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13 votes
Accepted

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

There are several factors to be considered to determine whether or not Harry Potter would be liable to prosecution under the witchcraft clause. Is he Jewish? Regarding his Jewishness, as noted the ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
11 votes

Does Judaism believe in black magic?

This is a matter of debate among the medieval Jewish authorities. Maimonides believed that magic does not exist, and explained the verses that prohibit witchcraft and the like do so precisely because ...
Joel K's user avatar
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10 votes

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Amalekites and magic: The Amalekites' ability to change into animals is brought by Rashi on Shmuel 1:15:3 and the Rid on the same verse, and mentioned as a midrash in the Kitzur Ba'al Haturim's ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26k
7 votes
Accepted

Chazal Heimlich Maneuver

Yes, the incantation will work today, but only if you are precise in your pronunciation of the Hebrew letters, in the manner that Chazal historically pronounced them. This is the only incantation ...
josh waxman's user avatar
6 votes

Types of Magic according to Judaism

There are 2 types of magic with which one incurs a being from the upper realm to fulfil ones wish by creating something/bringing something unavailable, which are both mentioned in the Torah which the ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
6 votes

How is "magic" defined for the purposes of the prohibition against kishuf?

R. Menachem Meiri (Beis Habechirah Sanhedrin 67b) writes as follows: כל שהוא נעשה בפעולה טבעית אינו בכלל כשפים אפילו ידעו לברא בריות יפות שלא מזווג המין כמו שנודע בספרי הטבע שאין הדבר נמנע רשאים ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Which witch should not live?

It’s a Tannaic dispute whether non-Jews are prohibited in witchcraft. According to Sanhedrin 56a-b: The Tanna Kamma holds only the basic seven are obligatory upon them. R’ Chananya Ben Gamla adds ...
DonielF's user avatar
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5 votes

Can you control the weather with magic?

The Talmud records the following statement in Taanit 2a: אמר ר' יוחנן ג' מפתחות בידו של הקב"ה שלא נמסרו ביד שליח ואלו הן מפתח של גשמים ומפתח של חיה ומפתח של תחיית המתים R. Johanan said: Three ...
Alex's user avatar
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5 votes

Do Jews consider Jesus to be a magician?

This question you have asked is not specific to Jesus. Why not ask the same question about other "miracle-workers" throughout time? Although flipping the question doesn't necessarily answer it, it ...
ezra's user avatar
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5 votes
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Sorcerers, wizards, warlocks... what are the differences?

בעל אוב וידעוני Art Scroll 53a2 note 21 says that these are two different ways of communicating with the dead. This will be more fully described on 65a (Rashi) מכשף Art Scroll 53a2 note 29 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

How does one remove a curse and/or a magical spell that's been placed upon a person/land/lineage/etc? What is the process like?

1). See Nefesh Hachaim (3:12) that Rebbi Chanina was not affected by witchcraft and was not scared (even as a witch gathered dust beneath his feet to cast a spell) because he believed and knew that ...
msj121's user avatar
  • 1,054
4 votes

What is Pythonic Sorcery?

"Pythonic sorcery" appears to be how Wikipedia translates "Yid'oni" (ידעוני) (comp. the Hebrew in Rambam's list), although it's possible they were also referring to the Ba'al Ov, ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26k
4 votes

Significance of Yosef's Goblet

According to the Malbim 44:15 Yosef accuses them of stealing the goblet due to its divination powers . So Yosef makes the claim to the brothers that they are only returning the first money because ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.3k
4 votes

Why for a sorceress does the Torah say "shall not live" instead of "shall be put to death?"

As I answered here: Rather than command us to put witches to death (just like any other death penalty in the Pentateuch) the bible here instructs others (perhaps the courts) to not let any witches ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
3 votes

How is "magic" defined for the purposes of the prohibition against kishuf?

