Until now little historical research has been done on Jewish magic in ancient times, for various reasons, some of them self-understood. The first book to deal with this problem, published almost a century ago, is almost the last.1 The discovery in the Geniza of the Sefer ha-Razim (Book of Secrets), a magic book of a Palestinian Jew of the Talmudic period, a discovery that should have encouraged scholars to deal with this forgotten field, nevertheless did not advance the investigation of Jewish magic, but steps are now being taken in this direction.2 Christian magic is unlike Jewish magic: the investigation of magic among the early Christians, that is, magic believed in by the (mostly) Jewish Palestinians, has received considerable attention.3
The prophets and leaders of Israel in the Biblical period already performed miracles, including some that appear like miracles in all respects.4 Indeed, focusing exclusively on exorcism, in line with the following discussion, brings out that in Jewish literature over the generations an exorcism incident (albeit outside Palestine) is described for the first time in the Book of Tobias.5 Hundreds of years later Josephus reports on a Jew named Elazar who performed exorcisms a number of times in the presence of Vespasian and the Roman military commanders (Jewish Antiquities 8, 2, 5, 45-48).6 Similarly, the Qumran library contains poems intended to drive out
evil spirits, and presumably the residents used these prayers 'to frighten and scare all the spirits of the angels of destruction'.7 As is known, acts of exorcism were also told about Jesus (Matthew l2, 22-24; Mark 5, 2-20; 6, 13; Luke 8, 2; 8, 26-33) and his disciples (ibid, 7, 22; Acts of the Apostles, 19, 13). Scholars have shown that Jesus was a Jewish magician.8 Thus, exorcism was an accepted folk practice. In spite of the ancient Jewish factionalism recognized in various fields, unanimity regarding exorcism was recognized in various circles in the Jewish people in the first century of the Common Era (and apparently, in the periods before and after it).
Similarly in Hellenistic culture 'holy' men, among others, dealt with miracles, read: exorcism. The sages of Israel were bound to conclude from two great civilizations that these deeds - including exorcism, that is, curing people - were an accepted social and religious phenomenon.9
A. Deeds of the Sages
More than once we read in Talmudic literature that the sages of the Mishnah and Talmud dealt with magic.10 It can be generalized that in ancient times no distinction was made between religious life and magic - in accord with the thinking of modern ideas - but magic was an then integral part of religion.11 Indeed, among the various matters of magic mentioned in the Talmudic literature, three incidents of exorcism by rabbis are noted explicitly,12 though presumably many more incidents of this type occurred among Jews in ancient times.13 In any case, before our discussion of the stories of exorcism by sages, it must be mentioned that exorcism - in spite of its magic character for modern eyes - was in actually a therapeutic operation. The ancient world believed that sickness is caused by spirits that entered the body, hence removal of the spirits will effect his a cure.14 Thus, medicine and ancient folk wisdom recognized exorcism not necessarily as a magic operation but as a matter of therapy (similar to the war against microbes that invade the body of modern man).
1. Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa
The following is told about Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa who lived in the first century:
Once Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa went to immerse himself in [the water of] a cave. Kuthim (Samaritans) came and placed a large rock over the mouth of the cave. The spirits came and removed it. Subsequently, an evil spirit haunted a poor woman in Rabbi Hanina's neighborhood.
His students said to him: Rabbi, see how this poor woman suffers grief from the evil spirit.
Rabbi Hanina addressed the spirit: Why do you cause grief to the daughter of Abraham ?
The spirit responded: Are you not the one who went down to dip in the cave, and so on, ...till I came with my brothers and my father's household and removed the rock. Is this how you pay me for the favor I did you ?
He answered her: I decree...15
In spite of the abbridged nature of the story, it probably ended with Rabbi Hanina ordering the spirit to leave the poor woman, notwithstanding that previously the spirit (and its family) had done him a favor. Indeed the spirit fled and the woman was cured, revealing the power of Rabbi Hanina. It is to be noted that this story is not known from Talmudic literature itself but from the writing of a twelfth-century Ashkenazi wise sage. The question arises: is this a rabbinic text from the Talmudic period that for some reason, intentional or not, is unknown from Talmudic literature or a pseudoepigraphic text (invented centuries after the period to which it is attributed and intended to glorify the Talmudicsages). First it has to be noted that the fact that the cited text is known only from medieval times does not necessarily show that it is fabricated. This phenomenon - an ancient original text preserved only in the manuscript from a later corpus - is also known from other examples, such as the preservation of Sifri Zuta in Yalkut Shimoni and remnants of sermons of the Tannaim (Mishnaic rabbis) in the Great Midrash.16
Indeed the text itself shows signs of abridgement by the copier ('and so on', 'till I came') and the end is missing. It is possible that it was intentionally censored from a Talmudic text because of its blunt magic character. The fact that the Jerusalem Talmud, and also various midrashic (sermonic) texts, have not been preserved intact shows that it is definitely possible that this text is authentic and was originally written in the Talmudic period.
Indeed, lately it has been pointed out that the words of Rabbi Hanina to the spirit 'Why do you cause grief to the daughter of Abraham ?' are similar in content to the words of Jesus who cured a woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13, 16), as both incidents refer to 'daughter of Abraham'.17 This parallelism strengthens the conjecture that this text, known from a later source, is authentic.18
However, even if we claim that the text is from a Talmudic source, we have to clarify whether its source is an authentic tradition and whether Rabbi Hanina indeed accomplished what is attributed to him: exorcism. The answer is that in this matter there is considerable correspondence between this 'external' tradition about Rabbi Hanina and the other Talmudic traditions dealing with this personality.
