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I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and therefore had to explain things superstitiously.

Does anyone have a source?

Also where does the Rambam z"l speak about ayeen haro being superstitious and doesn't exist at all?

  • I would be surprised,that would be a well known thing – sam Aug 20 '14 at 1:18
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    The Rambam said that shedeem (demons) don't really exist, and attributed the belief that they do exist to superstition. Centuries later, the Vilna Gaon said that the shedeem do exist, and attributed Rambam's belief that they didn't, to spending too much time learning Aristotle. – Jake Aug 20 '14 at 11:47
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    If he said that, it was probably in moreh nevuchim – user613 Aug 20 '14 at 13:13
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    @Jake where is the rambam on sheideem... – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Aug 20 '14 at 21:04
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    Its the Be'ur HaGra 179:13 beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=yd_x5168 – sam Aug 20 '14 at 21:47
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I'm not sure if this is exaclty what you're looking for, but the Rambam discusses Chazal's use of the term עינא בישא, and says that lehalakha, the way that we pasken, it isn't something that one shouldn't normaly care about. One might imply from this that the Rambam believed that either R. Abba amar R. Huna or whichever amora quoted him (Bava Basra 2b) understood עין הרע as an actual thing. This teshuvah is quoted in Migdal Oz to Rambam Hilchos Shcheinim 2:16 and is published in the תשובות ואגרות הרמב"ם מס' מח.

  • this is only meant to be an answer to the second half of the queation – הנער הזה Dec 23 '14 at 2:01

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