Brachot 57 - Symbols in dream interpretation

Bar Kappara said to Rabbi Yehudah the Prince, "In my dream I saw that my nose had fallen off." Rabbi Yehudah explained, "Anger ('haron af,' literally, 'the burning of the nose') had been directed at you, but it has been removed." He further said, "I saw my two hands being cut off." Rabbi Yehudah replied, "You won't need the labor of your hands." He then said, "I saw my legs cut off," and Rabbi Yehudah told him, "You will ride on a horse," that is, achieve prominence.

A certain Sadducee (follower of a sect that denied the Torah) said to Rabbi Ishmael, "In my dream, I was pouring oil into olives." Rabbi Ishmael replied, "He has evidently cohabited with his mother." The Sadducee further said, "I have plucked a star from the sky." Rabbi Ishmael told him, " You have kidnapped an Israelite ." They continued this exchange revealing his wrongdoings, until he said, "I saw myself pealing eggs," to which Rabbi Ishmael replied, "You stripped corpses," and the Sadducee retorted, "I've done all but this last one." At this time a woman came and said, "This garment you wear is from a dead man." And the Sadducee? - He thought Rabbi Ishmael meant taking away the skin or the scalp. Finally, the Sadducee dreamed of his father leaving him property in Cappadocia, and since there was no factual connection between either him or his father to that city, Rabbi Ishmael told him that "Cappa" meant a beam in Persian, and "Deca" meant ten in Greek, and the tenth beam of the roof in his house would be full of coins, which indeed was the case.

A well portends peace. If one sees river in a dream, he should arise and recite "Behold I will extend peace to Jerusalem, like a river," before a negative verse comes to his mind, "travail shall come like a river." The Talmud continues with many more signs and with ways to ameliorate the dreams.

Art: Jacques Carabain - Belgian Riverside