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Questions tagged [superstition]

A belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck.

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1answer
328 views

Is fruit sold in bulk at the store kosher?

At some supermarkets / stores, there is a "bulk fruit" section. I'm not talking about selecting fresh fruit off of the shelf or "fruit island" as is seen in some stores, like where they keep the ...
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2answers
103 views

How would the Rabbis handle a Jew who presents as having psychic or supernatural abilities?

I was curious if a precedent has been set for how the Rabbis would handle an individual who presents as having supernatural abilities which are forbidden in Torah. Let no one be found among you who ...
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1answer
102 views

Why is it considered “good mazal” to have a bird drop on you?

I have heard over and over again from people that it's "good mazal" when a bird defecates on you. Is there any source to support this or is it entirely superstition? If it has no source, where might ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a source for not counting your money?

I heard that you shouldn't count your money because of the ayin hara (Evil Eye) or something like that. Can anybody bring the source for it?
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0answers
60 views

How are things such as evil eyes/dark attachments/evil handled in Jewish tradition?

While the topic isn't discussed heavily in modern Judaism (outside of the evil inclination) the idea that there are dark forces which can negatively impact and overwhelm individuals is a very real ...
2
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1answer
149 views

What are the parameters of 'Don't open [your] mouth to Satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b, Berakhot 19a). I would like to know if this concept is specifically limited to speech. Would writing, signing, or some other form of (non-...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

wearing two hats at the same time-is that a probelem?

I grew up hearing that if you put two hats or two yarmulkas at the same time that you could forget your learning- is there any source for this?
2
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2answers
110 views

Tzitzit being a protection to the wearer

What is the source for tzitzit being a protection for the wearer? And is it also a protection when there is no mitzvah being fulfilled while wearing them, for example at night?
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0answers
80 views

Throwing away nails

As discussed here, one should ideally burn or bury his nails, and one who throws them is a rasha. What is the halacha regarding placing them in a trash receptacle? Is it allowed, since it won't lead ...
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2answers
86 views

May one make up their own simanim for Rosh Hashanna?

On the night of Rosh Hashanna, there is a custom to eat various foods whose names sound like something associated with Rosh Hashanah. These names can be in one language, and they make a blessing in ...
4
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1answer
212 views

Father and son - Hagbah and Gelilah, Pesicha for two Torahs

The Shulchan Aruch 141:6 writes that from a halachic standpoint a father and son may have aliyos back-to-back, however due to the worry of ayin harah we don't allow it. The Misnah Brurah and Be'er ...
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1answer
201 views

Am I allowed to use the word “sheid” (demon)?

I have noticed that some people are careful to not say the word "sheid" (demon) and say "shin-daled" instead. What's that all about?
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0answers
41 views

Image of a hand with an eye by in the palm. What's the source? [duplicate]

Why do some Jews wear a necklace with a form of a hand with some sort of eyeball image in the palm of the hand? What is the source for this and when did it begin?
2
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1answer
601 views

Closing up a window

Someone mentioned to me that there are some Jews who have a Jewish tradition to be careful to never close up/cover a window due to some sort of danger. Can someone give me some of the parameters for ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Leaving secular books open and forgetfulness

In this question the concept of leaving Sefarim open being linked to forgetfulness is discussed. Does such a principle apply to Secular books as well or is it strictly limited to Torah-books? (...
3
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3answers
148 views

Leaving Sefarim Open and forgetfulness

I heard that there is an idea of not leaving a Sefer open because it can cause forgetfulness. Is this idea written about anywhere in Halachic literature? If so where is it located?
4
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0answers
191 views

May a builder skip “13” when numbering floors on a building or rooms on a floor

Rabbi Kaganoff discusses the prohibition of nichush (superstitious omens) and starts the discussion with the question “May a frum builder skip the number 13 when naming the floors of a building?” ...
3
votes
1answer
480 views

Eating the foreskin at a brit milah

Yalkut Yosef (siman 79 in דין בשר האדם) discusses a minhag brought down by Mar'eh HaYeladim (מערכת ה' אות י) which says: "it is a segulah for a woman to become pregnant [with a boy] if she takes ...
6
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2answers
395 views

Saying a pasuk to scare dogs

It seems somewhat widespread that Jews that are scared of dogs think that saying ולכל בני ישראל לא יחרץ כלב לשונו will either protect them or scare the dog away or something like that. Does this have ...
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1answer
134 views

Do Jews believe demons can eat people

Is there any mention in Jewish scripture of demons being capable of eating human beings? I am asking this question because it is found in other religions.
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0answers
167 views

Shooting Stars and Luck

There seems to be a non-Jewish association of good luck with seeing a shooting star. Is there any source for this in Judaism?
4
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2answers
362 views

Exorcism in Judaism

What is the consensus today regarding dybbuks, demons and possession? Do we attribute these things to mental illness or do we acknowledge their existence?
3
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2answers
579 views

Protection from Mazikim

I am looking for Torah sources discussing protection from mazikim (negative spiritual forces/beings). So if, theoretically, one suspects a room or apartment has these things manifest causing trouble, ...
2
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2answers
217 views

What does the Rambam say about ghosts?

