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Notes. Chapter Iv

"Jewish Magic and Superstition", by Joshua Trachtenberg, [1939],

Chapter Iv

Man And The Demons

Ch. V, p. 7a.

\"Ber." 6a and Rashi; "Git." 68a; Rashi on Nu. 22:23.

\"Nishmat ayim", Iii, 27; Isserles to "Yore Deah" 179:16. Prof. Ginzberg considers the statement "they are more God-fearing than men are" to be essentially Islamic; Gd. I, 207, n. 3; "Haayim", IV, so; "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 27.

\"Ber." 43b--a man who walks alone is in danger of attack from demons; two walking together are safe, though they must be on guard; three walking together need have no fear at all; a torch may be considered the equivalent of one companion; Judah b. Bezalel's commentary, "Derech ayim", on Abot III, 5.--Ms. S. Gematriaot, 65b; Netivot 'Olam, 40e-d; "Joseph Ome", 94, 455; \"Testament of Judah the Pious", 43-4; cf. Grimm, Iii, 435, 14; \"Kiur Shelah", 75-7 ("Inyane Tefilat HaDerech").

Cf. "Pes." 112b, "Meg." 3a, "San." 44a; "Ma. Vit." 507-8; Gd. I, 294; \"S. as." 239, 468, 939; Maharil, 86b; Solomon Luria, quoted in "Ber Heteb" on "Yore Deah" 116:5; "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 27;--\"Derech ayim" on Abot III, 5; "Ma Vit." 734; "Toledot Adam veavah", 15:30, p. 112C; Abrahams, "Ethical Wills", 48; Isserles, "Yore Deah" 116:5;--Semak 171; "Yore Deah" 116:5; "Orot adikim", 32a; --"ochmat HaNefesh", 8c-d; Leket rasher, Ii, 84; \"Responsa" of Jacob Weil, 74a; cf. Samter, 131 ff.

\"Pes." 112b, "Ma. Vit." 81, 83-4, \"S. as." 1909; Marmorstein, "JJV", I (1923), 306, cites an early source which adds ; see also H. Gollancz, "Clavic. Sal.", 39;--cf. "Ber." 6a and "Tos.", ad loc.; Rashi, "Shab." 24b; "Semag", Ii, 19; \"S. as. B" 1170; HaTerumah, 94b-c; "Rabiah", 10, p. 8, and 196, pp. 240-1; "Mordecai", "Shab.", 564, p. 13c; "Kol Bo", 35; "Ma. Vit.", 280; "HaPardes", 22a; Tyrnau, "Minhagim", 4b. The original reason for introducing a shortened "Amidah" in the Friday night service, as Prof. Ginzberg pointed out to me, was that at first this was the only evening service during the week; it was given this superstitious explanation when the "Maarib" became a daily service.

Cf. "Ber." 54b--"Three require protection [from the demons]: an invalid, a bridegroom and a bride. Another version has it: an invalid, a woman in confinement, a bride and a groom. Some add, also a mourner." Cf. also Rashi, ad loc.

Cf. Landshuth, p. xx; Samter, 21 ff.; "JE", IV, 92 ff.; Ginzberg, "Legends", Vi, 341, n. 118.

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\"Testament of Solomon, JQR", "OS", Xi (1899), 20; Marmorstein, "JJV", Ii (1925), 355 f.

\"iyuni", Toc, 22b; "S. as." 305, 327, 1544; Hut. 94a; Tyrnau's "Minhagim", 7b, 61; "Nishmat ayim", Ii, 26; \"Lebush", "Yore Deah", 179: 54; Grimm, II, 698 f., Samter, 79.

Ed. Gaster, 301 ff.; Prof. Ginzberg writes (p. 686): "This is to my knowledge the earliest story about a Dibbuk, which is first met with in the writings about Luria and his pupils. The nearest to that given in the "Maaseh Book" is the one told about Luria and Vital in the different versions of "Shibe HaAri", which, however, were published later than the M. B." See, however, Scholem, "EJ", V, 1099, where mention is made of a Safed protocol of 1571 containing reference to a Dibbuk. On Kabbalistic metempsychosis see Franck, 200 ff.; C. D. Ginsburg, 124 f.; Bloch, "MGWJ", Xlix (1905), 160.

