What's the significance of dreams according to Judaism?

I've noticed that I sometimes have very weird and disgusting dreams that I'm truly ashamed of dreaming - unholy things.

  • You should have a look at Gemora Berachos it speaks about dreams towards the end of it. Surprisingly a lot of the dreams it speaks about there that you would think would missfortunate are actually fortunate. Additionally it also says that the dream relies on the interpretation. So if you happen to have a dream that is disturbing then make sure to get it interpreted in a positive way by a chosid – TheTribeOfJudah Dec 31 '18 at 5:26

The Aish Rabbi has a good article on dreams which is worth reading in its entirety. Some extracts follow:

Judaism sees dreams as usually inconsequential but once in a while significant. On the one hand, the Talmud calls dreams 1/60th of prophecy.

On the other hand, the Talmud writes that the interpretation of dreams is in the hands of the interpreter, and that an unexplained dream has no significance at all The implication is that dreams are certainly not prophetic. They do not mean anything at all on their own. They can, however, be interpreted – and their interpretation will come true.

Finally, the Talmud states that people are shown in dreams that which they were thinking about during the day, and that even significant dreams contain their share of nonsense.

If you had a disturbing dream which you think might be significant, Jewish law outlines a few means of mollifying its effects:

(a) Reciting the “amelioration of dreams” prayer. This may be found in any complete prayer book, together with the relevant instructions.

(b) The Talmud states that fasting the day after a disturbing dream is especially effective, and that one should do so even on Shabbat if the dream occurred Friday night (Shabbat 11a). In practice, since we generally do not take our dreams that seriously today, we need not fast. However, in lieu of fasting it would be appropriate to give charity, study extra Torah, and refrain from wasteful speech (Piskei Teshuvot 220:1).

This Aish article explains the difference between dreams and prophecy.

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