I simply want to know what the Rambam thinks about ghosts, spirits, demons, and things like that.
7
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1answer
174 views

Earliest Sources To Avoid Pronouncing the Name 'Samael'

What are the earliest explicit sources that reference the practice of not pronouncing the name 'Samael'? I ask since I have heard many people doing this. It is referenced here: http://www.yeshiva.org....
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1answer
125 views

Having parakeets in one's house

Someone told me it's Mazel Rah (bad luck) to have parakeets in one's house. Is there any source for this?
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2answers
552 views

What is Rambam's opinion on demons?

In Mishne Torah A.Z (11:16) he says that sorcery and mysticism in general does not exist, but he does not refer to demons explicitly. Does the Rambam speak about demons specifically anywhere else?
6
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4answers
874 views

Palm-reading in Judaism

Are there Jewish sources which affirm the validity of the art of palm-reading? If yes, how does this work. i.e. what is the underlying idea behind it. (the reason I ask, is because I actually met ...
14
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7answers
651 views

Does the Zodiac really have influence on our lives?

Ancient thought, even among the rabbis of the Talmud, was that the Zodiac controlled certain Earthly events. In Hebrew, the signs of the Zodiac are מזלות, now known as "luck". For example, in Shabbat ...
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1answer
117 views

birthday, mazal and tefillah

Rav Tzadok HaKohein of writes in Divrei Chalomos (#20) the following on birthdays: "On the day when a person is born, his mazal is very strong and every year on that day he does not have to fear from ...
7
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0answers
151 views

How do you avoid 'al tiftah peh l'satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b) - literally "don't open your mouth to the Satan". How can concern for this principle be avoided when discussing possible bad future ...
8
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3answers
312 views

Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Is it appropriate to learn the laws of aveilut when both your parents are alive? Or is there a superstition that it could be dangerous to them?
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6answers
3k views

Is “Siman Tov u'Mazal Tov” Halachically problematic?

Literally translated, this is what is commonly said in the Jewish community, upon hearing very good news (typically life-cycle events as such as engagement, marriage, birth). "A good sign and a good ...
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2answers
188 views

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of Moed Katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
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3answers
2k views

When something is lost, tie a knot

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 ...
7
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1answer
299 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

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 ...
7
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1answer
226 views

Shechting a goose during teves and shevat

The Rama in Yoreh Deah 11:4 cites a custom that some shochtim (ritual slaughterers) won't slaughter a goose during Teves or Shevat unless they eat from the heart of the animal. הגה: מקצת שוחטין ...
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0answers
288 views

Raziel Hamalach Book as a Segula

What is the origin of owning the book Raziel Hamalach as a segula for protection against harm?
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1answer
751 views

Are Segulot a Prohibition of Nichush?

Rambam Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 11:12 writes: הלוחש על המכה וקורא פסוק מן התורה, וכן הקורא על התינוק שלא יבעת, והמניח ספר תורה או תפילין על הקטן בשביל שיישן - לא די להם שהם בכלל מנחשים וחוברים, אלא ...
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4answers
1k views

What's the Jewish equivalent of “crossing your fingers”?

I always use the phrase "crossing my fingers for good luck", but it's really annoying; is there a Jewish equivalent of that phrase? This is a superstition from another religion, making the symbol of ...
6
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2answers
494 views

Mezuzah letters touching causing bad luck?

My family has had quite a bit of misfortune last few months (sickness, theft and more). My wife suggested that we get our Mezuzahs checked. Just a note on this: I understand that they must be ...
6
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1answer
234 views

Nichush- Nichush or Divine Messages?

I have a question regarding the Torah prohibition of Nichush. It seems from the Rambam and halacha that signifying occurrences in life with an importance, what is termed hasghacha protis in certain ...
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1answer
419 views

How to remedy a case of possible Ayin Hara?

If someone gave you a bunch of compliments that you suspected might be based on some jealousy, what can you do to ward off any possible Ayin Hara--at the time the compliments were given or afterwards?
4
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1answer
205 views

May a person sit on a tree stump?

Can one sit on a tree stump or is there a spiritual danger? I remember hearing such a thing, but I don't remember where.
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4answers
319 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. ...
18
votes
1answer
960 views

Killing somebody with the keys to the synagogue

In Yoreh Deah 339:1, the mechaber brings a variety of things that one is not permitted to do to a goses (a person on the brink of death), since each of these things causes the goses to die sooner. ...
7
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1answer
461 views

What is the danger in cutting fingernails in order?

The Ramo (OH 260:1) writes that one should not cut their fingernails in order; rather he should cut them by skipping neighboring nails and cycling through all the fingers. וכשנוטל צפרניו לא יטול ...
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1answer
446 views

Opening an umbrella indoors

Is there anything wrong with opening up an umbrella indoors according to Jewish tradition? I have met many people who view it as bad luck or possibly rude. On the other hand we are commanded not to ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
3
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5answers
2k views

Ayin Hara - The evil eye - Hocus Pocus

There are people that do some sort of procedure with lead that they claim gets rid of Ayin Hara. Is this hocus pocus or true?