It is told of Rabbi Hanina that he cured the sick with his prayer, including among others the son of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai; he lived for a week on a measure of carobs and a heavenly voice announced this and also that the world is sustained because of his merit; angels appeared to him in the form of humans; he denied that he was a prophet; as a consequence of his prayer the rain stopped and after a second prayer it began raining again; a miracle occurred to his wife and her oven filled wlith bread; a snake that bit him died; a miracle happened to him and vinegar burned as if it were oil; and so did various other miracles happened to him.19 It is indeed clear that his piety and righteousness exceeded his learning and his principal power was in being a miracle man recognized by all for his supernatural power, that is, divine.
Not only does everything said to this point match the 'external' tradition, but the Gemara in Pesahim 112, p. 2, cites an additional story more similar to the story considered here:
We have learned: One should not go out alone at night either the nights of the fourth year or the seventh because (the spirit) Agrath daughter of Mahlath, she and 180,000 angels of destruction go forth and each has permission to destroy on his own.
Originally they were present all the time. Once she encountered Rabbi Hanina. She said: If they had not announced about you in Heaven 'Be careful with Hanina and his learning' I would endanger you !
He said: If I have status in Heaven, I decree that you shall not pass through populated areas forever!
She said: With your permission, leave me a little opening. He left her the nights of the seventh and fourth years.
Here is the dialogue between Rabbi Hanina and the 'queen of the spirits',20 and the main thing: Rabbi Hanina disposed of her with the words 'I decree that you shall not pass through populated areas forever !', very similar to the words in shortened version of chasing away: 'I decree (that you should leave this woman !)'; an equivalent decree.
One can then say, if there is a Talmudic wise man to whom a story (belated, as it might be) of exorcism from a woman can be attributed, Rabbi Hanina was a personality suitable for it. Thus is the authenticity strengthened for this post-Talmudic story, similar in nature to additional Talmudic stories about exorcism.
2. Rabbi Simon ben Yochai
One of the most famous stories of exorcism in the Talmudic literature is a story attributed to Rabbi Simon ben Yochai who lived in the second century of the Common Era. This story is known from two principal versions: one from the Talmud, tractate Meila 17a-b, and the other from the collection of midrashim (sermons) 'Beth Midrash' published by A. Jellinek.21 Here are the two versions:
|Once the kingdom issued a decree not to observe the Sabbath, not to circumsize the sons, and to have relations with menstruating women... They said: Who will go to abrogate the decrees? Let Rabbi Simon go since he is learned in miracles... He was greeted by Ben Tamalyon: Do you want me to come with you? Rabbi Simon wept and said: How is it that the maidservant of Father Abraham's household had an angel come three times and I not once; let the miracle come by any means. The first one he came to was the daughter of the emperor. When he came there, he said: Ben Tamalyon leave !, Ben Tamalyon leave ! And as he was called, he left. He was told: request whatever you want. Go to the sorehouse and take whatever you want. He found the document, took it and tore it up.||The Rabbis learned: The evil kingdom issued three decrees on Israel in the days of Rabbi Simon.... If there is among you a person learned in miracles, let him come and abrogate the documents. The sages set their eyes on Rabbi Simon... At that time Rabbi Simon sighted the mast of the ship and saw a spirit sitting on it. He said to her: What are you here for? She said: I came to perform a miracle for you. Immediately Rabbi Simon said: Ruler of the Universe, for Hagar the Egyptian you arranged five angels, and for me a spirit? She said: tell me, what do you care, as long as a miracle is performed for you, and what do you want? He said: What miracle are you performing for me? She said: I will enter the stomach of the king's daughter and she will scream 'bring me Rabbi Simon' . You will come and whisper in her ears and I will leave her. He said: what sign will I have when you leave her? She said: At that time all the glass vessels in the palace will break. He said: go do as you said. She went and entered her, and she was screaming: bring me Rabbi Simon.They sent for him in Palestine. She said: he is before you in the ship. They came and found him and led him to the king. He said: you are Rabbi Simon? He said: Yes. And you will cure my daughger? He said: Yes. And what do you do to her ? He said: I whisper in her ears and she is cured. He immediately added: At that time all the glass vessels in your palace will break. At that time Rabbi Simon whispered in her ears and she was cured, and the spirit went out and broke all the glass vessels in the palace. He said to him: What do you want me to give you? He said: I ask only that you abrogate the decrees against the Jews. Whoever brings them to Palestine shall be killed. The king immediately ordered cancellation of the first documents and wrote later documents. They went to Palestine and the decrees were abrogated.|
In spite of the differences in the different traditions, the principal intent is the same: a wonderful story about Rabbi Simon, a rabbi learned in miracles, who was sent to the royal court on a political mission and succeeded in his function because of his expertise in magic deeds.22 The principal differences between the versions are: the one in the Talmud is shorter; the Talmud speaks of a male spirit versus a female spirit in the Midrash;23 the Talmud, out of the ordinary, gives the name of the spirit Ben Tamalyon,24 whereas in the Midrash the name is not known (in the category of 'it is a mystery'). Similarly the Midrash is more detailed and contains a long dialogue between the Tanna and the spirit, and also the consequence accompanying the exorcism: the breaking of the glass vessels.25 In any case the common feature of the stories is that Rabbi Simon exorcised a spirit that had entered the royal palace, and as a result he caused abrogation of the decrees against the Jews of Palestine.
