Magic & the Supernatural

Witches & Witchcraft

Throughout much of Jewish history, witchcraft has been viewed as a vice that virtually every woman will indulge in.

Judaism and Numbers

The Jewish numerology tradition, known as gematria, values some numbers more than others.

Jewish Curses

In Jewish thought and texts, curses exemplify the belief that speech can have tremendous power.

Magic vs. Miracle

The Hebrew Bible condemns certain forms of divination and magic, while celebrating others as behaviors suitable for Israelite heroes.

Jewish Mystical Ideas and Concerns

Can we distinguish a mystical idea from a philosophical one--and mystical practice from magic?

Astrology in Medieval Judaism

In the Middle Ages, Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others debated the legitimacy of astrology.

Magic Bowls

Ancient artifacts reveal Jewish attitudes toward incantations, demons, and the supernatural.

Do Jews Believe in Demons?

Though the idea of demons raises concerns about divine providence, belief in demons developed among some Jews throughout history.

Jewish Astrology

Talmudic rabbis believed in astrology, but they thought the Jews were miraculously immune from the stars' influence.

Jewish Healing & Magic

"Whatever is effective as a remedy is not witchcraft (Shabbat 67a)"--is that really the case?

Jewish Exorcism

Jews have developed complex plans for coaxing evil spirits out of those who are possessed.