Pharaoh saw seven copious ears of grain growing on a single stalk. Then, suddenly another seven ears of grain grew behind them, thin and scorched by the hot east wind. The seven thin ears swallowed up the seven full ears. Pharaoh woke up and realized that it had been a dream. The interpretation of dreams in Jewish tradition appears as early as the beginning chapters of the Bible, and scholars have pointed out that even Freud was influenced by the speculation of Jewish dream interpretation in biblical and talmudic literature. These classical texts have served to stimulate and organize Jewish thinking about dreams, one of the perennial existential concerns in human life. The author, Monford Harris, explores different conceptions of dream interpretation in Jewish thought and includes material dealing with two traditional dream-therapy services. One service is conducted on several occasions during the liturgical year when priests bless the assembled congregants. The other service is conducted when a congregant is troubled by a dream. Harris's exploration into the realm of dream interpretation is important for individuals who are especially interested in Jewish intellectual history and popular culture, as well as for therapists, who will find the two synagogue therapy services provocative and intellectually stimulating.
by Monford Harris
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