It is difficult to know what was the 'original version' of this story, and it is doubtful if there ever was a single original story. In any case, the primary assumption that the Talmudic stroy is more reliable than the Midrashic one (presumably written later) is unproven and in practice does anot affect whether there ever was an 'original version.' Hence the problem now is: Did Rabbi Simon carry out what told about him: exorcism (and the consequent achievement of political benefit).26
And so, the examination of additional Talmudic traditions about Rabbi Simon supports the correctness of this tradition. It is told about Rabbi Simon that beside his greatness in Torah study, spread through the entire Talmud, he was learned in miracles: he commanded a valley to fill with dinars, and so it happened; in his days the rainbow was not seen (for the world was sustained by his merit, and the mark of the covenant was not necessary); a carob tree and spring were created for him in the cave where he hid with his son; while in the cave he was nourished only by carobs, and in another connection it was said about him that his teeth blackened because of his fasts; he stared at one man and killed him (with the 'evil eye'); he raised bones of the dead from the land of Tiberias to purify it;27 and additional wonder stories were told about him.28
It can be said that this tradition told about Rabbi Simon is authentic although, of course, we don't have to learn from it about the existence of spirits or the political history of that period. What is special about the the story under discussion is its reflection of the great power of this wise man in magic, as he exorcised a spirit from the body of lthe daughter of the emperor, not from an ordinary woman. Clearly if this wise man had not had considerable experience in such matters, he would not have dared cure the emperor's daughter (since he might then have worsened the status of the Jews). Not only this, we should pay attention to the fact that in contrast to other incidents of exorcism in which the exorciser does not gain anything other than recognition of his holy status as one who inflluences the worlds above, in this case Rabbi Simon was recognized as also influencing the worlds below. It can be said that as a consequence of the the exorcism the wise man was rewarded by the abrogation of the decrees against the Jews. Thus his unique image and political capability was recognized both by Jews and by the Emperor (according to the Jewish tradition, of course).29 It can be said that the Talmudic narrator thought that the Jewish people need a leader with capability not only in Torah (study) but also in magic; in this way the burden of Roman rule could be lightened.
It is also worth noting that from the aspect of knowledge of Torah and status in Halacha, there is no comparison bewtween Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Simon. One is known almost exclusively for his miraculous deeds but not his learning while the other is known for his learning no less than for his miracles, as Rabbi Simon is one of the central pillars of the Mishna. It can be said that whereas in the first instance the exorcism was performed by a pious man and miracle master at the periphery of the world of scholars if not actually outside it, the incident discussed here deals with a man at the creative center of the sages of the Mishna and Talmud, a personalty representing great knowledge in Halacha, and bound up with it, miraculous deeds anad exorcism.
3. Rabbi (Abba) Yossi Man of Zeitur
The following story shows how an evil spirit was exorcised in Palestine in the fourth century.This story is known in two principal versions, in Aramaic and Hebrew, that appear in six different books:30
|Tanhuma Buber||Vayikra Rabba||Rabbi Berachya said: an incident in our town involved a (female) spirit
settled on the spring. Along came a (male) spirit to mate with her and
sought to remove her from there. A pious man named Rabbi Yossi Man of
Zeitur was there. The spirit revealed herself to him and said: Rabbi, I
have been here many years and I have never harmed anybody at noon or at
night (nor in the day), and now this spirit comes and seeks to remove me
and harm the people. He said: What shall we do ? She said: Take your sticks
and scythes and go attack him at noon and shout ours triumphs, ours
triumphs ! and he will flee.
They did this and chased him away from there. They said; They did not move
from there until they saw a blob of blood floating on the water. When the
sages heard about it, they said: And if a thing (being) that was not
created to need assistance now needs assistance, how much more so human
beings. For this reason David said (in Psalms) 'He sends help from
the holy place."
Rabbi Berachya ben Rabbi Simon: an incident in our town with Abba Yossi son
of Yochanan man of Zeitur who was sitting studying at the opening of a
spring. The spirit dwelling there revealed itself to him and said: do you
know how many years I am dwelling here and you go about, you, your wives
and children in the evening, dawn and noon unharmed. And now you should
know that an evil spirit dwells here and he harms people. He said: what
should we do ? He said: go warn the ppeople of the town and tell them to
gather their various agricultural implements here tomorrow at dawn. Let
them observe the water and when they see stirring of the water they should
beat the iron (implements) and say: ours triumphed, ours triumphed! And
they should not leave the place until they see a blob of blood on the
surface of the water.
He went and warned the residents of the town telling them: gather your
various agricultural implements and go there at dawn tomorrow. Observe the
water and when you see stirring of the water beat the iron and say: ours
triumphed, ours triumphed !
Do not leave until you see a blob of blood on the surface of the water.
And so we learn a fortiori, if spirits who were not created to need
assistance now need assistance, how much more so we who were created to
need assistance. We proclaim 'He sends help from the holy place'.
Cursory study of the two versions (representing a single incident, in six books and a greater number of manuscripts) reveals various differences between the stories. The most important difference is that the right column is in Aramaic and the left in Hebrew. Apparently the Aramaic version is the 'original' and the Hebrew version is translated from the Aramaic (perhaps by the 'editor' of Midrash Tanhuma). Evidence for this is found in the second difference: the length of the stories. In spite of the equivalent content the Aramaic story is longer and more detailed. The Aramaic story explains exorcism exactly while the Hebrew version gives a partial and vague description. Another difference pertains to the title of the exorcist: in the 'original;' Aramaic version he is called 'abba (father)' while in the later reworked version he is called pious man and also 'Rabbi' (and even the spirit addresses him by this title). It is reasonable that even this 'peripheral' detail reflects the authentic version: the exorcism was performed not by a man called 'Rabbi' in his day, a title reflecting the world of the sages of the Talmud, but a man called 'abba', a title appearing additional times as the title for miracle men.31
Indeed about this pious man there is no other informantion except for that discussed here. But apparently ithe story cited above is true, if not with respect to the existence of spirits, but with respect to the trust of the public in the acitivity of that 'abba': his ability to exorcise a spirit from a spring. If so the story is as follows. Abba Yossi man of Zeitur (apparently a place in Galilee) informed the residents of the city of the pressence of a spirit in their water spring, a good spirit that appeared to him and informed him that an evil spirit wanted to chase him from the water. And so, this Abba Yossi succeeded at first in bringing the residents of his city to the spring, led them in their battle (his battle) against the evil spirit and finally succeeded in exorcising the evil by means of agricultural implements.32 This was believed by the simple townspeople who went to battle the spirit but also by wellknown sages like Rabbi Berachya. It is clear that as a resullt not only was the spirit exorcised but his righteous exorciser earned an honored status in his community, for knowing to converse with good spirits, and even more important, his ability to exorcise an evil spirit.It follows that that holy man continued to study near the spring and the surrounding residents henceforth knew the source of the holiness of that spring.
