Is the use of magic prevalent in Israel?

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Magic was thought to be prevalent at medieval times in Jewish communities so I’m curious if it’s a part of Israeli culture?
I also wonder if there is anything in Jewish traditions that considers it bad or evil at all? some parts of the talmud condone the use of magic and also we all know about qabalah.
I mean saying or writing spells. What happened with moses and Solomon were exceptions because they were prophets of God who could preform miracles by the power of God not by praying to spirits and so on.

13 Comments

  1. there are many different things that we could define as “magic” and the tapestry that is the compendium of Jewish oral law seems to have different societal approaches to the different anifestations.
    While the biblical text says that one should not let a witch live, it also makes a clear distinction between the actions of Moses in Egypt and of Pharaoh’s “magicians” though the effects looked the same. It seems that the manipulation of nature via a connection to the divine is NOT magic and therefore is proper. Thus, later medieval amulets and “superstitions” had to be rooted in a religious context so that they would not be mistaken for “magic.”
    Spells and wands and such have never been part of Judaism as they are considered evil, but incantations and magic squares certainly had a place of some sort in the more esoteric and mystical offshoots of Judaism.

  2. the only thing that’s dangerous is if you start to think the magic power comes from yourself, or some other source besides God. it’s easy to get carried away by ego, which is why kaballah and other mystical activities were traditionally not studied until one reaches a certain level of maturity and patience.
    like mysticism in any religion, its practitioners are definitely in the minority (i wouldn’t call it prevalent, now or in medieval times), but it does exist.

  3. The writing or saying of spells is not at all prevalent even amongst those leaning toward the esoteric.
    Study of Kabbalah has become more common. It’s not about changing the future. It’s about understanding yourself, your relationship to God, and your relationship to life in a spiritual way. It’s to make you feel more centered, and giving, and peaceful. I did meet a bunch of people into Kabbalah.
    I have a friend who got involved in various esoteric stuff because of health problems, and no spellwriting wasn’t part of anything he explored.
    ——-
    Several people here mention spells and formulas as part of Kabbalah. Actually I’ve been to Kabbalah events with dedicated students of it. It’s basically a study session where Torah is talked about and meanings that might connect you better to yourself or elevate your spiritual connection. From there it’s expressed sometimes as artwork since the concepts are so ephrieal. It’s hard to put a connection to God into mere words. There is none of the spells ideas used at all.
    While the Zohar is the central book for kabbalah, there are elements and basis going back to ancient times.
    No one thinks the Zohar is a fake, except those trying to defame Jews and Judaism, usually to win the war to destroy Israel, in which “anything goes”. Either that or by haters of Jews who will do anything to justify their hate, even lie and make up stories.
    Kabbalah has attracted the attention of people in the world seeking spirituality (such as Madonna) but Kabbalah goes deeper than the elemental versions used. It’s actually similar to the Buddhist idea of enlightenment through a higher, purer connection (in this case to God.)
    It had always been believed that one should be very knowledgable in Torah and grounded in reality and their faith before studying Kabbalah, in order to understand it properly.
    Maybe where these folks got their information from someone who didn’t have that faithful background who didn’t know what he was reading and made up what he thought it was. It sure sounds like it.

  4. The so-called “Kabballa” is a 14th century forgery that is now widely accepted by jews; it is probably the historical origin of the medieval concept of witchcraft and sorcery to which it bears much resemblance. It is in fact based on magic,including formulas and talismans and a whole roster of the usual gimmickry.

  5. Orthodox jews practice kabballa which is very redolent of a child’s conception of magic or the conception formed in the early Renaissance. The coincidence of timing is interesting since the so-called Book of Zohar was written and circulated by a jew named Moses de leon and the next century saw an outbreak of witch-hunting that was probably connected to non-jews practicing all the secret rites and formulas in the kabballa. The legend of Faust also originates around this time and the references to his magic are very kabballistic. It has enjoyed a huge vogue in recent years,even among non-jews,for the most part stimulated by Chabad-Lubavitchers. Orthodox jews accept it as sacred notwithstanding the fact that it is clearly a 13th century forgery,as noted above.

  6. Judaism is full of that crap. Check out The Book of Zohar. Solomon was a great Wizard,etc. Magic incantations,symbols,all kinds of mumbo-jumbo. It’s a very,very primitive religion.

  7. Today they use public relations firms instead of spells to work their magic. They have a demonstrated ability to brainwash Americans.

  8. Kismet is correct; magic (witchcraft) is not allowed in Judaism. It involves contact with evil spirits.You can read in the Old Testament how God punishes King Saul for contacting the witch to summon Samuel.

  9. Magic is prohabited, in any form, shape or style, in any Abrahamic Religion. (To the best of my knowledge)
    Moreover, if someone is performing the Book of God then his/her spritual powers are way too stronger than a magician.
    Consider this, what happend when King Solomon whated Queen Sheba’s Throne before her arrival.
    …He said, ‘O Council, which one of you will
    bring me her throne, before they come to me
    in surrender?
    An efreet of the JINNS said, ‘I will bring it to thee, before thou
    risest from thy place; I have strength for it
    and I am trusty.’
    Said he who possessed
    knowledge of the Book, ‘I will bring it to
    thee, before ever thy glance returns to thee.’

  10. i do not know one jew who thinks of the kabblah as a forgery. the way i learned about magic was 1. jews are not allowed to believe in it or consult someone who practices it. 2. there is no more magic today, it was taken out of the world when prophecy was taken out of the world.

  11. Samsproud is right; jews do not believe the kabballa is a forgery. Everybody else does but they don’t. It was created by a Moses de Leon in the 13th century,period. It’s filled with magic spells,incantation,wierd symbols,all kindsof superstitious junk. Jews really believe all this stuff.

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