Although his commentary to Chumash is not such a halachic source, Rav David Zvi Hoffman discusses this in his commentary to Shemot 22:17. Somewhat along the lines of Sabbahillel, according to my read,...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
3 votes

Black Magic by Pharaoh's Magicians

Rambam's son R. Abraham, writes in his Torah commentary (Exodus 7: 11) in the name of R. Saadya Gaon (9th-10th century) that when the Torah states that "they too did so with magic" it means that they ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
3 votes

Meaning of Monen in Kabbalah

Welcome to Mi Yodeya. It looks like the word is not "monen" but M'onein. It is a category of forbidden practice in Deuteronomy 18:10. Rashi there brings two opinions: מעונן. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא ...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 9,085
3 votes
Accepted

How did the Magic (Kishuf) applied on the Tanaim?

The Gmara asks some question like that in Sanhedrin 67b: ההיא איתתא דהות קא מהדרא למשקל עפרא מתותי כרעיה דרבי חנינא אמר לה אי מסתייעת זילי עבידי אין עוד מלבדו כתיב איני והאמר רבי יוחנן למה נקרא שמן ...
EzrielS's user avatar
  • 1,156
2 votes

What practices are affected by a belief in demons?

Adapted from my question here. TLDR: not doing dangerous things during the Nine Days is predicated on the existence of demons. There are various restrictions in place from Rosh Chodesh Av for ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.5k
2 votes

Why did the Mitzryim turn water into blood rather than vice versa?

This can be explained with the interpretation of R. Yosef Bechor Shor. In his commentary to Exodus 7:20 he writes as follows: נראה לי שלא נעשה היאור דם אך אותה שעה ובאותה שעה שנקרש ונעשה דם מתה הדגה ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.8k
2 votes

What is Kishuf ("magic")?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 166:4 says that even slight of hand tricks are considered magic and that they should not be viewed or performed. At least a partial answer.
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.9k
2 votes

From a Rabbinical perspective is the creation of a golem considered a sin against Hashem or form of Sorcery?

It doesn't appear to be a Halachic problem to create a golem as this article discusses the question of creating a golem and including it for a minyan. None of the poskim in the discussion seem to ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.5k
2 votes

Does Judaism believe in black magic?

In addition to the "for" and "against" views presented in Joel's answer, there is also the ambivalent view expressed by Ralbag in his commentary to Exodus 7:11: לחכמים ולמכשפים: ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.8k
2 votes

Significance of Yosef's Goblet

The following is based on the Be'er Yosef to Genesis 44:5. It is part of a devar Torah I wrote up here. Perhaps Yosef was very purposeful in choosing to scare his brothers with an accusation of ...
robev's user avatar
  • 19.9k
2 votes
Accepted

How were the chartumim able to measure Hashem's strength?

It is not a measure of Hsshem's strength, it is an acknowledgement that it is a direct touch of Hashem and therefore beyond their power. Rav Hirsch explains that this is an idiom used to describe ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the Yadua bone? Is it extinct?

There is a lot that has been written about the Yaduah / Adnei HaTzadeh, I will attempt to provide more details about what exactly it is and not whether or not it is to be regarded as extinct or not. ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

Is the Law of Attraction/Law of Assumption permitted to be used (Is it Kishuf if it works or any other issur)?

I'm not competent to give a full answer, but the Maharsha seems to say something similar and define it as within nature: בדרך שאדם רוצה ליליך מוליכין אותו כו'. עיין בזה במפרשים ואענה גם אני חלקי דלא ...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 9,085
2 votes

What should we do if a ghost reaches out to us first (as opposed to us reaching out to/consulting ghosts)?

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קסו - שלא לנחש לעונן ולכשף says :סעיף ה' אָסוּר לִדְרוֹשׁ בִּמְכַשְּׁפִים אֶלָּא בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת, אוֹ אִם בָּא לוֹ אֵיזֶה חֳלִי עַל יְדֵי כִשּׁוּף אוֹ ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
2 votes

What should we do if a ghost reaches out to us first (as opposed to us reaching out to/consulting ghosts)?

There's a story in the Talmud (Brachot 18) about a fellow who goes to sleep in the graveyard for a few years in a row, on Yom Kippour evening. He hears ghosts (souls/spirits of young girls buried ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar

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