Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kabbalah of Dreams

"You can analyze your behavior through a dream...."

You must strive to examine your dreams, for they are a manifestation of the Holy One's guidance personally directed to you. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, of blessed memory, teaches (see Chapter Four of "Shaarei Kedusha)", that you can analyze your behavior through a dream, for according to what you do during the day, so is the dream ( Zohar, Chaya Sarah 130a). As Elijah said to Job, "In a dream, a nocturnal vision of the night, when a deep sleep falls over people, during slumbers upon the bed, then He uncovers people's ears and seals their affliction." (Job 33:15)

To the extent that a person is righteous, so is the truth of his dreams. A person will sometimes see visions of the heavenly worlds in his dreams, and there will speak with the deceased and recognize them; these will reveal to the dreamer teachings about the Garden of Eden and Gehinom, as it has often happened in our times.

Our sages say, "Rabbi Yonah said in the name of Rabbi Zera, 'One who does not have a dream for seven consecutive days is a transgressor, as the verse says, 'And he who has it will rest satisfied [in Hebrew savea] and will not be visited for evil.' (Proverbs 19:23) Do not read 'savea' but 'sheva' [Hebrew for 'seven']." (Berachot 14a)

Rashi, of blessed memory, explains that a person who transgresses does not receive the guidance of the Divine Providence through a dream. It seems to me that a dream will not come to him because his soul does not ascend on high while he sleeps. The soul of such a person is like the spirit of the beast that descends to the depths of the earth [paraphrasing Ecclesiates 3:21].

What is decreed for man in the heavenly worlds is revealed through dreams. As Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai explains: "Thirty days before a nation rises to power, or before a nation is to endure a disaster, the coming event is announced throughout the world. It is sometimes communicated through the mouths of children, or that of the simple-minded, or at times through birds who proclaim it to the world, but no one is aware of this because no one understands. When the nation is worthy, the impending misfortune is announced to the righteous leaders of the generation so that these may issue a warning; thus, when the people hear about the decree they may return to their Maker.

Source: The World of Dreams - from Reishit Chochma; translated by Simhah H. Benyosef

There are three types of dreams:

1. Dreams that have no real value, caused by your environment, such as food eaten or extreme temperatures.

2. A dream that comes to teach or show us something, similar to Pharoah's dreams, containing a message. These dreams are shown in abstract (picture) language and are the result of your soul having contact with an outside force. These dreams are brought to us by an angel (or perhaps a demon). Demons can come in the guise of rabbis or angels, just to fool us. It is easy to differentiate between the two because a demonic dream is always very confusing and agitating and you will wake up sweaty and fearful, whereas a dream brought by an angel will leave you feeling calm and peaceful, and knowing what you should do.

3. A prophetic dream is one when G-d speaks to you and you will intuitively know what to do next, because in the dream you were told clearly and that is what is known as "deja vu". It differs from No. 2 in that it is a true prophetic vision and you see a clear prophecy without the abstract imagery.

Chaim Vital writes in "Sha'arei Kedusha" that G-d speaks to every human soul, connecting through our dreams. In general, dreams are shown to us in pictures because this is the language of the subsconscious. When in deep thought we always think in pictures rather than words. But we must remember that the imagery is not necessarily representing the same thing as it does in reality.

For example, our rabbis taught that to dream of an "ass" means "salvation"; to dream of a cat represents either a beautiful song or a change for the worse, depending on the type of cat, to dream of an elephant means you will experience a miracle.

Chochmah = right side = sub-conscious = intuitive
Binah = left side = conscious = rational
Binah (conscious mind) deals with the physical word;
Chochmah (subconscious) deals with the spiritual world.

Our chochmah shows us images in our dreams, and our Binah interprets these pictures. Two people can dream of the same thing, but it will mean something different to each of them, relating to their own personal subsconscious imagery. In a message dream, the force communicating the message will result in your mind showing the form of pictures unique to you. Only you can really interpret this kind of dream. A true "dream interpreter" will help you to understand yourself rather than applying meaning to your images."

All dreams follow their interpretation

Never share your dreams with anyone unless you trust them to give you a good interpretation because dreams are self-fulfilling prophecies. If you dream of someone you know well and connected with recently, that is usually not an important dream. However, to dream of someone you DON'T know, or who you have no attachment to whatsoever means that this is a message dream.

