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Jewish Magic Kindle Edition
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|Length: 376 pages|
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I was somewhat embarrassed at first by the notion that Jewry had a magical component at one time. Magic seemed to be the antithesis of what Judaism was, how could this wholly non-Jewish thing be present in Jewish history? Yet I soon became enthralled by Trachtenberg's book. He carefully dissects and explores every facet of Jewish magic and superstition. He traces the non-Jewish incursions and he explores the uniquely Jewish component. More importantly, the text allows one to see how Jewish magic and superstition is set apart from its Christian counterpart. Jewish superstition lacked any notion of a God-Devil dualism that is present in Christian magic and superstition. That slight difference is a game-changer. The Jewish model evolves completely differently. It intersects and weaves through the canonized religion. Jewish magic was not opposed to religion, it was a field for scholars who sought to understand and use the laws of nature that came from God. In a way, it seemed akin to the emergence of early science.
This book is easy to read. It will answer your questions and leave you with new ones to ponder. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Some of the information may be somewhat outdated, but it still seems to represent a core component of the study of Jewish magic and superstition. This book covers magic, superstition, some of the roots of anti-Semitic magical thinking in Christianity, and so much more.
Please do not read it to get magical incantations. They are in the book, but you might hurt yourself while trying to hurt others. Better to think good thoughts.