Now that we have clarified the version of the incident, let us proceed to clarify the nature of the magic discussed here: exorcism from a spring. This matter seems entirely exceptional since most of the historical information describing exorcism reports on spirits that chose to dwell in a human body and not in water.33 But proper examination of this matter shows that indeed thre is nothing strange about a spirit dwelling in a spring. Proof is brought here from various sources.
In Pesachim 112 p. 1 two baraitot are cited, one as follows:
The Rabbis learned: One should not drink water from rivers or lakes at night. And if he drinks, he risks his life because of the hazard. What hazard ? The hazard of demons.As if to say, though the Tannaim did not explain the nature of the prohibition, the Amoraim provided the explanation of concern about 'evil spirit' (as explained previously in the Gemara) or in other words spirits called or classified as demons dwelling in the water, which, if swallowed with the water, are likely to jeopardize (read: kill) the drinker.34 However if this baraita (and its parallel there) is insufficient (if someone points out that the source of these matters is in Babylonia) then it is possible to bring additional examples of spirits in water and their exorcism in Palestine, this time from evidence of an entirely different type.
About seventy years ago a Palestinian Arab researcher published a large interesting research on the spirits dwelling in water according to the beliefs of the land's residents.35 Indeed the research deals with folklore, that is, the folk religion of the residents of Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth century. But it is not unlikely that the residents of the land preserved various folk traditions, even when they passed from religion to religion. It makes sense to examine these 'modern' traditions using the background of knowledge from the Talmudic literature. Indeed the researcher himself tended to see in the text various 'precedents' for spirits in the springs of the land, but this subject is not explained in the text and is outside the scope of this study.36
In fact, the residents of the land - Moslems and Christians - believed (and certainly still believe) in tens of spirits (male and female) dwelling in the springs of Israel, some good some bad. For example, in the case of a spring whose flow is cyclical, this phenomenon is the result of the struggle between the good and bad spirits found in the spring.37 In some of the springs of this type wars and victories occur in a regular manner between the good and bad spirits. Some springs have a complete family of sppirits living in each; it is understood that hot springs, as in Tiberias, are heated by spirits (acting on the basis of the commands of King Solomom).38 The local people believe that water with therapeutic qualities has to be drawn after sunset and if it is brought from a distancel, it should be stored during the day to avoid exposure (to the sun). At the Ein Sultan spring near Jericho is a field that once a year has a menstrual cycle and then blood can be seen on the water(but only at night). Most of the water spirits are female but not a few springs have a guardian spirit with the form of an animal.39 There are springs that can be approached only with the help of incense and prayer. The local people have many othere customs derived from the presence of spirits in the waters, such as the custom that women do not approach the springs while menstruating.
It can be generalized that there is hardly a source of water in the land of Israel without a spirit (one or more). It appears that the detailed knowledge about that from the 'modern' era reflects well ancient beliefs of the period of the Mishna and Talmud if not earlier.40 Hence the exorcism of a bad spirit from a spring by Rabbi Yossi man of Zeitur, although an exception at first glance, reflects folk beliefs of his contemporaries and is definitely not an exception, neither with respect to magic bound to water nor with magic tied to the sages of the Mishna and Talmud.
B. The Social Significance
The study of exorcism is only a small chapter in the history of magic in ancient times. It has to be granted that it does not add much to the investigation of magic in general because of the multiplicity of information on this subject of exorcism from humans.41 But, more than these matters help in the recognition of magic in ancient times, they are a chapter in the history of Jewish society in Palestine. That is to say, the stories of exorcism teach us about the society in which this act was carried out, since exorcism is not carried out in secret. It expresses society's need for magicians, those folk doctors who cured the sick through supernatural powers.42 However, these people were not only 'magicians ' and folk doctors but also society leaders. The nature of these people reveals the various kins of leadership needed by Jewish society in ancient times.43
It is hard to know to what extent each of the people mentioned above indeed represents the types of leadership in ancient times, but one need not therefore refrain from discussing the functioning of these people. Even though Hanina ben Dosa bears the title 'Rabbi' and certainly knew Torah, his power and fame derived from the fact that Jews in his time needed him to bring down rain or to cure their children. This was also recognized by the sages of the Mishna and Talmud representling Halachic authority in the social sphere. In other words Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa is an example of charismatic shamanic leadership,44 leadership in the category that the other leadership recognizes for its power and legitimacy.
Abba Yossi man of Zeitur is known only from the story cited above. hence his image laacks 'depth'. Nevertheless it appears that his leadership completely resembles the leadership of Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa: a charismatic personality occupied with Torah, but intertwined with deeds of magic, including exorcism and the killing of snakes (in a wondrous way).45 His power in society is recognized in that he did not fight the spirit alone, but led the war, that is the warriors, the residents of the city (who may have been his disciples); he acquired the reputation of a master of miracles, pious and holy.