According to ancient kabbalistic writings*, depending which day of the month you have the dream, the following outcomes are known:

(all dates are according to the Hebrew [lunar] calendar) *[Source:"Dream Interpretation" by Rabbi Shelomo Almoli - KTAV Publ]
Day of the month:
1st (new moon) All dreams will be turned to joy
2nd/3rd All dreams have no truth
4th/5th All that you see will come about but only after a long time
6th Will definitely come about, whether good or evil
7th Will come about after a long time
8th/9th Everything you see will be
10th/11th Will eventuate after time, and will not have any negative outcome
12th Everything will come about quickly and will be good
13th/14th Will eventuate within 18 days, and therefore offer prayer and supplication before your Creator, for He is forgiving and compassionate, long-suffering, and full of lovingkindness, taking back evil decrees.
15th/16th (full moon) Everything will come about after a time
17th Will eventuate in four or five days and afterwards you will rejoice.
18th/19th Whatever you dream will come to pass after a long time; but not everything that you dream.
20th/21st The dreams of these days lie; some say that if they come to pass, there will be rejoicing.
22nd In eight days it will come true
23rd Whatever you dream will be turned into argument and strife
24th Whatever you dream will be turned to peace and joy
25th/26th After 8-10 days this dream will come true and you should thank G-d
27th/28th/29th It will turn to peace and rejoicing
30th You will be in distress, but ask mercy from G-d and He will have mercy on you; alternatively, if you dream about any kind of trouble, peace will come thereafter. 
Dreams dreamt on Shabbat will be accurate, since the "extra" soul we are given on that day leaves us more open to Divine influence.

According to the Talmud, Brachos 5a; the recitation of the Shema immediately before going to sleep is seen as a protection against the dangers of the night.


Tidbits of Torah said...

as always, thank you for your postings Devorah. Much appreciated - truly.

Anonymous said...

This past Friday night - the 6th of Iyar - and it may have been already early Shabbos morning I dreamt that I came back to an apartment after having been away and did not feel I could enter bec. when looked through the window near the door I saw black birds on the furnishings and a frightening/threatening ugly huge animal charging at the window and it felt very dark and as if invaded and contaminated....
In the dream someone seemed to explain something to the effect that we had forgotten to lock the door that was shared by an adjacent kindergarten when we left -
I have never lived in such a setting but have unfortunately needed to move very often from apartment to apt. in the span of 2 -3 years until about 2 years ago and have not been really settled over many years as well, and have suffered much loss to entire household contents and have experienced loss and trauma in many other ways. (We are for the past 2 years living in a small 2 room pleasant (but not really with ample space) furnished apartment and the landlady is kind but I am very uneasy all the time due to many worries and the circumstances I am in)
What does the dream mean??

Devorah said...

Firstly, you should be careful who you ask to interpret your dreams. A dream follows it's interpretation. And when we see birds/animals in dreams they do have a meaning, but probably not the one we would automatically assume.

I referred to the book of dream interpretation by Rabbi Shelomo Almoli [publisher Ktav]. Quoting from the book: ''Ravens [black birds] If you see ravens flying toward you, it is a good sign [Daniel] and quoting Sefer Yosef haTzaddik which says ''you will find sustenance''.

As for the huge animal, it depends what kind of animal it was, please let me know if you can remember.

I think the dream represents your insecurity and anxiety, but the black birds are letting you know that good times are coming and you will have sustenance i.e. you will receive what you need.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Devorah,
Thanks so much for your reply. I usually try not to give too much energy to dreams but many times they are very sad and seem to reflect in some way real life experiences and actual feelings of overwhelming grief.
The black birds in my dream were not flying towards me but rather more in the background pecking and fluttering around with each other on some furniture. In the dream I felt very disturbed by them and the possible uncleanliness caused by them.
The animal maybe looked like a larger-than-life dangerous, monstrous dog (teeth bared) charging towards me and actually banging full force into the closed window (where I stood) at full speed and seemed to take over the whole space, also visibly occupying a big bed in the apartment. In the dream itself I recall wondering if it was a kind of lion or tiger and thinking how would it ever be possible to go back into the apartment, to restore the destruction, and how would I ever get the birds and animal out. The apartment itself did not seem to be a happy place to begin with but rather a darker depressing one associated as well with an abandoned, unsettled, makeshift feeling.
Overall the feeling with both the birds and the animal was one of (sadly similarly experienced) loss, desolation and hopelessness, irreparable invasive aggression/violation and total defilement/befoulment.
Sincerest thanks again for your kind response.
May we only experience Bsurot Tovot, overflowing blessings, truest health and happiness with the Geulah HoAmitis V'HaShleima NOW.

