Magic & the Supernatural
Lilith is the most notorious demon in Jewish tradition. In some sources, she is conceived of as the original woman, created even before Eve. Lilith's name means "the night," and she embodies the emotional and spiritual aspects of darkness: terror, sensuality, and unbridled freedom. More recently, she has come to represent feminist women who no longer want to be "good girls."Read More
Practices and TraditionsAstrology
How Jews have felt about consulting the stars.Healing
The Talmud suggests that whatever is effective as a remedy is not witchcraft.Curses
In Jewish thought and texts, curses exemplify the belief that speech can have tremendous power.Golems
Can imitating God extend to the creative realm?Attitudes Towards Magic
Judaism has had a long and tenuous relationship with magical beliefs and practices.
Modern InsightsPopular Superstitions
Pooh pooh pooh!Hamsa
A Jewish and Israeli symbol that may have derived from pagan or Islamic culture.Interpretations of the Golem
The most famous and enduring of all Jewish legends is that of the golem, the artificial man.Medicine
Jewish physicians in the Middle Ages were also considered superior magicians.Mysticism vs. Magic
How do we distinguish between these two?
A prevalent, if problematic, belief among some Jews throughout history.Witches
Witchcraft has been viewed as a vice that virtually every woman will indulge in.Exorcism
Jews have developed complex plans for coaxing evil spirits out of those who are possessed.Gematria
Assigning numerical values to letters yields infinite interpretations.Evil Eye
There are a number of Jewish practices to ward off the harmful effects of the evil eye.
Books and PeopleJewish Magic and Superstition
By Joshua TrachtenbergThe Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism
By Rabbi Geoffrey W. DennisDivination, Magic, and Healing: The Book of Jewish Folklore
By Ronald IsaacsRabbi Akiva’s Magic Show
Pick a destiny, any destiny.Quiz Yourself
How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?