Set against these two who were occupied with Torah but derived their fame primarily from their wondrous deeds, Rabbi Simon ben Yochai reflects another type of leader. He is not only a miracle worker but on the contrary he is known to the public for two things concurrently: greatness in Torah and Halacha and greatness as a miracle worker. In other words Rabbi Simon's image reflects both the charismatic leader and the authoritative leader. Worthy of special note is the important fact that Rabbi Simon translated his talent in the field of magic to the political level. In other words, according to tradition, Rabbi Simon was not only great in Torah and learned in miracles but he also walked with emperors and succeeded in abrogating their decrees against the people of Israel.46 Here is integration of authoritative Halachic leadership with magic and political leadership.47
In contrast to the leadership of the people of Israel in the period of the Judges, a time when a charismatic leader led his people on the field of battle, the power of the charismatic leader in the Talmudic period was in his speech. The leader influenced God, spirits, humans, even foreign rulers (in any case his admirers thought so) by means of speech and dramatic talent. The religious leader was not necessarily a leader crowned by the establishment but an ascetic personality (by virtue of poverty) with ties to the other world; from a certain perspective he can be seen as a mystic (though he himself would deny it, just as he would deny that he is a prophet). The charismatic leader in the Talmudic period labored for the community without asking for anything for himself; the onlooker would see no small similarity between his personality and that of the prophet in the period of the Scriptures.48
These examples of leadership, integrating qualifications that appear contradictory to modern man, conflict with the division of culture into establishment and folk. Rabbi Simon reflects in his life leadership that has both establishment and folk aspects, as nothing is more 'folk' than exorcism and nothing is more 'establishment' than a sage called 'Rabbi' and involved in political dealings with the conquering power.49
Apparently, the discussion here focused, on male and female spirits and the ways of exorcising them from women and springs.50 However, together with this, a penetrating look into the acts of the sages of the Mishna and Talmud in this field reveals more than a little about the type of leadership in ancient times: a leadership that included charismatic authoratative (knowledge of Halacha) Shamanistic (miraculous deeds) and political components. It is thus recognized that in ancient times there was no distinction between religion and magic (as understood by modern man) and key people in the history of Mishna and Talmud dealt with Torah as well as miraculous deeds.51 Even if there are those who wish to deny this, it is reasonable that the role of magic in the spiritual world of the Jews of Palestine was greater than accepted nowadays, either by the successors of those sages or by those who study their world.52
* I wish to thank Prof. G. Nigal for his comments.
1 L. Blau, Das Altjuedische Zauberwesen, Budapest 1898.
2 M. Margalioth (ed.), Sefer Ha-Razim, Tel-Aviv 1967 (Hebrew); J. Naveh and S. Shaked, Amulets and Magic Bowls, Jerusalem - Leiden: Brill - The Magnes Press, 1985; P. Schaefer, 'Jewish Magic Literature in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages', JJS, 41 (1990), pp. 75-91; L. H. Schiffman and M. D. Swartz, Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Geniza, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992; J. Naveh, Al heres va-Gomeh, Jerusalem 1992, pp. 145-176 (Henrew).
3 David E. Aune, 'Magic in Early Christianity', Aufstieg und Niedergang der Roemischen Welt, Berlin - New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1980, II,23.2, pp. 1507-1557.
4 J. Neusner, 'Science and Magic, Miracle and Magic in Formative Judaism: The System and the Difference', J. Neusner and others (eds.), Religion, Science, and Magic, New York - Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 61-81; J. Milgrom, 'Kishuf, Monotheism and the errors of Moses', Bet-Mikra, 36 (1991), pp. 42-55 (Hebrew).
5 I. Gafni, Yehudei Babel bi-Tequfat ha-Talmud, Jerusalem 1991, pp. 54-61 (Hebrew). It is surmised that the women described by Ezekiel (13, 17-23), were practicing exorcism. See: W. H. Brownlee, 'Exorcising the Souls from Ezekiel 13 17-23', JBL, 69 (1950), pp. 367-373.
6 A. Shalit (tr.), Josephus, Antiquities, II, Jerusalem - Tel-Aviv 1976, p. 271. In a note on p. 125 he supports the opinion of the one who believes that this Elazar exorcises spirits as described apparently with the deeds of the sages (see shortly below). Compare also the root (of "Dudaim" apparently), in Josephus, Bellum, 7,6,3 and: Dennis C. Duling, 'The Elazar Miracle and Solomon's Magical Wisdom in Flavius Josephus's Antiquitates Judaicae 8:42-49', HTR, 78 (1985), pp. 1-25.
7 B. Nizan, 'Shirei Shebah mi-Qumran "le-pahad u-lebahel" ruhot-Resha', Tarbiz, 55 (1986), pp. 19-46 (Hebrew); I.M. Ta-Shma, 'Hearot le-Shirei Shebah mi-Qumran', ibid. pp. 440-442 (Hebrew); I.A. Baumgarten, 'Al Shirei ha-Pegaim mi-Qumran', ibid, pp. 442-445 (Hebrew); E. Puech, '11QPsApa: Un Ritual D'Exorcismes. Essai de Reconstruction', RQ, 14 (1990), pp. 377-408; R. H. Eisenman and M. Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, Shaftesbury, Dorset - Rockport, Massachusetts - Brisbane, Queensland: Element, 1992, pp. 265-267.
8 M. Smith, Jesus the Magician, New York 1978.
9 David L. Tiede, The Charismatic Figure as Miracle Worker, SBL Dissertations 1, Missoula Montana, 1973; P. Brown, Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity, Berkeley & Los Angelos: University of California, 1982, pp. 103-152; William S. Green, 'Palestinian Holy Men: Charismatic Leadership and Rabbinic Tradition', Aufstieg und Niedergang der Roemischen Welt, Berlin - New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1979, II,19.2, pp. 619-647.
10 See, for example, J. Bazak, le-Mala min ha-Hushim, Tel-Aviv 1968 (Hebrew); A.A. Urbach, The Sages, Jerusalem 1967, pp. 82-102 (Hebrew). On related issues, the Sages and magic, see: J. Goldin, 'The Magic of Magic and Superstition', Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza (ed.), Aspects of Religious Propaganda in Judaism and Early Christianity, Notre Dame - London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976, pp. 115-147 [= J. Goldin, Studies in Midrash and Related Literature, Philadelphia - New York - Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication Society, 1988, pp. 337-357].
