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Notes. Chapter Xiv

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

Chapter Xiv


Cf. "Niaon", 57, 145; Eleazar of Worms, "Commentary on S. Yeirah", 14c; "S. as." 14, 391, 1950; \"B" 33.

\"ochmat HaNefesh", 7a, 25b f., 33c-d; Eleazar of Worms, "Commentary", 21d-22a; "Torat HaOlah", Ii, 2-3; \"Orot adikim", 94b ff.; Ginzberg, "Legends", V, 64, n. 4; Franck, 190 f.; Ginsburg, 156.

Cf. "San." 65b; "ul." 95b and the comments of Rashi and "Tos."; these two passages were frequently repeated by the medieval writers, who, following Talmudic precedent, distinguished between the innocent "signs" fixed by Eliezer (Gen. 24: 14) and Jonathan (I Sam. 14:9-10), and the taking of omens; cf. also "Hagahot Maimuniot to Hil. Akkum" 11:5. See Marmorstein, "JJV", Ii (1925), 362 ff. for the Aggadic material. "Lebush" on "Yore Deah" 179:4 sums up the medieval view.

\"ochmat HaNefesh", 25d; "S. as." 14. Grimm, Iii, 411, quotes from a 14th century German ms., "du solt nit globen an zober... noch an die brawen un der wangen iucken"; see also II, 934 f.

\"JE", Ii, 255; Berliner, "Aus dem Leben", 95; Marmorstein, "JJV", Ii (1925), 372. A report that in the year 545, during a plague in Constantinople, every one who sneezed immediately died, was cited by a late writer to point the moral of responding "health!" to a sneeze (Grunwald, "JJV", I [1923], 219); cf. Grimm, Iii, 430; Thorndike, Ii, 330; etc.; "Ber." 24b; "Ora ayim" 103:3; etc.

\"JE", Iv, 632; \"S. as. B" 1145, 1146; \"iyuni", 27b; "S. as." 764; etc.; cf. Grimm, Iii, 450, 493; Wuttke, 33: "Die Hunde kndigen durch ihr Heulen einen Todesfall an u. sehen den Tod." Longfellow (Golden Legend, VIII, "The Village School") has put this belief into verse (cf. "B. K." 60b)

In the Rabbinical book it saith,

The dogs howl when, with icy breath,

Great Sammal, the Angel of Death,

Takes through the town his flight!

[paragraph continues] Gd. I, 201, n. 2,--"iyuni", 49a, 75b; "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 22; Marmorstein, "MGWJ", Lxxi (1927), 44-5; \"Testament of Judah", 50; "Orot adikim", 95b (cf. "Suk." 28a and Joel, II, 53 f.).

Grimm, II, 937 ff.; Wuttke, 208; Digot, Iii, 181; \"Brantspiegel", ch. 66, p. 105c; "Joseph Ome", 348; Berliner, op. cit., 83; cf. "San." 65b-66a and Rashi.

\"Raziel", 20b-21a.

\"Yoma" 88a; "S. as." 1545; "Maharil", 45b; "Responsa" of "Maharil", 83a-b, etc.; "Joseph Ome", 278; "S. as." 395; Blau, 149; "S. as. B" 59; cf. Digot, Iii, 177; Grimm, Iii, 467, 889.

9a. "Kol Bo", 41; "Lev Tov", 6:66, p. 63c; Isserles, "Ora ayim" 296:1; "Ker." 6a; "Hor." 12a; "Teshubot HaGeonim", ed. Musafia, p. 7; "Mordecai", beg. "Yoma;"

p. 307

[paragraph continues] "S. as. B" 59; "Kol Bo", 64; "Or Zarua", Ii, 257, p. 60c; "HaManhig", "Hil. Rosh. Hashanah", 1; Isserles, "Ora ayim" 583:,, 2; \"Shelah", II, 145a; "Emek Beracha", II, 61, p. 75a; Gd. Iii, 136. The custom of eating special foods on "Rosh Hashanah" for their good influence upon the future was probably originally a reflection of Roman usage; it is found in medieval and modern Germany, perhaps derived from the Jewish practice, cf. Krauss, "MJV", Liii (1915), 11; Gd. Iii, 131, n. 2; Scheftelowitz, "AR", Xiv (1911), 387-8; Wuttke, 65.

\"S. as." 1473.

Cf. Thorndike, Ii, 605, for the views of Thomas Aquinas; Grimm, I, 77 f., Ii, 927 ff.; "S. as." 1139, 1450; even so enlightened a man as Mordecai Jaffe (16th century), who denounced most of the methods of divination as "vain and false things that have no reality," was obliged to admit that "astrologers and lot-casters sometimes disclose the truth"; see his "Lebush" on "Yore Deah" 179:1; see Blau, 45 f., for the Talmudic material.

\"Horayot" 12a; "S. as." 1516; "Mateh Moshe", 849; cf. Grimm, Iii, 445, 325, 448, 421.

\"Rokea", 221, p. 50b; "ochmat HaNefesh", 14a; "Namanides" on Nu. 14:9, and "Paanea Raza", ad loc.; "S. as." 1544; Gd. I, 206, n. 3; "Kol Bo", 52; "iyuni", 61d-62a; Marmorstein, "MGWJ", Lxxi (1927), 45; Tyrnau, "Minhagim", 28b, 216; Isserles, "Ora ayim" 664; "Mateh Moshe", 957; "Joseph Ome", 233, 1051; \"Yalkut Reubeni", 10d; cf. Elworthy, 78 f.; Von Negelein, "AR", V (1902), 19; Digot, Iii, 182; Grimm, Iii, 436, 55; Wuttke, 221; Lwinger, "MJV", Xxxiv (1910), 53.

\"ochmat HaNefesh", 24a; Gd. I, 206, n. 4; "iyuni", 62a; "S. as." 1516 and B 547; cf. Daiches, 26, 27; Grimm, Iii, 416; Jacob Weil ("Responsa", 19,, p. 64a, 192, p. 65b) wondered why "some people recite the "Vidduy" ('Confession') under water" on the eve of Yom Kippur; perhaps this was connected with the divinatory act.

\"S. as." 1059 and note; Ginzberg, "Legends", V, 61, n. 310; "iyuni", 64c.

\"ag." 15a, b; "Git." 58a; "ul." 95b; "Yore Deah" 179:4 and "Lebush", ad loc.; --"S. as." 285;--Berliner, op. cit., 24; Gd. Iii, 140, n. 1; "JE", Iii, 202; Wuttke, 144; Steinschneider, "Heb. Uebersetz.", 868, n. 120.

Thorndike, II, 266 f., Iv, 190; De Givry, 249 ff., 256 ff.;--Ginsburg, 111-8; Franck, 183; Bischoff, 67 ff.;--Joel, II, 12; Gd. I, 219, n. 2; "Orot adikim", 95b; "Joseph Ome", 180, p. 41; "Kol Bo" 41 (cf. "Teshubot HaGeonim", ed. Musafia, 49).

\"Semag", I, 52; "Paanea Raza", 128a; "Hadar Zekenim" on Deut. 18: 10; \"Nishmat ayim", Iii, 19; ms. "E ayim", 992 (581 of original); according to Grimm, Iii, 321, the Germans also used this device: "Losse mit schwarzen und weissen Stbchen wurden von Slaven gebraucht"; Steinschneider, op. cit., 867 ff.; "HB", Vi (1863), 121-2; \"Cat. Munich", 235; cf. also ibid. 228,8; 294,3; 299,5; and Grimm, Ii, 929-30, Iii, 321; Gd. Iii, 139-40.

\"ochmat HaNefesh", 30d-31a; cf. "Eshkol HaKofer", by Judah Hadassi, ch. 31.

Thorndike, II, 110 ff.; ms. "E ayim", loc. cit.; "Toledot Adam veavah", 17:5, p. 127b; cf. Albo's "Ikkarim", IV, 4, and especially Husik's note, Iv, 30.

\"Shimmush Tehillim", Ps. 16; Grunwald, "MJV", Xix (1906), 108; Perles, "Graetz Jubelschrift", 34; ms. "Raziel", 21b f., 47a ff., ed. of Amsterdam 1701, 34b.

\"Joseph Ome", 350; Grunwald, op. cit., 109; Perles, op. cit., 35 (cf. Gaster, "Sword of Moses", 39, 65).

Lea, Iii, 422-3, 436; Thorndike, Ii, 168, 320, 365; Grimm, Iii, 432; \"Mlusine", Ii (1884), 483; Elworthy, 443 f.; Summers, 184-5; Daiches, "Babylonian Oil Magic in the Talmud and in the later Jewish Literature", London 1913.

p. 308

\"San." 101a and Rashi; cf. Daiches, op. cit., 7 ff.; Rashi, Gen. 42:14.

Gd. I, 208-9, n. 1, and Grunwald, "MGJV", V (5900), 80-81. There are some minor differences between these two readings of the text; I have left the word which Grunwald reads as "Gerte" untranslated; Gdemann could not make it out. Grunwald took it to be the German word for "rod," that is, the hazel-rod which the Germans regarded as holy and which served so often as the magician's wand. But since the text speaks of no "rod" the word is best left in its obscurity. Passages in Dr. Johann Hartlieb's book on forbidden sciences, written in 1455, are strikingly similar to the text here translated: When the reflective medium (of which Hartlieb mentions several) has been prepared, "darnach nimbt er ain rain kind, and setzt das of ainen schnen stul [elsewhere he writes, "etlich maister... setzen das kind in ir schoss]... so stat der zaubermaister hinder im and spricht im etliche unerkante wort in die oren... and haisst im das rain kint die wort nachsprechen... so haisst er in sehen was er sech... darnach fragen sie den knaben, ob er icht sech ainen engel? wan der knab spricht ja, so fragen sie was varb er anhab? spricht der knab rott, so sprechen die maister ie, der engel ist zornig, and bten aber mer... wan dan der tifel bedunkt, das er dienst geng hab, so lasst er erscheinen den engel in weiss, so ist den der maister fro... so fragt er dan so lang bis er sicht puchstaben. die selben puchstaben sambent dan der maister and macht daruss wort, so lang bis er hat darnach er gefragt hat." Grimm, Iii, 428, 431-2; cf. also Gd. Iii, 530-5. It might almost seem from these selections that one is a copy of the other, or that both are derived from a common source. It is probable, however, that they are independent accounts of a rite whose details were fixed and unvarying. The versions from late Oriental, North African and Spanish Jewish mss. which Daiches (14 ff.) printed differ very little from the medieval accounts. Rashi, in the eleventh century ("San." 67b), mentions that a black-handled knife is required in invoking the "princes of the thumbnail"; three mss. from Spain, Tunis and the Orient, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries (Daiches, 54, 18, 22), do not fail to include the black-handled knife! So tenacious and unalterable were the elements of the magic act! Other references to this method of divination are to be found in: "ochmat HaNefesh", 16d, 18a, 20c, 28d, 29a; "iyuni", 10c; "Redak" on Ezek. 21:26; "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 19.

