Oral Law, Oral Magic: Some Observations on Talmudic Magic

Oral Law, Oral Magic: Some Observations on Talmudic Magic © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 ZUTOT 5.1 Also available online – www.brill.nl 1 bShab 61a (Soncino ed.). ORAL LAW, ORAL MAGIC: SOME OBSERVATIONS ON TALMUDIC MAGIC L. Mock Universiteit van Amsterdam The last decades have seen a rising interest in the study of Jewish magic. Various studies were published on Jewish amulets; magic bowls; magic in the Talmud; and correlations between Jewish magic and pagan magic. And indeed, a closer look at the Talmud shows that magic abounds: in stories on Talmudic fi gures; in exegesis on biblical themes; in halakhic matters; and in ‘magical science’ in the form of advise on healing, on medicine and with explanations on how nature works. This article will focus on one hitherto neglected aspect: the fact that nearly all Talmudic magic has an oral perfor- mance, mostly in combination with certain rituals or actions. I would like to illustrate this point with some examples of Talmudic magic. Amulets are frequently mentioned in the Talmud. In connection with the laws on the Shabbat, the question rises whether amulets are per- mitted to be carried on Shabbat like certain jewels or clothes. The Mishnah explicitly states that a man may go out http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Zutot Brill

Oral Law, Oral Magic: Some Observations on Talmudic Magic

Zutot, Volume 5 (1): 9 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1571-7283
eISSN
1875-0214
D.O.I.
10.1163/187502108785807012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 ZUTOT 5.1 Also available online – www.brill.nl 1 bShab 61a (Soncino ed.). ORAL LAW, ORAL MAGIC: SOME OBSERVATIONS ON TALMUDIC MAGIC L. Mock Universiteit van Amsterdam The last decades have seen a rising interest in the study of Jewish magic. Various studies were published on Jewish amulets; magic bowls; magic in the Talmud; and correlations between Jewish magic and pagan magic. And indeed, a closer look at the Talmud shows that magic abounds: in stories on Talmudic fi gures; in exegesis on biblical themes; in halakhic matters; and in ‘magical science’ in the form of advise on healing, on medicine and with explanations on how nature works. This article will focus on one hitherto neglected aspect: the fact that nearly all Talmudic magic has an oral perfor- mance, mostly in combination with certain rituals or actions. I would like to illustrate this point with some examples of Talmudic magic. Amulets are frequently mentioned in the Talmud. In connection with the laws on the Shabbat, the question rises whether amulets are per- mitted to be carried on Shabbat like certain jewels or clothes. The Mishnah explicitly states that a man may go out

Journal

ZutotBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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