11 Compare P. Schaefer analysis who sees dichotomy between the sages and magic, and for that reason (together with others) rejects the attribution of the Hekhalot (Mystical and magical) literature to the Talmudic sages. He writes:
'The authors of the Hekhalot literature believed in the power of magic and attempted to integrate magic into Judaism. ...they cannot be the same rabbis who wrote the Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash'.(P. Schaefer, Gershom Scholem Reconsidered, The Aim and Purpose of Early Jewish Mysticism, Oxford Center for Postgraduate Studies 1986, citations from pp. 13, 16). Once again A. D. Nock should be recalled (cited by J. Goldin, [supra n. 10, p. 122], that for the ancients there was not, 'as with us, a sphere of magic in contrast to the sphere of religion'. See also: P. Schaefer, Hekhalot-Studien, Tuebingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1988, p. 290; C. R. Phillips, 'In Search of the Occult: An Annotated Anthology', Helios, 15/2 (1988), pp. 151-170.
12 On this phenomenon, though without reffering to any Rabbinic text, see: Jack N. Lightstone, The Commerce of the Sacred, Scholars Press, Chico, California 1984, pp. 17 ff.
13 ראתמה עודיה שרדמב הרמתשנ ,עוציבל ןוכתמכ תראותמה דש שוריגל המגוד 13 ,םיובלדנמ 'ד תרודהמ ,אנהכ ברד אתקיספ) המודא הרפ השעמ רבסהל סחיב חוכיו :היל 'א ,ייכז ןב ןנחוי ןבר תא לאש דחא יוג' :(74 'מע ,א ,ב"כשת קרוי וינ התוא ןיטחושו הרפ ןיאיבמ ;םיפשכ ןמכ ןיארנ ןידבע ןותאד אילימ ןיליא ןיזמו ,תמל אמטמ םכמ דחאו ,הרפא תא ןילטונו התוא ןישתוכו התוא ןיפרושו ותואב תיזזת חור הסנכנ אל :ול 'א !התרהט :ול םירמואו ,םיפיט שלש םיתש וילע 'א ?תיזזת חור וב הסנכנש רחא התיאר אלו :ול 'מא .ואל :ול 'א ?וימימ שיאה ויתחת ןינשעמו ןירקיע ןיאיבמ :ול 'א ?ןישוע םתא המו :ול 'א .ןיה :ול .'וכו ,'תחרוב איהו םימ הילע םיצברמו
14 :ילארשי ץרא שרדמב קר היוצמ ךכל הרורב החכוהש אלא ,רקחמב םכסומ הז רבד 14 - הבושת השע םא .ןידילומ ןיאש םירכז םיעגנ וילע [ה"בקה] איבמ הליחתב' ,'תנשונ תערצ ,הנבל תרהב תודילומ ןהש תובקנ [ה"בקה] איבמ - ואל םאו ;לבקתמ :ןייע .'וכו J. Mann and I. Sonne, The Bible as Read and Preached in the Old Synagogue (rep.), New York 1971, II, Hebrew section, p. 47. See also: M. Bar-Ilan, Polemics between Sages and Priests towards the End of the Second Commonwealth, A Dissertation presented to Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 1982, p. 142, n. 6 (Hebrew).
15 יסוחי ,אריפשמ סומינולק יברב הדוהי 'ר ,(ךרוע) ןומימ ןהכה ל"י :ךותמ 15 .חלת 'מע ,ג"כשת םילשורי ,םיארומאו םיאנת
16 M. Bar-Ilan, 'The Fate of Jeshua, Prince of Presence, in Scientific(?) Research', Sinai, 101 (1988), pp. 174-181 (Hebrew).
This phenomenon is well known from many examples and there is no need to bring them forward here.
17 ,ל"נה ;154-133 'מע ,(ה"משת) נ ,ןויצ ,'השעמ ישנאו םידיסח' ,יארפס 'ש 17 םילשורי ,תודהיה יעדמל ירישעה ימלועה סרגנוקה ירבד ,'תידיסחה העונתהו ושי' .7-1 'מע ,א ךרכ ,ב הביטח ,ן"שת
18 ,םידש שוריגב קסועה םירצממ יגאמ סוריפאפ יפ לע ולא םירבד קזחל ןתינ 18 תא האר וז החסונ לע) בקעי יהולאו קחצי יהולא ,םהרבא יהולאל הינפב חתופו ירצונה טסקטה .(27 'עה 191 'מע ,[10 'עה ,ליעל] ןוראב ןייצ הל תורפסה :וילע האר ,(PGM IV.1227-64 ) ףושיכה לש ידוהיה ורוקמ תא ריגסמ Hans D. Betz, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, p. 62. On another text with a similar nature (PGM IV.3007-86), see there p. 96; W. L. Knox, 'Jewish Liturgical Exorcism', HTR, 31 (1938), pp. 191-203.
19 On R. Hanina ben Dosa, see: A. Heiman, Toledot Tanaim we-Amoraim, rep., Jerusalem 1964, pp. 481-484 (Hebrew); G. Vermes, Post-Biblical Jewish Studies, Leiden: Brill, 1975, pp. 178-214; S. Freyne, 'The Charismatic', G. W. E. Nickelsburg and J. J. Collins (eds.), Ideal Figures in Ancient Judaism - Profiles and Paradigms, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1980, pp. 223-258; B. M. Boxer, 'Wonder-Working and the Rabbinic Tradition: The Case of Hanina ben Dosa', JSJ, 16 (1985), pp. 42-92.
20 ,ןליא-רב 'מ :האר ,(ט,חכ תישארב !לאעמשי תבו ושע תשא) תלחמ תב תרגא לע 20 ןותנש ,'םירישה ריש תליגמב םיפשכ ישעמו םייטורא םיניינע ,חסונה תניחב' םידש לעו ;(40 'מע דחוימב) 53-31 'מע ,(ז"משת) ט ,םודקה חרזמה רקחלו ארקמל :ללכב E. Langton, Essentials of Demonology, London: The Epworth Press, 1949.
