Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg, [], full text etext at Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg, in his defensive yet illuminating book, writing of the age-long reputation of jews as practitioners of black magic and. From Sefer Raziel, Amsterdam, i7 JOSHUA TRACHTENBERG JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION A Study in Folk Religion Submitted in partial fulfillment.

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A host of popular magical works was attributed to Solomon and other fabled Jewish masters.

Even on Tom Kippur when no ablutions might be performed, the hands must be washed in the morning. In turn iewish was based on the Kabbalah, the Jewish traditions known as Haggadah, and other esoteric beliefs. The particle yah in particular occurs constantly in the magical texts.

For they import poisonous herbs into our realms. The latter was preferred by the weight of tradition, and during the Middle Ages Ps. The possibilities of this method were limited only by magif resources of the Hebrew language, and if they were not exhausted it was only because so many other means of creating names were open to the mystic.

In theory, of course, the memunim were angels, and as such inherited all the angelic mabic of form and character and function which had been delineated in the ancient literature. Further, medieval witchcraft and sorcery were based upon a perverted worship of Satan, according to popular belief, and individual warlocks were supposed consciously to accept the suzerainty of the Power of Evil and trachtenbfrg operate through an appeal to his aid.


In a Florentine, Cosmo Rug- gieri, was arrested for having made a waxen image with hostile intent against Charles IX; the king died a month later of a mysterious consumption. Eliezer maintained that the demons, to whom the magician owes this power, can create nothing smaller than a barley-corn. Rashi, for one, attempted a degree of differentiation on the basis of several Talmudic remarks. The rituals and uewish are explained via tradition, ajd, and magical theory, with plenty of examples given.

It bears no discernible relation to anything in the Hebrew or Aramaic tongues.

Jewish Magic And Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion

Human alertness avails nothing against them. The harm done by ill-chosen words and curses was traced ultimately to the demons, as was the working of the evil eye.

Medieval Jews believed in Astrology and propitious times for doing things. His sources, within his area of focus, are indeed extensive, and more than sufficient for an introductory book of this nature, which aims to give an overview of a complex phenomenon.

Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion – Joshua Trachtenberg – Google Books

Another reviewer’s statement that the author relied on “merely a handful of sources”, and mainly on the Sefer Hasidim, is utterly absurd. He marked the type to the end: Trivia About Jewish Supersfition and In magic the seven was second only to the three in popularity. An effort at schemati- zation, which produced a list of ten categories of demons to balance a similar angelic list, introduced seven additional terms, which magiic little place in the general literature.


It would be interesting to know how effective the cure was but R. He is the author of The Devil and the Jews. Superstittion all 4 comments. Discussing this subject in the pages of the Talmud, R. Medieval Jewry pursued not. But this pious preference was reserved for whole moments; when the issue was joined the ministrations of Satan were not rejected. Most Jewish demonolatry came from Greek, Roman, and Babylonian sources.

The mystics went to superstiition pains to prove that these surrogates for the Tetragrammaton were its exact equivalents in every respect, though their evidence is mainly of a formal nature.

Trachtenberg had deep knowledge of the sources, from responsa to minhagim to talmud and many, many other obscure to the average reader sources, both in print and manuscript. At any rate it is based on the three verses of Exodus, When he jesish finally passed through their midst he fell seriously ill, and eventually he died of that illness.

I’m so much interested to read this book.

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