The astrol­ogy of in­de­pen­dence

Did you know that like peo­ple, coun­tries are said to be in­flu­enced by the zo­diac? Is­rael’s sign is a...

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LORE - • ERICA SCHACHNE

...Taurus.

Yes, hav­ing achieved in­de­pen­dence 71 years ago on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar, 5708), the Jewish state has the sign of the bull – known for its re­li­a­bil­ity and de­vo­tion (good) and in­abil­ity to com­pro­mise and stub­born­ness (not al­ways mar­velous).

Is­raelis, a stiff-necked peo­ple? Never!

An earth sign (what other peo­ple are this ob­sessed with land, other than Scar­lett O’Hara?), Taurus is ruled by Venus (Noga in He­brew) – the fem­i­nine planet of love, find­ing beauty in all things in life and en­joy­ing one’s earthly ex­is­tence while creating a del­i­cate balance in re­la­tion­ships. It is also sym­bol­ized by the He­brew let­ters Pei (rep­re­sent­ing the mouth and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, with the gema­tria of 80, a special strength) and Vav (rep­re­sent­ing a hook and con­nec­tion of the phys­i­cal and spir­i­tual, with the gema­tria of 6, unity and com­ple­tion).

In an in­ter­est­ing twist, the fa­vored day of Venus is Fri­day – oh happy sof shavua!

So what are the as­sets of Tau­runs, our fel­low sabras? • Loyal: Fam­ily, nation and coun­try come first • Con­sis­tent: Sh­nitzel and chips for lunch with­out fail • Sta­ble: Home and hearth are the ground­ing force • Patient: Hmm, not sure savlanut is in the Is­raeli DNA • Dis­likes con­flict: Yet some­how con­tin­ues to be plunged into it

• Friendly: That’s for sure, Is­raelis are never strangers to one an­other and are al­ways there for a con­ver­sa­tion, a shid­duch and a Shab­bat meal

• Non-judg­men­tal: Yet adore giv­ing advice since everyone be­lieves they know best • Har­vest the fruits of their la­bor: Ba­si­cally a

kib­butznik

And since ev­ery yin has its yang, what chal­lenges are our fel­low dear denizens said to face, and how can Tau­runs turn them to­ward the pos­i­tive?

• Shuns self-trans­for­ma­tion, afraid of the pain of

change: Fo­cus on the neg­a­tive ef­fects of stay­ing stuck in the same place. Ask the uni­verse to cre­ate stress – nay dif­fi­cul­ties – to bring change from within, and lis­ten more to oth­ers (we’ll need a hefty helping of heaven’s grace with that – ev­ery Is­raeli thinks they run city hall).

• Flees from life’s tri­als (and Lord knows this coun­try isn’t short of them): Breathe into the lachatz (try it the next time you’re sit­ting in traf­fic in­stead of fu­tile, crazed honk­ing). Im­mense light man­i­fests through im­mense strain.

• Own well-be­ing comes first: Real con­tent­ment comes from will­ing to be out­side your com­fort zone. See the sil­ver lin­ing in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion, the her­ring in­side the jar, the key in­side the shlis­sel hal­lah.

• Too involved in self-im­age: Stop indulging your­self with the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal toy, you hi-tech nation you, and for Pete’s sake keep your bank ac­count out of mi­nus! (My Amer­i­can self prac­ti­cally has a heart attack think­ing of all the debt.) Take a break from the lat­est far-flung va­ca­tion and get involved in shar­ing. (Though I must say Is­raelis are pro­lific when it comes to doing hessed.) And please, please, stop it with the use­less has­bara.

• Be­lieves ev­ery­thing is fine and dandy and will

work out, even when it’s not and might not: If this isn’t the most Is­raeli thing ever, I don’t know what is. Ye­hiyeh b’seder is the plat­i­tude ut­tered in sit­u­a­tions that are de­cid­edly not b’seder, in ev­ery­thing from bad ser­vice to the alarm­ing but­ter short­age to the lat­est sum­mer­time mil­i­tary ma­neu­ver (Op­er­a­tion Kacha com­menc­ing this July). So re­mem­ber: Ev­ery­thing is OK only when you’re work­ing on your­self.

• Overly at­tached to home and fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings: The bull is said to need to wan­der the earth to find free­dom, yet Is­raelis long for home like no other. Each change in life is a new in­car­na­tion and op­por­tu­nity, so usher it in with open arms. Let free­dom ring!

Nu, what about some other coun­tries’ horoscopes? Smash­ing ques­tion. Here’s a quick run­down of a few of the nations among us:

• The United States: Born on the Fourth of July, 1776, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is a Cancer. Sym­bol­ized by the crab and with a strong hu­man­i­tar­ian streak, pa­tri­otic Amer­i­can crus­taceans carry with them the en­ergy of burst­ing free of shack­les and any­thing hold­ing them back. Strong-willed and ro­bust ala the (pre-lung cancer) Marl­boro Man, they place great importance on per­sonal hap­pi­ness and like Is­raelis, prize the home and domestic life. As a wa­ter sign, their emo­tions run deep and they also tend to­ward de­pres­sion (hello, Prozac Nation!), pos­si­bly ex­plain­ing the wild pop­u­lar­ity of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals among Amer­i­cans.

Im­prob­a­bly, the US shares com­mon en­er­gies with Al­ge­ria, whose in­de­pen­dence day is July 5, 1962.

• Iran: A dis­cus­sion to bet­ter un­der­stand our greatest ally (above) should be ex­tended to per­haps our greatest en­emy. While some claim we should go back as far as May 1501, when Is­mail I was pro­claimed Shah of Azer­baid­jan, for our pur­poses the Is­lamic Repub­lic came into be­ing with the procla­ma­tion of Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini on April 1, 1979 (April Fools!... not re­ally).

Aries is sym­bol­ized by the ram and ruled by the planet Mars, the god of war (shock­ing). Ari­ans, a fire sign, are full of am­bi­tion, con­fi­dence and courage (well, cer­tainly blus­ter). Re­source­ful and en­thu­si­as­tic when con­fronted with nov­elty, they also are known to dis­play a sharp tem­per. Nat­u­ral lead­ers, they can turn con­trol­ling. Is it re­ally sur­pris­ing that the ram locks horns with the Is­raeli bull?

• In­dia: On Au­gust 15, 1947, the Repub­lic of In­dia de­clared in­de­pen­dence from the United King­dom. The sec­ond most pop­u­lous coun­try in the world is a fiery Leo. Their best selves are creative, pas­sion­ate, giv­ing (the coun­try’s cul­ture of ser­vice is un­matched), warm-hearted, cheer­ful and en­ter­tain­ing (can anyone put on a wedding like an In­dian?). At worst they can be ar­ro­gant, ob­sti­nate, self-cen­tered, lazy and in­flex­i­ble (caste sys­tem much?). They love bright col­ors (saris come to mind) and the­ater (Bol­ly­wood); they hate be­ing ig­nored and not be­ing treated like the roy­alty they are (yas queen!).

Know what other coun­try is a Leo? North Korea (also Au­gust 15, but 1945). And you can bet self-styled leon­tine Kim Jong-un is boast­ing about it as we speak...

SO LET’S join to­gether in wish­ing our lov­able bull a yom huledet sameach. You don’t look a day over 48!

(Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

TAURUS, THE bull, as de­picted in Ura­nia’s Mir­ror, a set of con­stel­la­tion cards pub­lished in Lon­don in 1825.

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