By Gideon Bohak
Gideon Bohak provides a pioneering account of the extensive historical past of historical Jewish magic, from the second one Temple to the rabbinic interval. it's dependent either on historic magicians' personal compositions and items in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek, and at the descriptions and prescriptions of non-magicians, to reconstruct a ancient photo that's as balanced and nuanced as attainable. the main target is at the cultural makeup of old Jewish magic, and particular realization is paid to the procedures of cross-cultural contacts and borrowings among Jews and non-Jews, in addition to to inner-Jewish creativity. different significant matters explored contain where of magic inside Jewish society, modern Jewish attitudes to magic, and the identification of its practitioners. all through, the e-book seeks to provide an explanation for the methodological underpinnings of all sound examine during this not easy box, and to spotlight parts the place extra learn is probably going to turn out fruitful.
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Extra info for Ancient Jewish Magic: A History
It thus comes as no surprise when we read that many years later, King H . 4). The powerful implement had become a cultic object in its own right, one not sanctioned by Torah and lacking a fixed position in the Temple cult, and therefore had to be destroyed. Here, in other words, the biblical narrative provides an interesting example of an object which tries to move from the realm of “magic” into that of “religion” and is eventually rejected, even if it was originally produced at God’s own behest.
47 Moreover, when we do find evidence outside the actual magical texts as to who practiced such magical rituals, that evidence repeatedly demonstrates the acceptance, and even practice, of magic by members of the Jewish elite, including the religious establishment itself. In subsequent chapters, we shall encounter Josephus’ glowing descriptions of the praxis of exorcism, the exorcistic hymns recited by the overseer(s) of the Qumran community, and the favorite magical recipes of some of the foremost talmudic authorities – to name but a few striking examples.
9, 12, for the healing properties of the stream that would one day flow from the Temple. Jewish magic: a contradiction in terms? 33 Surveying all these powerful objects and the people who used them, we may note how the Hebrew Bible displays a deep-seated conviction that many striking feats – from the cleaving of rivers to the destruction of mighty walls – could be achieved not only by men of God, but also by the correct manipulation of God’s sacred objects. 42 And here too, just as in the case of the men of God, it is only men, and not women, who are involved in such thaumaturgy, since women were a priori precluded from access to God’s holiest objects.
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