Déjà vu is the strong feeling that one has already experienced a particular situation, while that situation is occurring. Theories abound as regards what it is, what causes it and what possible connection (if any) it might have to mental illness (see here, for a small range of opinions). It may be that everybody experiences it, even if only extremely rarely, and there is no reason to suppose that it is at all a new phenomenon.

My question is, are there any references to déjà vu (to what we might now call déjà vu) in the rabbinic literature? Anything from the Talmud, the midrashim, the literature of the geonim, etc, from which one could construct a Jewish perspective on what déjà vu is? Or anything concerning whether or not it possesses any spiritual significance?


1 Answer 1


I think this is a basis to explain the phenomena when it is real

from https://ascentofsafed.com/Teachings/Advanced/Parshas/Marcus/m4963captivesouls.html

The soul of man is made up of two general parts: one that remains beyond and above the body and one that is enclothed within it...This [former] part of the soul is called mazal, as in the saying, “although he does not see it, his mazal sees it.”

The Talmud in megila3a cites a verse from Daniel 10:7:

"I, Daniel, alone saw the vision but the people that were with me did not see it; yet a great fear fell upon them and they fled into hiding."

The Talmud identifies those who were with Daniel as Chaggai, Zechariah and Malachi, who, although prophets themselves, were not on the level of Daniel and therefore could not see what he saw. The Talmud then asks: If they did not see, why were they frightened? And the Talmud answers: Though they did not see, their mazals did see. Ravina commented: Learn from this that one who becomes frightened (for no apparent reason, it is because) though he did not see it (the cause for his fear), his mazal did see it.

see the above link for more background info

  • Very nice idea!
    – user6591
    Jun 24, 2014 at 23:55

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