A while ago we wrote about an ancient myth that outlined a recipe on how to turn copper into gold. There is no shortage of myths and old wives tales one can find in the literature of almost any culture. Often times you can notice how one culture built on the myths of another culture. However, sometimes you come across a myth that makes an extraordinary claim, yet you can’t find any parallels to it anywhere else.

Within Hebrew texts you can find lots of ideas and stories as it relates to a concept called “Shaalat Chalom”, lit. translated “a question in the dream”. The usual ways involve a very intensive spiritual cleansing process that may include fasting, followed by reciting special prayers. Finally, once you follow through on all parts, you will ask a question prior to going to sleep, and that night you will receive an answer in your dream.

However, I located one method in Hebrew literature that deviates completely from the traditional ideas that involve ritual purity and prayer. The following is the translation, followed by a screenshot of the text as it appears in the book.

“If you would like to see anything about the future in your dream, take the dust of the skin of a snake after the snake sheds it [I don’t know if this means to grind the skin as is, or burn the skin first, one thing is certain, no harm comes to the Snake]. Sprinkle some of it on your head, then cover your head with something made of flax. Next, think of something you would like to know about, and go to sleep, you will see wonders.”

H’ach Nafshaynu – Chet 6

The author R’ Abraham Hamu says he found this idea in a Manuscript. The book itself is called H’ach Nafshaynu and it was first published in Izmir Turkey in 1870.

The book was endorsed by some of the leading Rabbis of the time, including Rabbi Avraham Ashkenazi and by Rabbi Chaim Palachi, making this an even bigger mystery. It is worthy to note, that the author was a student of R’ Chaim Palachi who passed away in 1868, two years prior to the publishing of the book. It is possible he did not see everything the author ended up publishing. In fact, the author wrote that at one point he came across a very ancient manuscript that contained secrets as it relates to “kabbalah mahsiot” / practical kabbalah, and R’ Chaim Palachi asked him not to reveal certain things contained in the book, as it involves spiritual secrets of the highest value, and people might abuse its powers. 1

There is one more thing to keep in mind. Kabbalists often times wrote their secrets in very cryptic ways. For example, the Zohar, the most popular of all Kabbalah books, is full of stories that involve everyday objects, yet each story contains secret meanings. It is possible, that when the author of the original manuscript said “snake” or “flax” etc. he meant something different altogether.

For now I think Winston Churchill’s method of seeing the future is pretty reliable, and that is: “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

If anyone knows a parallel to this in other text, please let me know.


  1. H’ach Nafshaynu 32b