My Jewish Learning

Magic & the Supernatural Quiz

Judaism has many folk customs with magical undertones. But these are not without controversy. How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?

Question 1. Which of the following supernatural practices is forbidden in the Bible?
 Hepatoscopy (reading animal entrails)
 Belomancy (casting or shooting arrows as lots)
 All of these
 None of these


Question 2. Which is NOT used to ward off the Ayin Hara (evil eye)?
 A hamsa, or a divine hand
 A red string tied around the wrist
 A Magen David, or six-pointed star
 An incantation stating that one is "of the seed of Joseph"


Question 3. Which of the following supernatural ideas is mentioned in the Torah?
 The Dybbuk
 The Golem


Question 4. Which of these illustrates the power of speech in Judaism?
 God creates the world through a series of speech acts
 God uses speech to bless and curse the people of Israel
 Uttering God's name destroys the walls of Jericho
 A & B only
 All of the above


Question 5. Why do the rabbis in the Talmud oppose magic?
 Because it is the way of the Amorites
 Because it is the way of the Romans
 Because it can lead to idolatry, adultery, or murder
 All of the above


Question 6. Which of the following is a symbol that might be found on a hamsa?
 Star of David
 Both C and B
 All of the above


Question 7. What does Lilith do, according to Jewish legends?
 Coerce Jewish men into being unfaithful to their wives
 Snatch newborn babies and take them away from their parents
 Turn into a wolflike creature at the full moon
 Encourage idolatry and non-kosher eating practices