Jewish Magic and Superstition

Joshua Trachtenberg

Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg - click to see full size image

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Jewish Magic and Superstition is a book by Joshua Trachtenberg, first published in 1939. A comprehensive review of Jewish magic from the 10th to the 15th century, including an exploration of folklore. Many well-known Jewish traditions are explained, such as why a glass is broken at a wedding, and how the expression mazel tov is related to a belief in Astrology. Trachtenberg deals extensively with Golems, Succubi, the Lillim, (from Lilith, Adam's first wife), and other magical creatures, some well known such as werewolves, and others not so well, such as estrie, mare and broxa. There are detailed descriptions of talismans, amulets, charms, and other curious magical objects. There are chapters dealing with dream interpretation, medical beliefs, necromancy, and other forms of divination. The author was a reform rabbi on the east coast of the US. This is an elaboration of his Columbia University Ph.D. thesis.

This book has 141,131 words, 227 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1939.

Production notes: This ebook of Jewish Magic and Superstition was published by Global Grey in 2020, and updated on the 3rd February 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Portrait of a rabbi with prayer shawl' - by Isidor Kaufmann.

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