21 ,רבוב 'ש ;130-128 'מע ,ו ,י"חרפת םילשורי 2,שרדמה תיב ,קנילי 'א 21 .71-70 'מע ,(ד"שח ביבא לת ,םוליצ סופד) ה"נרת בובל ,אטוז שרדמ ,רידהמ
22 ןורוד לארשי ירודשל ועב אדח אנמיז' :א"ע אכ תינעתב רופיסל דוע הוושה 22 ןמו ,'אוה ןיסינב דמולמד וז םג שיא םוחנ ליזיי ?ליזיי ןאמ :ורמא .רסיק יבל .םיפשכ-השעמ םש השענש רכינ ךשמהה
23 הביקנ ןושל ספת בתוכה ,רמולכ .'יאדמשא הדיש הארו' :בותכ אטוז הכיאב 23 .(רכז ןושלב ךישמה ןכמ רחאלו) דחי םג רכזו
24 ,ד"צרת ביבא לת ,לארשי תודלות ,ץבעי 'ז :האר ,'ןוילמת ןב' םשה שוריפל 24 .28 'עה 243 'מע ,(28 'עה ,ןלהל) ןינב לצא ןכו ;320-318 'מע ,ו
25 רכז'כ התועמשמ יכ הארנו ,הנותח תעשב םג העודי תיכוכז ילכ תריבש 25 :האר .םידש שורג :תירוקמה התועמשמ תא קיחרהל ידכ הל הנתינ 'ןברוחל J. Z. Lauterbach, 'The Ceremony of Breaking a Glass at Wedding', HUCA, 2 (1925), pp. 351-380 [=idem, Studies in Jewish Law, Custom and Folklore, (New York): Ktav, 1970, pp. 1-29A.] רוקמ תנבהב הכורכה תויתייעבהו ,הציב תריבש תועצמאב הלכה ידיב םידש שורג לע ,'הקירפא ןופצ תודהי יגהנמ לע תוימאלסא תועפשה' ,רברפש 'ד :האר ,גהנמה תאיצי תעשב תיכוכז וא םילכ תריבש לע דוע .157-144 'מע ,(ב"נשת) א ,םינחמ ,57 'מע ,ג"משת םילשורי ,לארשי תורפסב "קוביד" ירופס ,לאגנ 'ג :האר ,חורה .112-111
26 This story was already discussed partly: W. Bacher, 'La Legende de L'Exorcisme D'un Demon par Simon B. Yohai', REJ, 35, (1897), pp. 285-287.
27 חורב יחוי ןב ןועמש יבר הפצ' :בותכ ד"ע חל ,א"ה ט"פ תיעיבש ימלשוריב 27 םינותחתה לעו ,ודריש םינוילעה לע ינא רזוג" :רמאו ,םש ונתנש שדוקה תומודה העבשהה תונושלל 'ינא רזוג' וז ןושל הוושה .'היל תיוה ןכו ,"!ולעיש .אסוד ןב אנינח 'ר רמאש
28 ךרכ ,ב"פרת ןילרב ,ץיבוניבר ז"א :םגרת 2,םיאנתה תודגא ,רכאב ז"ב :האר 28 'י ;1189-1178 'מע ,םיארומאו םיאנת תודלות ,ןמייה ;102-45 'מע ,א קלח ,ב .ו"כשת םילשורי ,יאחוי רב ןועמש יבר ,ץיבונאק
29 יברל ץעמיחא תליגמב תינויער הליבקמ תמייק יאחוי ןב ןועמש 'ר רופיסל 29 האמב .19-18 'מע ,ד"לשת םילשורי 2,ראלק 'ב תרודהמ ,לאיטלפ יבריב ץעמיחא ותרות לביק רשא) הילטיא םורדבש יריואמ היטפש יבר ,הריפסל תיעישתה דש שריג ,(םיפשכ ישעמב לודג החמומ היהש ,ילבבה ןרהא ובאמ ףושיכב ויתועידיו ,בר ןוממ ךלמה ול ןתנ םירבדו ןיד רחאל .יליסב רסיקה תב לש הפוגב ןכשש לש והשעמל הקיזבו) ךכ לע דוע האר .יריוא ידוהי דגנכ ותריזג תא לטיבו הנשב הנש ,'ץעמיחא תליגמב ילבבה ןרהא ובא תומד' ,קוטשניו 'י :(י"בשר ,'תיטנזיבה תורפסב המוקמו ץעמיחא תליגמ' ,ןינב ד"ש ;25-2 'מע ,(ד"כשת) 243-242 דחוימב) 250-237 'מע ,(ה"משת) ד ,לארשי תבשחמב םילשורי ירקחמ 'מע ,(ז"משת) ה ,םלש ,'לבב ןיבל לארשי ץרא ןיב' ,ליפנוב 'ר ;(םש תורעהבו .(9-8 דחוימב) 30-1
30 'מע ,ג,דכ ,ז"טשת םילשורי ,תוילגרמ 'מ תרודהמ ,הבר ארקיו :ימרא חסונ 30 ,ס"רת בושטידרב ,רבוב 'ש תרודהמ ,םילהת רפס לע יריכמה טוקלי ;הנקת-גנקת 'מע ,ט םישודק ,ה"מרת הנליו ,רבוב 'ש תרודהמ ,אמוחנת :ירבע חסונ .141 'מע ,רבוב 'ש תרודהמ ,םילהת שרדמ ;33 'מע ,ט םישודק ,ע"רת השרו ,אמוחנת ;77 ןילרב קרוי וינ ,ינועמש טוקלי ;176 'מע ,כ קרפ ,ח"שת קרוי וינ ,םוליצ סופד יאדכ ךא ,תואסריגה יפוליח לכ תא איבהל רשפא יא .897 'מע ,פרת םילהת ,ו"פרת לש אל) תספדנה הרודהמב ךא 'אבא' םשב דיסחה הנוכמ םילהת שרדמב יכ ןייצל יכו ,(תועט ךותמ תואסריגה יתש בוליש רמולכ) 'אבא יבר' אוה ראותה ,(רבוב .וידימלת אלא ,ריעה ישנאמ םתס ויה אל ותיא םימחולה
