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 two early rabbis were famous for having a healing power that resided in their touch?
 Masmasiah & Kaskasiah
 Hiyya & Yohanan
 Joshua ben Levi & Judah
 Tannaim & Yehuda


Question 2. 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


Question 3. What is blood libel?
 The use of blood for healing purposes
 The accusation of ritual child murder
 A theory pertaining to Jewish genetics
 The practice of storing blood in customary vases


Question 4. True or false: in the Talmudic period, bowls etched with magic formulas were used by Christians, Mazdeans, Mandeans, but never Jews.


Question 5. Why were Jews thought of as excellent magicians in the Middle Ages?
 Many were moneylenders, and had an affinity for silver
 They prayed at night
 Jewish congregations held a service each month publicly blessing the moon
 Many Jews had scientific or medical training


Question 6. In the bible, what is the most common cause of God sending disease?
 Practicing magic


Question 7. In the Middle Ages, which of these Jewish customs lapsed because of Christian suspicions of black magic?
 Certain mourning practices
 The search for leaven
 Certain Shabbat practices
 Some of these
 All of thee