I have a question regarding a possibly Jewish tradition that I learned from my mother. My mother is from Iraq; back in the 70's Jews used to inhabit Iraq, and she said that this is who she learned it from. I suppose they still do since there is but 7 left.
So whenever I lose something, my mom tells me to tie a knot from a towel, paper towel, maybe it doesn't matter, maybe it does. You fold the towel diagonally, and then you fold the outside tip to the crease, and then continue folding likewise until you get some type of thing that looks like a string. From that, you make a knot. She heard that this ties up the testicles of Satan, causing him pain and he'll concentrate on the pain rather than making trouble in your life, or something to that effect.
I'm wondering where does this belief come from? Is it specific to Iraqi Jews? Does anyone else know about it? My mom said that there are some people in Iraq who know this that are not Jewish, but they learned it from the Jews as well. I recalled my mother saying a specific word for this type of "fix" if you will.
EDIT: Another part to the belief was that as soon as the item that was lost is found, you must untie the knot, because (again, I'm not quite sure if I heard this correctly, or even if my mother remembers it correctly) the demon may cry out loud, and cause another demon to show up to break the charm. So then it was bad luck to keep the knot going.
As to it solely concerning Eastern Jews (I assume it's meant Jews in the Middle East), I think that some of the family married into the European side of Jewry, since the family (who we still keep in contact today) has 40 and 50 year old relatives with both their last name (it's Arabic sounding) and the last name common among European Jews. However, I do not claim that I know that for a fact. It could have very well been that there were Jews in Iraq with European sounding names.
Another Edit: I think I may have found something. Initially, I ignored this source because it said "Jewish Magic", as it could prove to be written by an anti-Semitic person as it was printed before the Holocaust, but according to the book Jewish Magic and Superstition, on page 127, it states that this type of "segulah" is a sort of binding (which I weakly referred to as it "ties the testicles of Satan" and "prevents him from doing harm"), and it also lists the Talmud as a source and goes as far as to say the Islamic prophet Muhammad was bewitched by this type of binding.