Devorah said...

With my very limited experience of prophetic dreams [I have had a couple], there is no doubt in the mind of what is happening in the dream. Although I did not know, at the time, that the dream was telling me of future events, the dreams made sense to me, and I understood what was happening.
So I'm not sure I can tell you what your dream means, because it doesn't really make sense to you, and a true prophetic dream will not be confusing. I guess you think it is foretelling some future dreadful event, but I don't see it that way. I would call your dream a nightmare, not really something to worry about. If you were to dream it several times, then obviously there is a message there for you. But if I were you, I would take the interpretation of the black birds, with it's message of good times coming, and not worry about the other aspects of it. I don't want to try and interpret it, because I would be guessing, and that is not helpful. Maybe some other commenter can reply to this.

Unknown said...

Hi devorah I was dreaming of shopping in the store for fruits and cakes I don't know what my dream means . Please let me know. Best regards Thank You

Devorah said...

The only type of food mentioned in the dream book is eggs, milk, cheese and meat - all animal products. I do not know what your dream means, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Devorah,

I am a gentile who is looking to convert to Judaism in the far future (because I live in Lebanon and there's no active synagogue thus I have to relocate).

I had a dream last night (night of 10/11 May) and in the dream I was preaching Torah from my house but online (like through youtube and such..) and one day during day time I went to the street with my dog (German Shepherd), and I was going to enter the building facing mine but I noticed that my dog was standing in the middle of the street looking toward the head of the street then it looked toward me and warned me of an islamic extremist coming toward us but it's strange since it never barked and only looked toward me so we ran into the building (in real life, a priest who is a friend of our family is living in that building) and we walked up several floors till we got into a room and there was a white guy with long blond hair (like an american style) and there was something similar to a bathtub but in it there was a condensed white light in the shape of a ball in the size of a table tennis ball and floating in the air and I set there in that bathtub and I got a vision: "I saw the sky in the night with stars and I got a warning saying the world will get punished if it didn't repent (but there was no voice talking to me so I don't know how I knew all of that) and the punishment will be that the extremists muslims will rule the world and I saw number 8 in the sky and it's related to the punishment but I forgot what it supposed to mean (until now when I saw that 22nd day of the Jewish month means in 8 days it will come true but I am not sure if that what it meant ) and beneath it there was stars forming something like a zodiac sign but it was a insect but now I forgot which insect it was, and after that the revelation stopped and my dog and I went down the street and it was safe again.

P.S: I know I am not a prophet (especially that I am a gentile) so please no body give me a hard time saying I am pretending to be one and I am aware that it might be just a dream but I really need to know what does this dream means.

Devorah said...

I don't have an interpretation for you, but I do have a few thoughts.

In dreams we ''know'' things, so even if the dog didn't bark, and no voice ''told'' you, there would still be an understanding by you [the dreamer] as to the intent.

The number 8 in Judaism represents Moshiach.

The only ''insect'' in the zodiac signs is Scorpio - the scorpion - which is the Jewish month of Heshvan, which is actually the 8th month if counting from Nissan.

Anonymous said...

Hello devorah,

Few days ago a had dreamt about two people, a male and a female crossing through the backyard of the compound I grew up in, in a bright moon light. The man was dressed in blue while the lady in green. I was watching them standing by the fence in the middle of the compound. I thought they were some sort of demons and started calling out for my aunt. Then lady runs to my direction. Then I woke up shocked. Can you help me interpret it.

Devorah said...

I am not an actual dream interpreter. Most dreams are simply dreams, and don't necessarily have to mean anything. Your dream sounds like a small nightmare, if you are Jewish make sure you say the Shema prayer before sleeping to ensure your soul is protected during sleep.

Anonymous said...

Very useful.

For the past year and a half, I've had a reoccurring dream where I seek to visit the grave of a particular tzaddik. It always involves myself with a friend or group of friends in the small town where this righteous one was laid to rest. In each dream we struggle to find the cemetery, and we're always afraid. We walk through streets, up and down hills, next to beaches, but never find the cemetery. I've asked myself why this is and what HaShem is trying to tell me.

Devorah said...

Do you know who the tzadik is? There is no interpretation that I can find for your dream in the book I have here by Rabbi Shelomo Almoli. Maybe someone else has some insights.

Anonymous said...

