translation of the Rambam on Foundations of Torah, Chap 3,4. The Rambam used Greek science terminology to explain the mystical "Creation" doctrines. The lubavitch translation points out that the Rambam did not really believe in Greek science--he only used it as a metaphor to talk about secret matters. So--why not assume the Mars Zohar is metaphoric? Why should we believe it is literal? Why should we RISK violating a Biblical commandment because of it? Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu