Home > Library > New > Joshua Trachtenberg > Jewish Magic And Superstition > Untitled


In the background of what has become known as ceremonial magic is medieval Jewish magic.
In turn this was based on the Kabbalah, the Jewish traditions known as Haggadah, and other esoteric beliefs.
This is a comprehensive review of Jewish magic from the 10th to the 15th century, including a rich lode of folklore.
Many well-known Jewish traditions are explained, such as why a glass is broken at a wedding, and how the expression "mazel tov"
is related to a belief in Astrology.
Trachtenberg deals extensively with Golems, Succubi, the Lillim, (from Lilith--Adam's first wife), and other magical creatures, some well known such as werewolves, and others not so well, such as
"estrie", "mare" and "broxa".
There are detailed descriptions of talismans, amulets, charms, and other curious magical objects.
There are chapters dealing with dream interpretation, medical beliefs, necromancy, and other forms of divination.
There is also a short glossary, so if you are having trouble telling the difference between a Kaddish and a Kiddush, you're in luck.

The author, Joshua Trachtenberg (b. 1904, d. 1959) was a reform rabbi on the east coast of the US.
This is an elaboration of his Columbia University Ph.D. thesis.
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.

"Production Notes:" This book contains many quotations in Hebrew.
The shorter passages have been transcribed into Unicode.
The longer ones are presented in image files.

Hare, January 8, 2008.

Title Page

Table of Contents


1. The Legend of Jewish Sorcery

2. The Truth Behind The Legend

3. The Powers of Evil

4. Man and the Demons

5. The Spirits of the Dead

6. The Powers of Good

7. "In the Name of..."

8. The Bible In Magic

9. The Magical Procedure

10. Amulets

11. The War with the Spirits

12. Nature and Man

13. Medicine

14. Divination

15. Dreams

16. Astrology

Appendix I. The Formation of Magical Names

Appendix II. Ms. "Sefer Gematriaot", On Gems

Abbreviations and Hebrew Titles


Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Appendix I


A. A
Note About The Sources

B. Hebrew Sources, Printed

C. Hebrew Sources In Manuscript

D. Modern Literature

Glossary of Hebrew Terms


term to greek homosexuality| greek ethic
Home > Library > New > Joshua Trachtenberg > Jewish Magic And Superstition > Contents