Shalom Devorah, i am not commenting but asking you if you could tell me of a dream i had, last year.
I have asked some Rabbis, but no one can say what it means. I was in my bedroom and i walked into the kitchen. On the floor i saw my darling mother (i lost her when i was 12 years actually 2 days before my 13th birthday), I have always missed fher terribly. She was sitting on the floor, in the clothes that she was buried in, (i was born into a xtian family). I saw her and i looked at her, and she opened her arms up to me.. i ran and sat on her lap, and hugged and hugged her, crying really weeping.. she tilted my face up to her and kissed my tears -to me it felt like she was 'drinking' my tears up as they poured out of my eyes.
I woke up, and the dream felt so real, i could still feel how she felt... and i woke up tears flowing. I had a good cry..
i still wonder what it meant.. some say, like friends, she came to say all would be good..
if so.. no problems, B'H, come as they come to everyone. I am not feeling sorry for my self.. everyone has problems.. mine are worries mostly.
Perhaps Hashem testing me..
If you could tell me what this dream might have meant i shall be so grateful.

If you cannot.. that is okay too.

For me.. i just keep wishing i could see her again. One day, perhaps.. one day..


Devorah said...

Dreams follow their interpretation, so you should always ask someone who you trust to give you a good interpretation. On a personal level I feel that your mother just came to re-assure and comfort you.
Nothing bad to say about this dream, it is something to remember and treasure with your mother.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Devorah.. :)

Hearing it from you.. (someone i very much admire and respect) i feel good now..

Hashem bless you and yours.. and Am Israel.. and all good people everywhere. Amen and amen.


Anonymous said...

Shalom Devorah
A seemingly symbolic dream I had:
I was standing in a shallow river, Forrest around me. I look behind me and see 2 Tigers running. They make a half circle running together in the Forrest and cross the river I am in (infront of me). I look to my left and in a patch of land on the other side of the river I see 2 cows, grazing, their udders where full and leaking. I see the tigers going to the cows, and for a brief moment felt scared the tigers where going to kill the cows, but when they reached the cows they started suckling their milk from their udders. I felt relieved, but then was surprised the cows did not want this, freed themselves from the tigers latch and then there was a confusion of running animals in all directions and splashing of water from the shallow river. And that was the end of the dream. I woke up. I had this dream during an afternoon shabbos shluf. Would appreciate any interesting insights.

Devorah said...

I am not sure that a short afternoon nap can allow you to experience a truly prophetic dream, but as Rabbi Pinson explains Dreams are always Revealing and if you listen to Rabbi Pinson at that link you will be able to give some thought to what your own subconscious may be trying to tell you.

Devorah said...

Although, now that I've typed that, I am thinking that perhaps on Shabbos you do have extra spiritual dreams..... but I don't have any insights into that dream of yours, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Devorah
Thank you SO much for your thoughtful reply. I will have a look at the link :) Berachot!

Anonymous said...

Hi Devorah,

Last night I said Shemah and I couldn't sleep. However, when I finally managed to sleep I had one weird dream that I remember that seemed so realistic.

I was in a room of an old house that I lived in (looked different than how it really looks) and suddenly I saw in a bag that was open the head of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. I asked for his help and looked into his eyes and all of a sudden his pupils got big and he came to life.

I backed away in shock and he said Hi to me and I got chills all over my body.

I couldnt move. Then he asked if I was scared, and I woke up to my head shaking yes.

What can this mean?

Devorah said...

that sounds like a nightmare, not a dream. The Rebbe would not come into a dream in a terrifying way. Perhaps you should email a rabbi and ask him, someone like Rabbi Alon Anava whose website is

Devorah said...

I'd be really interested to hear Rabbi Anava's response, maybe you could let us know if you receive an answer from him.

A dream of any tzaddik such as the Lubavitcher Rebbe will always be a holy dream and you will feel very good when you wake up. Demons impersonate people in our dreams, and I think this is what happened to you. I know you said the Shemah etc and that's why I would like to hear what Rabbi Anava has to say.

Here is one of his videos on Dreams:

Unknown said...

Shalom Devorah, I dreamt of seeing plenty of millipedes crawling out of a rubber carpet where I was standing. In the dream, I rushed and carry a broom to kill all because in real life, I never fear killing it. as I want to kill those millipedes, my next door neighbour called me to confirm if his kids had returned from school. please help

Devorah said...

I don't know what it means Unknown... most dreams should not be worried about, and every dream contains some part of it that is nonsense. Perhaps on a simple level you are a protector and will go out of your way to save children if you think they are being threatened. But that's just a guess :)