Gregory the Great, in his "Dialogues", recounted the curious tale of a nun who ate a lettuce-leaf without making the sign of the cross, and was immediately possessed of a demon, which had been sitting on the leaf. (Lea, Iii, 381, Thorndike, I, 639.) The belief in demonic possession was so strongly held that the Catholic Church has a rite of "Ordination of Exorcists, De Ordinatione Exorcistarum", and a "Form of Exorcising the Possessed" (Summers, 207 ff., 211 ff.). This far the Synagogue certainly never went, though we have records of exorcisms utilized by individual Jews (cf. Scholem, loc. cit., 1099-1100). For the Talmudic view see Blau, 13, 31, 34, 55.

ayim b. Bezalel expressed this view most clearly in his Sefer "Haayim", IV, 10; Menasseh b. Israel ("Nishmat ayim", Iii, 10) again says the final word in the matter: "This is one of those traditions which require no proof."

\"Zera Kodesh", by Moses b. Menaem of Prague, Furth 1696, end. The technique of exorcism among Jews and Gentiles shows a close relationship, even to such fine points as the requirement that the spirit make its exit through a specified spot on the body (in the case mentioned, the little toe of the right foot), and leave a sign of its departure, either on the body, or as here, in a tiny hole which it was to bore in the window-pane to permit egress. Cf. De Givry, 164 f.

See Ginzberg, "Legends", V, 148, n. 47. This belief was equally widespread in medieval Christendom, and was accepted as literally true by the Church. In fact, physical relations between spirits and humans were believed to be the most characteristic feature of the witch-cults, and some medieval writers attributed the alarming development of witchcraft to the attractions of such a relationship. See Lea, Iii, 383 ff.; Summers, 90 ff.

Cf. "Erub." 18b and Rashi. This theory was very popular with the later mystics and appears often in the writings of the Horowitz family, "e.g.", "Emek Beracha", II, 52, p. 60b, note by Isaiah; also p. 61b of the same work; "Yesh Noalin", 18b, n. 17. It is because of this view that the avoidance of "keri" occupies such a prominent place in the mystical hygiene of this group.

\"Disputation of R. Jeiel", 15. Menasseh b. Israel ("Nishmat ayim", Iii, 16) discusses this question at some length, and with considerable erudition: one opinion has it that the demons, themselves without physical attributes of any kind, gather up the semen and use it to impregnate women and themselves; another, that demons do possess sex organs and are capable of physical union with men and women; a third admits of such a possibility only when demons temporarily assume human forms and seduce the children of men. Menasseh b. Israel draws here on Christian as well as Jewish sources; he forbears to commit himself to one or another of these views, but does not question the possibility of such unnatural carnal relations. These views find striking expression in medieval Christian thought. Thomas Aquinas explains how by acting alternately as succubus and

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incubus, the demon could bear man offspring, while William of Auvergne "regards demons as incapable of sexual intercourse with human beings, but he thinks it possible that they may juggle with nature so as to produce the effects of sexual intercourse." The views of these two outstanding teachers of the thirteenth century were accepted and often repeated by their successors. Cf. Lea, Iii, 385, Thorndike, Ii, 358, Iv, 310.

Such a story is to be found in the "Maaseh Book", 383 ff.; Gaster suggests in his notes that this seems to be a German folktale, but the essential element, a demon marrying a girl, is as Jewish as it is German, or, indeed, of any other nationality.

\"iyuni", 49b. This is an interesting version of the well-known sociological phenomenon that when members of two races mate, their offspring are regarded as belonging to that race which is socially inferior, while within this group they tend to arrogate to themselves a superior position.

\"Or Zarua", I, 124, p. 22c;--"Responsa" of R. Meir b. Gedaliah (Maharam) of Lublin, 116.

\"Kab HaYashar", 69. Although the date of this event, 1681-2, is late, the passage is faithful to the beliefs of an earlier period. An interesting parallel to the episode of the forced separation between the demon and her human lover is afforded in an early Aramaic incantation in which a magical "get" (a bill of divorcement) achieves a like result; cf. Montgomery, 159.--That the proper habitat of demons is the desert and the mountain is an ancient and widely held belief (cf. Mat. 12:43). The banning of demons into these places occurs often in Babylonian-Assyrian, Hellenistic, and post-Talmudic Aramaic incantations and exorcisms. Cf. Montgomery, 78, n. 60.

