I Had A Dream
What does Judaism say about dreams?
Judaism says a lot about dreams. Jacob dreamt of angels ascending and descending a ladder reaching to heaven, revealing to him the site of the Holy Temple. Joseph dreamt that the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed before him, portending his future greatness. King Solomon also had a dream in which God offered him anything he wanted, and in reward for requesting understanding, he was given wealth and long life as well.However, not all dreams are real. Our Sages taught that many dreams are caused by physical influences such as the food we eat, and by things we do or think during the day. Once the King of Persia, who was at war with Rome, approached one of the Rabbis saying, “You Jews are supposed to be very clever, tell me what I’ll see in my dream.” The Sage replied, “You’ll see the Romans taking you captive and making you grind date-pits in a golden mill.” The King thought about it all day, and, sure enough, he dreamed of it that night.
Other dreams are caused by spiritual influences. The Zohar states that as people sleep, the soul rises to a higher plane. There, it encounters either negative or positive forces. This experience is transmitted to the imagination and perceived as a dream. An experience with a negative force results in an untrue dream, of which it is said “dreams speak falsehood” (Zechariah 10:2).
Interaction with a positive force results in a true dream, referred to in the verse “In a dream, in a vision of the night…God opens the ears of man” (Job 33:15).
Personally, I was told not to try to interpret dreams nor pay much attention to them since the source and reason for having such a dream is unknown. Only if a dream is particularly disturbing, I was told, should I give it enough consideration to take steps to nullify any potential impact.
May we all have only sweet dreams!