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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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There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Read this book with confidence, and mostly, with pleasure. Therefore amulets are anv and names spoken, to aid the angels in these matters. When one is riding across a bridge it is well to repeat these verses to forestall any accident for Satan is always on the alert to take advantage of an opportunity to do harm.

Jewish Magic and Superstition | Joshua Trachtenberg, Moshe Idel

Isaac carries his anecdote no farther. Certain men are peculiarly susceptible to harm from these bolts, and can teachtenberg healed only by magic. Both Jewish and pagan magic agreed in requiring the accumulation of as many names of the deity or demon as possible, for fear lest no one name exhaust the potentiality of the spiritual being conjured.

For they import poisonous herbs into our realms. The Powers Of Evil. He chose this area because of its richness, and its absorption and “Judaization” of the folk beliefs current in the local cultures within which the Trahtenberg existed.

Jewish Magic and Superstition

Our speech is richly peppered with words whose connotation is unpleasant; how open our mouths at all without letting slip out such invitations to Satan? Most often mentioned were the estrie, the broxa, the mare, and the werwolf.

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He realized at once that these were no ordinary men, but demons. Foreword by Moshe Idel Alongside the formal development of Judaism from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries, a robust Jewish folk religion flourished–ideas and practices that never met with wholehearted approval by religious leaders yet enjoyed such wide popularity that they could not be altogether excluded from the religion. Jordan Weiss rated it it was amazing Sep 11, If, today, the issue strikes us as grotesque it is only because we have lost faith in the realities of the medieval world.

First published more than sixty years ago, Trachtenberg’s study remains the foundational scholarship on magical practices in the Jewish world and offers an understanding of folk beliefs that expressed most eloquently the everyday religion of the Jewish people. Restore their original form, so that the meaning is plain, and even the boldest magician would be ashamed to conjure with them.

Full text of “Jewish Magic And Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion”

Sometimes, as we have observed, the recital was complicated by reversing the usual order, or transposing words, or repeating them a given number of times. The longer ones are presented in image files.

On the other hand there is the view of Menasseh b. But it needs little knowledge of human nature to believe that the very vice became a virtue when Christians themselves had need of a little expert magic on the side. From them comes the use of the word golem literally, shapeless or lifeless matter to designate a homunculus created by the magical invocation of names, and the entire cycle of golem legends may be traced back to their interest.

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Incantations most often consisted of a name, or a series of names, with or without an accompanying action.

Forever after he suffered intense pain in that spot. In the practice of medieval Jewish magic it assumed more than academic importance.

Though recognized as a legitimate name of God, 33 and occasionally employed in incantations and amulets, its primary use was as an inscription on the back of the mezuzah.

Had such a method ever been more generally employed, these works would bear testimony to that fact.

We have then this parallel: Among the better-known of these legends is the one connected with the name of Elijah of Chelm middle sixteenth century which developed during the seventeenth century. View all 4 comments. Better far to confess and be absolved than to face the wrath of his superstirion.

From the Jewish perspective there were shdeim who had human form and yet could be invisible. There can be no doubt that superstitiin rise in Jewish superstition generally, and especially in the belief in demons in this period, was a reflex of the spirit of the times.

Unable to halt so deeply entrenched a usage, they tried at least to refine the spirit of the act.