\"Lev Tov", 6: 141, p. 69d; "Merdecai", "B. K." 227, P. 48a; "Responsa" of Meir of Rothenburg (ed. Budapest) 498; "Tashbe", 580; cf. "Yore Deah" 179:16. Daiches (p. 32) has suggested that the custom of looking at the nails during "Habdalah", as well as other practices affecting finger-nails, may be connected with the frequent evocation of the "princes of the nail." The ceremony of looking at the nails can by no means be regarded as an act of onychomancy, as finger-nail divination is called (cf. Gd., "MGWJ", Lx [1956], 537). However, the late practice of enclosing the thumb within the other fingers during the course of this rite (cf. "Taame HaMinhagim", I, 455, p. 53a) may have been influenced by the belief that the "princes" inhabit the thumbnail in particular, since this nail was most often used in divination, and the finger should therefore be hidden from view. A medieval ms., giving directions for throwing lots, warns that one should not hold them with the thumb, "because demons, called 'princes of the thumb,' have power over that finger" and will defeat the purpose of the lot-caster; Steinschneider, "HB", Vi (1863), 121; cf. "Ora ayim" 179:6.

Thorndike, Iii, 429, Ii, 365 and I, 239; Grimm, Iii, 435.

See the references cited at the end of note 25.

Blau, 53; "S. as. B" 1132;--Ginzberg, "Legends", Vi, 237; \"San." 65b and Rashi; Rashi on I Sam. 28: 12; \"Paanea Raza" on Lev. 19:30, p. 91b; Lev. R. ch. 26; cf. also "Nishmat ayim", Iii, 7.

p. 309

\"San." 65b; "S. as." 324; N. Brll, "Jahrbcher", Ix (1889), 39-40; \"Yereim", 90; "Yore Deah", 179:14 and comment of "Lebush"; J. Hansen, 208; "iyuni", 10c.

\"iyuni", 10d, 55a; ms. "E ayim", 990-1, 994 (579 f. and 582 of original); ms. "Raziel", 24b f.; cf. "San." 65b, which speaks of spending the night on a grave "so that a spirit of uncleanness may rest on one"; Rashi interprets this "the spirit of the grave." Myrtle, hazel and hawthorn are the woods favored in magic, and most often prescribed for the indispensable magician's staff, the divining-rod, the witches broomstick, etc.; cf. Summers, 121; Samter, 73 f.; A. Marmorstein, "The Doctrine of Merits in Old Rabbinical Literature", London 1920, p. 18, n. 61.

Perles, "Graetz Jubelschrift", 32-4; Grunwald, "MGJV", V (1900), 79 ff.; Gd. Ii, 333-7; see also Perles, op. cit., 36 and Grimm, II, 813 ff. for German parallels. Prof. Ginzberg considers the only parallel in older Jewish literature to be the account of the raising of Joseph's coffin by Moses (see his "Legends", III, 5 f.).

Perles, op. cit., 34.

\"Raziel", 6b; Grunwald, op. cit., 81.

\"JE", IX, 427 f; Graetz, "History" (Hebrew ed.) Iv, 108; \"S. as." 1369, 172; see also Neubauer and Stern, 67.

Strack, 49; Wuttke, 209; Thorndike, Iv, 404; \"S. as. B" 5543; Nish-mat ayim, Iii, 3; \"Joseph Ome", 351;--"S. as." 291; Gaster, Exempla of the Rabbis, 391, p. 150; G. A. Kohut, "Blood Test as Proof of Kinship in Jewish Folklore, Journal Amer. Or. Soc.", Xxiv (1903), 129-44; according to Franz M. Goebel ("Jdische Motive im Mrchenhaften Erzhlungsgut", Gleiwitz 1932, pp. 160 ff.) the legend of the blood-test in German folklore was derived from Jewish sources. The sympathy that prevails between close relations is further exemplified by the fact that when one twin is in pain, the other also suffers ("ochmat HaNefesh", 30c).

\"Leket Yosher", II, 50; Gd. Iii, 145; Berliner, "Aus dem Leben", 93.

Scherer, 182, 20, 305 ff.; Jacobs, "Jews of Angevin England", 176, 233; Abrahams, "Jewish Life in the Middle Ages", 377; "MGWJ", X (1861), 264-5; Zunz, "Zur Geschichte", 573 f.
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