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 change someone's emotions or thoughts?

Note: this question is going according to the commentators that accept kishuf etc. as being real.

Edit: I was thinking about it a bit, and it's a bit of a stretch, but when Rabbi Shimon and the שד conspired to possess the Roman Emperor's daughter might qualify here, considering the sorcery discussion in Sanhedrin 67a.

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    Is this question on-topic? Questions about "general knowledge (science, etc.) as it relates directly to Judaism" are on-topic, but I don't see how this question is about witchcraft as it relates directly to Judaism.
    – msh210
    Jan 11, 2016 at 0:53
  • @msh210 In Sanhedrin 67a or (b?) there is a lengthy discussion about the various types of kishuf and their differences. Is that on topic?
    – jj2
    Jan 11, 2016 at 0:58
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    Maseches Sanhedrin is on-topic. I see no mention of Sanhedrin in this question.
    – msh210
    Jan 11, 2016 at 1:39
  • But I guess this is on-topic, since it explicitly asks about effecting emotions and thoughts because those are excluded from the examples of kishuf in the Torah.
    – msh210
    Jan 11, 2016 at 1:40
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    Do you mean particularly witchcraft or all forms of spiritual powers (such as kabbalistic)? In Sefer raziel there is a recipe for a love potion
    – mroll
    Jan 18, 2016 at 7:04

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is any mekor that you can change a person's mood through kishuf.

This would seem to be a challenge to bechirah if it was possible.

It would also be a challenge to halacha, ha'adam muad le'olam etc.

  • Just curious, are you that familiar with the entire body of Torah literature that you can assert that no such source exists? Nor do I see that as being a challenge to Bechira at all. There are many things which can impinge on one's free choice, and don't undermine Creation.
    – Chaim
    Jul 4, 2016 at 15:27

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