Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

17

Unless we assume it is all allegory, the Talmud is replete with references to Mazikin, aka Sheidim, and they sure sound real. Rabbis even had conversations with them (e.g. Chullin 105b), provided a way to see them (Berachot 6a), overheard them (Succa 28a) and established laws based on their existence (e.g. Berachot 3b and Pesachim 100b). King Solomon and ...


13

The famous position attributed to the Kotzker Rebbe is that, since the Rambam paskened that demons do not exist, his psak halacha caused the demons to cease to exist. See my analysis here. This position is discussed in Prachei Rashi, שאל אחד את רבי מנדל מקוצק: הרמב״ם במורה נבוכים כופר במציאות שדים וכשפים, ואלו בתורה כתוב ״ולא יזבחו עוד את זבחיהם ...


9

The Babylonian Talmud (M'gila, page 3 column 1) relates in the name of Ravina: One who is afraid [for no apparent reason] — although he doesn't see [anything], his mazal sees [something]. The commentary of Rashi explains that "mazal" here refers to the person's angel. And the commentary Ben Y'hoyada explains that what his mazal sees (and he's afraid ...


9

Some people are careful to spill off a little bit of water (and other liquids?) before drinking, a practice explained in the Gemara (Chullin 105b, bottom) as due to concern that a shed may have drunk from it. However, most people don't worry about it.


8

The gemara clearly mentions sheidim, and there were certainly Rishonim (e.g. Rashi) and Acharonim who took these mentions literally. The Rambam takes them non-literally, as he writes in Moreh Nevuchim 1:7 and in his perush haMishnayot to Avodah Zarah 4:7. The Kotzker Rebbe has a famous elu veElu in which he explains that the Rambam effectively paskened ...


6

See Rashi there, which renders it as Onkelos does: "They sacrificed to demons, which have no power." The name for god there has to do with power/rulership. On the essential question of their existence, see here. Theologically, demons are no more problematic than angels or Satan the Adversary vis-a-vis monotheism. And someone worshiping them is no different ...


5

The straight forward understanding of Chazal that their are sheidim and they are a trouble making species which are somewhat physical, somewhat spiritual. Our Rabbis taught: Six things are said concerning demons: in regard to three, they are like the ministering angels; and in regard to three like human beings.‘In regard to three they are like ...


5

The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, in his memoirs, recounts a story about the Alter Rebbe's (Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the first Chabad Rebbe) great-grandfather, R' Baruch Batlan. Apparently, he was a tenant in a building which became inhabited by sheidim after the passing of the building's owners. After trying several ways to remove them, his Rebbe, R' Yoel, the ...


4

It is not a compulsory halacha but rather a recommended practice for someone who is concerned with his soul, as stated at the end of the Sif - וצריך בעל נפש ליזהר בהם. There is a perspective (like it or not) that part of the sexual act involves accessing urges that are less than holy. Yes marital union is holy etc, but it borders very closely with some of ...


4

We don't keep the halachos in the gemara about zugot (pairs), a demon-related issue.


4

What about the "Birchat Me'ein Sheva" at the end of the friday night prayers? Shulchan Aruch says that this was added so that the people in the synagogue should have extra time to finish their prayers, so that they could walk home together. The sages were worried about "Mazikim" (usually understood to be demons). Here's a link to the Paragraph in the ...


4

No. The Gemara and Medrash are full of references of people seeing them and surviving to tell of it. For example, according to the Gemara (Gitin chap. 7), the way Shlomo Hamelech realized it was Ashmdai the King of Sheidim versus the actual king was by this indicator of birds feet (maybe calves feet), and concluded that the homeless man was the real king. ...


4

The Rambam mostly rejected the idea of demons. This resulted in him either completely ignoring הלכות mentioned in the גמרא that were based on the existence of demons (such as the issur of keeping food beneath your bed), or giving the הלכות different and more rational reasons (an example for such an halach is מעין שבע said on Friday nights, which was based on ...


4

The Ramchal in Da'as Tevunos in the section בריאת הרע וגדריו, starting with siman 96 and particularly in siman 114 and 118, explains how demons came into existence. 114: כשאנו אומרים שהקב"ה ברא העולם הזה, ודאי נבין בתחילה בריאת הכלל, ואחר כך הפרטים, פירוש, בתחילה הטבע עצמו, ואחר כך אישיו. והנה כשרצה האדון ב"ה לחדש הטבע בטוב ורע, הנה ודאי הוא שבאה השפעה ...


