What is the Jewish Opinion on the Use of Tarot Cards and Fortune Telling?


The first Tarot deck is said to have appeared in Italy, back in the 1400s. At first, it was thought to be a game for the nobility. Roughly 300 years later, it is believed that the first contact/ proof with divination has been achieved through the use of the Tarot cards.

In short, many things have been and still are said about the Tarot cards. At one point, they were believed to be hidden knowledge based on the Egyptian god Thoth’s written magical wisdom. However, the Rosetta Stone proved this wrong.

Also, as most of us may now, they have been recently attributed to the wandering Gypsies, considered descendants of the Egyptians, who carry a Tarot deck with them. However, there is also a theory that suggests Tarot’s connection, better said, origination, within Israel. The theory also claims that there is a link between the Tarot and the Kabbalah.

Therefore, this article’s topic is well put – given that Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish tradition, let’s see what the Jewish opinion on the use of Psychic readings, Tarot cards and fortune telling is!

Divination is Prohibited in the Torah

When asked about the use of practical Kabbalah – meaning the use of angels and divine names, in various amulets and incantations, meant to heal the sick and even manipulate the natural world -, the holy Ari, Rabbi Isaac Luria, stated that he was strictly opposed to this practice.

The holy Ari stated that, even though holy individuals were known to have relied on practical Kabballah, they were right to do so, as they were beings of divination, pure and holy.

Therefore, the rest of the people – who were not holy individuals -, would put themselves in danger if they tried to connect with the forces of other realms through Tarot or something similar. The holy Ari claimed that, by doing so, they would bring impurity to themselves.

The Modern Point of View

Nowadays, the rules, so to call them, remain the same. Divination is prohibited. Jewish people believe that Tarot cards, as well as those using them, are not able to tap into and connect with spiritual forces.

However, they do believe that there are people out there that can do such things, but not through the use of Tarot cards. Basically, they believe such cards to be just images on paper and they identify the reading process as simply drawing cards at random from a certain deck.

The Jewish Belief

Moreover, the Jewish people firmly believe that anyone in this world has a special job to do, in order to make the world a better place.

When compared to Tarot, the latter does not tell people how to do what they are supposed to do in this world, nor help them with the said special job. Tarot cards only help a person develop in a personal manner so that their life gets better, but do not change the bad of society in good and such.

Consulting the Future is Forbidden

When talking strictly about discovering one’s future, it is worth mentioning that Judaism does recognize astrology – ancient wisdom through which you can predict the future and/ or determine certain things about people.

However, consulting the future is forbidden. While astrology may give you insight on your weaknesses, strengths, character traits, and so on, it does not tell you anything specific about your future.

Naturally, as you may know, Tarot gives such information to you in a blink of an eye.

The Bottom Line

It’s no wonder that Jewish people do not agree with the use of Tarot cards and fortune telling, given the fact that such things tamper, so to say, with their religion and beliefs. It was even said the Tarot is linked with Kabbalah, even though the two are in contradiction.

However, when analyzing Tarot and fortune telling, it is important that we maintain a subjective approach. As you know, Tarot is not just about predicting/ consulting the future, but also about gaining insight on your inner self and helping you deal with certain aspects of your life.