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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Superstirion far as these unnumbered hosts, often so fantastically denominated, were concerned, the impression gained from a study of the literature is that we are really dealing here with a dual category. Where did those names originate from? There was another category of names of God in use at an early time—the names jeish the attributes of God which appear in the Bible. Desired dreams were induced by the angel in charge of such dreams who had been invoked for this purpose. Similarly the number of objects used, the number of verses recited, etc.

Corresponding with Holle-locke is the term Hollenzopf50 The lady made her way into Jewish life in her other role as well. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Sure enough, within a few days these two passed away. The art of necromancy is a specialized function of sorcery. However, Jews were acquainted with this prevailing non-Jewish classification, as is indicated by the effort of Menahem Ziyuni and others to interpret the word necromancy: They were thought to inhabit desolate places, abandoned houses and what not. According to the popular view, demons and magic were often responsible for disease, and medicine was therefore the legitimate province of the sorcerer.

Rabbinic Judaism was acquainted with both aspects ol the evil eye. But the early literature contained ample seed for a ttrachtenberg later growth, which it experienced in the Geonic period, when a highly esoteric doctrine grew up, portions of which found literary expression in such works as the Hechalot, Otiot de R.


Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion

Trachtenberg deals extensively with Golems, Succubi, the Lillim, from Lilith–Adam’s first wifeand other magical creatures, some well known such as werewolves, and others not so well, such as estriemare and broxa. Luther recounts an anecdote of a Jew who proffered to Count Albrecht of Saxony an amulet which would make him immune to all weapons of attack. There can be no doubt that the rise in Jewish superstition generally, and especially in the belief in demons in this period, was a reflex of the spirit of the times.

Its debut was made in Sefer Raziel, u which, while largely ascribed to Eleazar of Worms, drew extensively upon Geonic mystic sources.

Daghiel, Duhael, Puel, Simusiel. 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.

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

Nor did the danger pass when the child was born. Trachtenberg’s appreciation of the role of folk-magic in Jewish culture is important for the study of Judaism, and also the roots of modern Pagan beliefs and practices.

A father leading his child to school for the first time took the precaution to screen him with his cloak. Coupled with his reputation for piety and learning he trusted that this would see him through.

The demons are jealous of err property rights and their privacy, and resent intrusions. Despite the hazardousness of seeking to trace such terms back to foreign origins, efforts along this line supersittion been made, with the usual success and unanimity.

A man who was attacked by supersttion estrie in the shape of a cat and beat her off, was approached by the witch the next day and asked for some of his bread and salt. 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.

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Jewish Magic And Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion

In Jewish belief the eight days after birth were equally fraught with peril. The invocation of these names was the commonest feature of medieval Jewish magic.

Often this shouting followed a formula. 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. Forever after he suffered intense pain in that spot.

Until about the North European community remained fairly homogeneous, and Germanic. Not a word to this effect do we hear in the north of Europe. In the Middle Ages it was no tarchtenberg an issue. They are to be found in all stations of life.

Incantations most often consisted of a name, or a series of names, with or without an accompanying action. These appellations were often employed in the charms, but they did not rank so high trachttenberg mystical potency as the others. While Jews were sought after for their medical expertise and knowledge of Herbs they were also feared as poisoners thanks to that same knowledge. We German Jews have lost this mystical tradition, but in Palestine there are still to be found some men who can perform great wonders through the Kabbalah.