4

This article by Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir of the Orthodox Union cites the same Shulkhan Aruch passage, and implicitly rules that it is still in effect.


3

Washing hands repeatedly in the morning to dispel the bad spirit on them. (Some perform this ritual after sleeping in the daytime as well). This is stated in the Gemara Shabbos 108b-109a: הוא היה אומר יד לעין תיקצץ יד לחוטם תיקצץ יד לפה תיקצץ יד לאוזן תיקצץ יד לחסודה תיקצץ יד לאמה תיקצץ יד לפי טבעת תיקצץ ידלגיגית תקצץ יד מסמא יד מחרשת יד מעלה פוליפוס ...


3

In an important responsum on superstition, the Rashba (no. 825) writes the following: ואי משום דרכי האמורי האמת אמרת שכל שיש בו משום רפואה וידוע לרופאים שהוא כן אין בו משום דרכי האמורי ויתר מזה שכל שלא נאסר בגמרא באותם המנויין בדרכי האמורי אין לנו לאוסרן לפי שאין הסגולות ידיעות ואין לנו לדון מדרכי הטבע המפורסם שהרי יש סגולות שלא נודע עיקרן לכל בעלי הטבע ...


3

It is true that the Talmud Bavli clearly mentions shedim in many places. As in other areas, they followed the science of the time, so something that seems unscientific now was a reasonable belief back then. However, that doesn't mean they were completely wrong. They felt there were certain harmful invisible forces that existed in the world and that one must ...


3

The Rambam, practically alone among the major commentators, has the almost unique view that sheidim do not exist, and the entire idea was a simple superstition, played upon by the Sages for use parables and other concepts. Consequently, he interpreted all the Gemaros and Midrashim that mention sheidim as allegories or the like. Though some of his ...


2

Let's back up a minute and start with a simple understanding. In Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32:24), God warns of: מְזֵי רָעָב וּלְחֻמֵי רֶשֶׁף, וְקֶטֶב מְרִירִי What's this "ketev mriri"? To quote R' Aryeh Kaplan's Living Torah: [They will be] bloated by famine, consumed by fever, cut down by bitter plague ... cut down (Rashi; Baaley ...


2

It is a dangerous spirit that is active in between 17 of Tammuz and Tishabav (according to one opinion) from the 4th hour until the ninth hour of the day(summer time around 11-2). Which is one of the reasons to not do things that are potentially dangerous during the three weeks. This includes things like: hitting children(beis yosef 551) Walking by ...


2

The word "satan" in Hebrew is the title of a role, not a personal name. It means the role of prosecutor (as in a court of law) and it is not a name like "Joe." I have searched through a concordance (both hard copy and electronically on the Bar Ilan data base) and I have not found any time when the prosecutor has spoken directly to a Jew (or any human ...


2

This question and answer from yeshiva.co might be of some interest to you. Basically, even if one were to accept the premise that shedim are actual, physical beings (which isn't unanimously accepted), they still don't have free will. They are required to do God's will in much the same way the Satan has no free will and can just do God's will. In any case, ...


2

Although not brought in Shulchan Aruch, the prohibition is mentioned in Magen Avraham (239:7) and Mishna Berura (:9). For comprehensive discussion about the particulars of this, see Shmiras Haguf Vehanefesh (vol. 1 pg. 339). Practical solutions to get out of this problem include leaving the door to the room unlocked, or leaving a light on in the house. ...


1

See Magen Avraham 239:7 one should not sleep alone,see inside why.There are many sources who say not sleep alone ,from the gemara to the achronim.The one exception some say is a succha because of the protection of the mitzvah.


1

My Magid Shiur explained that this creature Shavriri gets alarmed and runs away when it hears its name being shrunk. Some of the other anti-demon chants mentioned there also seem to be a play on words to frighten away the offending creature. When you consider that their names describe their essence -- and may be their entire essence, if they are simply a ...


1

For a more comprehensive discussion of this source and the topic as a whole, see this article (specifically page 24 and the footnotes on it): http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/725299/Rabbi_Dr-_Aharon_Lichtenstein/Of_Marriage-_Relationship_and_Relations


1

1) No. 2) No, but there was a story of a guy who did trick and saw the supernatural world and then died, until the rabbis prayed around his bed and he was revived. 3) Yes.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible