The manipulation of nature through the use of evil forces. Its use is forbidden by the Torah.

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118 views

How would the splitting of the sea have been done with magic if magic is just trickery?

In the spirit of the recent Mi Yodeya discussion of the Rambam's view of magic, a question that has bothered me for some time: The Rambam ostensibly doesn't accept that there is any reality to magic, ...
2
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2answers
147 views

How does Rambam explain the use of magic in Tanakh?

I've heard that the Rambam says that when the Torah speaks about magic it is meant as a parable. If this is the case, how does he explain Pharoah's sorcerers and other incidents in Tanakh such as ...
2
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0answers
171 views

Can witchcraft/sorcery affect not only “physical” things, but also one's emotions/thoughts?

There are examples of the Torah of witchcraft being performed to change physical realities (e.g Serpent with Paroh's sorcerers, blood in the river, Bilaam flying, etc.), can sorcery/witchcraft also ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa understood “Ain od mivado” to also exclude the powers of cishuf, what is the source of this?

In Chulin 7b, Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was not concerned with the threats of a sorcereress due to his understanding that "Ain od Milvado (Devarim 4:35)" included even the powers of sorcery. What was his ...
2
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5answers
94 views

How was Yosef allowed to practice divination?

The Torah prohibits divination as stated in: Leviticus 19:26: לֹ֥א תֹאכְל֖וּ עַל־הַדָּ֑ם לֹ֥א תְנַחֲשׁ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א תְעוֹנֵֽנוּ׃ Do not eat with the blood; Do not practice divination or ...
4
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1answer
169 views

Performing Magic Tricks for Children

I've often seen people do magic tricks for their nieces, nephews or for children in general. To an adult observer, the trick is obvious - but to young children, it seems like real magic. Considering ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Paying for a forbidden service

If one hires someone to do a service that is halachically forbidden, is he obligated/allowed to pay for it, e.g. blei gissen.
1
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1answer
148 views

Punishment for “Bleigießen”

Recently, there was a discussion on Mi Yodeya about whether there was a Jewish source for the practice of divination and sorcery via blei gissen (Bleigießen). Based on the actual Jewish sources (e.g. ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Graphology - sources that permit or forbid it

I saw a orthodox Jewish newspaper that has a column on graphology. Are there any sources that discuss graphology, pro or con? Is it hocus pocus? Is it similar to palm reading?
11
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4answers
445 views

Is there a source in the gemara for “Blei Gissen” (pouring lead)?

A recent article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times claims Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra, the poisonous evil eye, has its source in the Gemara ... In his critique of ...
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0answers
208 views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
5
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1answer
118 views

Why did Pharaoh not think Moshe and Aaron were magicians?

BSD In this week's Parsha - Shemot Chapter 8 (וָאֵרָא), Pharaoh stands by as Moshe and Aaron perform all of the rites and 'signs' to Pharaoh. After each miracle, the Torah speaks of how Pharaoh's ...
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0answers
91 views

How is Qi viewed in Judaism?

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss Qi and some of the amazing feats people seem to be able to perform with it? Is it considered impure magic and therefore forbidden to be practiced?
3
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0answers
91 views

Can a magician cast a spell in water?

The power of magicians and magic, the Talmud speaks plenty about. One such example is that of Ze'iri and the donkey, in Sanhedrin 67: זעירי איקלע לאלכסנדריא של מצרים זבן חמרא כי מטא לאשקוייה מיא ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Does sorcery/black magic exist today?

The Torah She'bicsav and Torah She'ba'al Peh discuss sorcery/necromancy/witchcraft. Assuming that those activities were actually harnessing some sort of supernatural power in order to perform ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Why is Vayikra 20:27 at the end of the chapter?

This verse in Parshat Kedoshim - Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:27, "A man or a woman who has a ghost or a familiar spirit shall be put to death; they shall be pelted with stones—their bloodguilt shall be ...
13
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1answer
516 views

Is flipping a coin following an omen?

If a person is deciding whether to do something and says "I'll flip a coin, heads I do it, tails I don't" does that fall under the prohibition of "don't divine with signs" in Vayikra 19?
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0answers
206 views

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

Before asking my question, I'd like to make it clear that this is being asked in all seriousness, and not as some form of satire or "Purim Torah". I think there is a precedent for asking halachic ...
5
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1answer
126 views

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Many years ago when I learned the story of King Shaul and Agag I recall learning that the Amalekites were master sorcerers and that the way King Agag was able to perpetuate his line was by cohabiting ...
2
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3answers
176 views

Astrology in the Torah

The Torah seems to have many examples where astrology is deemed real. (such as the astrology predictions that Moshe would be struck by water which made Paraoh throw the jewish males in the nile river. ...
11
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3answers
275 views

Why is there a difference of opinion about whether modern magic is prohibited or permitted?

I'm an amateur magician. All of the Ashkenazi rabbis that I've talked to said that as long as my audience knows that I am just doing tricks and not real magic, the Torah allows me to perform magic ...
4
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3answers
641 views

Clairvoyant Powers

Recently met a certain Rabbi with clairvoyant powers. He was able to look at my name and tell me all sorts of spooky stuff. For example, that I have two mezuzas with problems. (I hired a sofer to ...
2
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2answers
298 views

Why did the Egyptian “astrologers” tell Pharaoh that a savior would be born?

רש"י suggests that Pharaoh's astrologers told him that they had a vision that a savior would be born on a certain day (שמות א:כב & שמות א:טז). Assuming the “astrologers” had no real power of ...
2
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2answers
150 views

Magicians of Egypt (sometimes referred to as Jannes and Jambres)

Exodus 7:11 ESV Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. Exodus 7:11 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / ...
13
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4answers
458 views

Flying and sorcery

Rashi (Sanhedrin 44b, s.v. D'ba'ya) relates the story of Shimon ben Shetach's capture of 80 witches. He instructed his students to pick up the witches because the sorcery would be powerless against ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism and Jewish Mysticism?

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism? I have heard that it has something to do with Kabbalah. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also Solomon (may peace and blessings be upon him) is falsely ...
17
votes
2answers
562 views

Why is practical kabbalah not considered kishuf?

To preface I know next to nothing about so called 'practical kabbalah'. But from the few things I have read about, things like face or palm reading, making a golem (essentially an android) or any ...
19
votes
5answers
922 views

Did the Rambam believe in magic?

If you read through Chapter 11 of the Rambam's laws on Idol Worship, you'll see what seems to be the Rambam forbidding anything that even resembles magic, all while calling such practices foolish and ...
14
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4answers
700 views

Did the prophets practice magic?

The Torah clearly prohibits all forms of magic, which we might define as the achievement of any supernatural phenomenon. Yet we find many neviim, most blatantly Eliyahu and Elisha, achieving many ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Why don't we see magic today?

Throughout Tanach and Talmud, there are numerous recorded uses and practitioners of magic1. From Pharaoh's magicians to Shaul's necromancer, and magic cucumbers to were-donkeys, the references are ...
10
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2answers
457 views

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Talmud?

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Gemara by a Rabbi proud of his knowledge? Are magic cucumbers discussed elsewhere? Thanks.
13
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3answers
748 views

Hypnosis in Halacha

Is there a proplem in the Halachic literature with hypnosis? What, if anything, is the issue involved in either hypnotising people or being the subject of such an hypnosis?
10
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2answers
821 views

Is hamsa allowed?

Does the Halacha allow the use of a hamsa as a good luck charm, considering that it originated as a Muslim symbol?
7
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4answers
668 views

What practices are affected by a belief in demons?

Inspired by R' Slifkin's new monograph, Wrestling with Demons, and acknowledging the fact that the existence of sheidim and other things magical in nature is an age-old dispute, I am wondering about ...
9
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3answers
212 views

Why did the Mitzryim turn water into blood rather than vice versa?

Why didn't the Mitzryim magic makers just take away the blood from the first makkah to prove to Moshe that he was just doing magic and Hashem had nothing to do with it: why did they add blood (Exodus ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Black Magic by Pharaoh's Magicians

What are the various opinions regarding the efficacy of the magician's in the Exodus story?