What is Judaism's view on signs from God? Let's say, for instance, that I am planning to take a bus somewhere, but the bus came a minute or two early and I missed it. Can one take that as being a sign from God that I should not go?

And, of course, this applies to everything in a much bigger context than mentioned above. Like planning to take a certain job, or marry a certain person, or so on, and as you pursue it, things just continue to go wrong. Does one take all that difficulty as a sign from God that you shouldn't be pursuing it?

I am particularly interested if Rishonim discuss this...

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    It sounds more like superstition, which is Biblically forbidden. – Scimonster Mar 12 '15 at 13:06
  • I don't know about rishonim, but there are many references in chassidic thought to looking for signs or hints Hashem is sending you, including through little manifestations of Divine Providence. This concept is mentioned often in the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and Reb Nosson of Breslov, and in books the contemporary Breslover author Rabbi Shalom Arush. See these search results from some examples from the teachings of Rebbe Nachman: google.com/… – Kordovero Mar 12 '15 at 15:46
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    In terms of "things going wrong," be careful not to read too much into this (ie, that the goals are wrong), because there are also chassidic teachings to the effect that obstacles always occur when one is trying to accomplish a particularly holy and worthy goal. azamra.org/Advice/obstacles.html – Kordovero Mar 12 '15 at 15:47
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    dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/35257/759 – Double AA Mar 12 '15 at 18:05
  • Note that you could consider it a sign that you are supposed to get there late or that something is supposed to happen as a result of your missing the bus that has nothing to do with your destination. We are not on the level to be able to interpret the signs so exactly. – sabbahillel Mar 12 '15 at 21:22

There is a general principal mentioned in Berakhot 33b:

הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים

Everything is in G-d's hands except for the fear of G-d.

Within this short adage, two important concepts are combined. Fear and awe of G-d are given to each individual as a choice. You can choose to have constant awe of G-d or not. If you don't, then, as @Scimonster has suggested, you believe that things that occur to you are superstition or coincidence or somehow you may have had something to do with it.

If, on the other hand, you walk and think and act constantly in fear of G-d, then you realize and believe that everything that happens to you is because of the hand of G-d only.

If y9ou read that page of the Talmud, you will also see a reference explaining why we have to praise G-d for bad things in the same way that we praise him for the good. It relates to the same principle, in some way.

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    But why did G-d want you to write "y9ou" with a 9 in it? – Loewian Mar 12 '15 at 15:33
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    @loewian Normal answer to your question. It is not given to human beings to know why "G-d want you to write "y9ou" with a 9 in it". , I would be G-d – Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 12 '15 at 16:01

I once heard a story from Rabbi Dovid Kaplan about a certain young man of marriagable age who met a girl in Tzfat by some coincidence and that he felt a very strong attraction to.

While in Tzfat he lost a possession and could not find it.

upon returning to jerusalem, he got a call from the person who found his lost object.

It was this girl. Weird. Couple weeks later he gets a call from the shadchan about a nice girl for him. same girl.

they go out on a date and get along so well and he thinks its unbelievable providence.

after a few months of marriage they get divorced.

moral of the story. you have to be smart. don't rely on signs alone, but talk things over and make intelligent decisions.

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