The outstanding work on the subject is S. Seligmann's "Die Zauberkraft des Auges and das Berufen", Hamburg, 1922; cf. also Elworthy, "The Evil Eye", London 1895; Wuttke, 162 ff.; Bischoff, 50 ff.

Grnbaum, "Ges. Auf.", 105 and "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 27.

See Blau, 152 ff.; A. Lwinger, "Der Bse Blick nach jdischen Quellen," Menorah, Iv (1926), 551-69; Grnbaum, loc. cit.; R. Lilienthal, "Ayin Hara, Yidische Filologye", I (1924), 245 ff.; Montgomery, 89.

\"iyuni", 65c: according to the "scientists, there are men who can work havoc with the merest glance," and also animals "whose roar spreads death a bow-shot away."

\"Nishmat ayim", loc. cit.; Rashi on Nu. 12:1, "Suk." 53a, and Ex. 30:12 (cf. II Sam. 24: I ff.); "S. as." 534; "Netivot Olam", 107d;--"Rokea" 296; "Kol Bo" 74; Gaster, "Studies and Texts", Iii, 228;--\"Tashbe", 190; "Leket Yosher", Ii, 38; \"Ora ayim" 141:6;--Isserles, "Eben HaEzer" 62:3; Rashi, "B.B." 2b. Since the seventeenth century belief in the evil eye has become very prominent in Jewish superstitions; the expressions "unbeschrieen, unberufen," or, in Hebrew, "no evil eye," have become automatic accompaniments on Jewish lips of the slightest compliment. See Lilienthal, op. cit., for a detailed account of East-European Jewish beliefs.

Cf. Elworthy, 8; Thorndike, I, 217, Ii, 608; \"Netivot Olam", loc. cit.; "S. as." 981, 1823.

De Givry, 92.

\"Ber." 19a, 60a; Preuss, "Berliner Festschrift", 296 f.; Ginzberg, "Legends", II, 95; Blau, 61 f.; "Yore Deah" 402:12; "Kol Bo" 114; Landshuth, p. xxxi; Rashi, Ket. 28a; "Kol Bo" 30; "Tashbe", 551; "Yore Deah" 335:1 and "Ned." 40a; "S. as." 1446.

Schwab, "Vocabulaire", 7; "Lev Tov", 6:112, p. 67a; "Testament" of Shabbetai Horowitz, 11; Landau and Wachstein, "Jdische Privatbriefe", passim; etc.

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Cf. "S. as." 1, 1464, 1435, 1436, 688, 858, 705; \"Kiur Shelah", 149; "Leket Yosher", II, 83. Not all rabbis were obsessed by this superstition. This same Isserlein, replying to a query as to whether the statement, "I'll be baptised before I let my mother-in-law put foot in my house!" was to be regarded as a vow, limited himself to the immediate question, and passed up an excellent opportunity for a homily on the evils of making such remarks ("Pesakim Uketabim", 192).

32. 7.
\"Meg." I, 72b; "J. Yoma" I, 38d; B.M. 85a; "S. as. B" 416; "S. as." 1287; cf. "Yesh Noalin", 16 and n. 51, p. 39a;--"Ber." 56a; B.K. 93a; Lea, Iii, 382; \"S. as." 129, 1436, 1439, 1727; \"Joseph Ome", 354.

\"S. as." 101, 1504; Gd. I, 282; \"Haayim", I, 7; cf. "Tos. Meg." 31b. It was customary not to call anyone to the Torah by name when the "Tochaah" was to be read, but the invitation was extended to "whoever wished" to accept it. In Mainz the practice was to stipulate, when employing a sexton, that he must read the chapter when no one else was willing to do so; cf. "Maharil", "Hil. Keriat HaTorah", Isserles, "Ora ayim", 428:6; "JE", Xii, 175; E. N. Adler, "Jews in Many Lands", Phila. 1905, p. 178. Reifmann wrote in 1841 (Zion, I, 184) that he himself saw a man refuse to eat bread which had been placed before him while he was reading the "chapter of maledictions."

\"Paanea Raza" on Gen. 12: 3, p. 16a; "Joseph Ome", loc. cit.; "Brantspiegel", ch. 56, p. 100c.

\"Kiur Shelah", 202 ("Seder Hatarat Kelalot"); the "Kol Nidre" formula is dissimilar in purport and content; cf. "JE", Vii, 539 ff.
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