31 :םיאבה םישיאה תא האר ,םיסנב אלפומו דיסח שיא ףקשמכ 'אבא' ראותה לע 31 היהו םימשל ללפתמ היה םשגל םלועה ךרצנשכ ,לגעמה ינוח לש ותב וב היקלח אבא תימימשה אתביתמהמ םולשל ךרבתמ היה אנמוא אבא ;(א"ע גכ תינעת) םשג דרוי ןשבה ךלמ גוע לש תילוקה םצע ךותל סנכנש רפסמ לואש אבא ;(ב"ע אכ תינעת) ליגר היכויטנאמ הדוהי אבא ;(ב"ע דכ הדינ) תואסרפ שולשמ רתוי הכורא התיהש ןומטמ הליגו ויניע תא ה"בקה ול ריאה ויסכנמ דריש רחאלו ,הקדצ הברה תתל היה הבר תלהק) המח ה"בקה חירזה אדיסח הנחת אבאל ;(א"ע חמ ,ג"פ תוירוה ימלשורי) ,א,ל הבר ארקיו) 'ריואב החרפש ותטמ ואר' איריט שיא היעשוה אבא תמשכ ;(ד,ט .(םש תואסריגה ייונישב האר ךא ,'יבר'כ םג קידצה הנוכמ רוקמ ותואב .ץרת 'מע :םיראתהו םייוניכה רקחל' ,רנרל ב"מ :האר ,םיווש 'אבא'ה לכ ןיא ,םינפ לכ לע האר 'יבר' םע 'אבא' יפוליחל רשאו) 113-93 'מע ,(ו"משת) ד ,הדועת ,'אבא .א .(87 'עה םש
32 ףרצל שי ,(דועו ,הדובע ילכ ,תואירק ,ןשע) תונוש תוקינכטב םידש שוריגל 32 הקסיפ ,1981 ןגניביט ,תולכיהה תורפסל סיספוניס ,רפש 'פ) תולכיהה תורפס תא לע ,םילשיו - שחנה לע ,תצצופתמ איהו - ןבא לע רכזנה דבכנה םשה הז' :(511 רבדה עודיש יפכ לזרב-ילכמ םיששוח םידשה יכ בל םישל שי .'חרוב אוהו - קיזמה :האר .(רתוי תרחואמה תורפסהמו) ב המלש תאווצמ הנושארל James H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1983-85, I, p. 963; Lauterbach (supra n. 25), p. 357 n. 7; תבש אתפסות ;5 'עה 139 'מע ,(ג"פרת) א ,ריבד ,ןייטשרומרמ 'א :דוע הארו ,הטושפכ אתפסות ,ןמרביל 'ש :רתא לע ריעהש המו ,23 'מע ןמרביל 'דהמ ,ד,ו .84 'מע ,ג ,ב"כשת קרוי וינ
33 'מע ,(ז"פרת) ב ,ןויצ ףסאמ ,'לארשי ץראב םימודק םיגהנמ' ,ןייטשרמרמ 'א 33 .(25 'עה ,ליעל) לאגנ 'ג ;27-17
34 תומורתב הנשמה לש רחא ןפ אלא וניא הלילב םימ תותשל הז רוסיא יכ רבתסמ 34 ןיקשמה לכ ראשו ,בלחהו ןייהו םימה :יולג םושמ ןירוסא ןיקשמ השלש' :ד,ח ןייעו) 'התשיו בורק םוקממ שחרה אציש ידכ ?ןירוסא ויהיו והשי המכ .םירתומ ,ו"צרת ביבא לת ,םימה ,יאטפ 'ר ;א"ע ומ - ג"ע המ ,ו-ה,ח תומורת ימלשוריב יאמקה ששחה לש היצזילאנויצאר תמגמ ףקשמ שחנל הנכסה סוחיי ,רמולכ .(9-7 'מע הק ןילוח האר ;םיתושה םילערומ ךכבו םהמ םיתושש וא) םילזונב םינכושה םידשמ םיעצמאב ושרוג םהינשש ךכמ עבנ דשל שחנה ןיב ןוימדה יכ ןכתי .(ב"ע ףוס תיב :ןומיס ר"ב הדוהי 'ר רמא' :187 'מע רבוב ,בכ םילהת שרדמב אבומכ םימוד לכמ .'חרוב שחנה דימו ,וכותב תיבה תא ןינשעמו ליא ןרק םיאיבמ םישחנ וב שיש השרדב ,(א"ע בל ,ב"ירת השרו ,אירול ד"ר תרודהמ) גי רזעילא 'רד יקרפב ,םוקמ וב שיש םדאל ?המוד רבדה המל לשמ' :רמאנ ,'הדשה תיח לכמ םורע היה שחנהו' לע - רבדמ אוהש םירבדה לכו ,השוע אוה ותעדמ - השוע אוהש םישעמה לכו ,הער חור לכ ,שחנה ךכ .וילע שיש הער חור תעדמ אלא השוע וניא אלהו ,רבדמ אוה ותעדמ .'לאמס לש ותעדמ אלא השע אלו רבד אל ,רבדש וירבד לכו השעש וישעמ
35 T. Canaan, 'Haunted Springs and Water Demons in Palestine', The Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, 1 (1920-21), pp. 153-170.
36 -טי,ב ב"למ ;וכ-גכ,וט תומש) םימ רוהיט לע ארקמה ירופיס יכ ענמנה ןמ אל 36 דגנכ אצי ארקמה ,ונייה ,(תיתימ-יטנא :וא) תינומיד-יטנא המגמ םיפקשמ ,(בכ לש הידירש לע תועיבצמה תורחא תויורשפא לע .ןאכ תונודנה תויממע תורוסמ ןתוא :האר ,םימכח ירבדב ןהו ארקמב ןה ,וז הנומא J. Z. Lauterbach, Rabbinic Essays, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1951, pp. 312-320; 338.
37 תרוצב דש וב שי ץראה יבשוי תנומא יפל רשא) ןוחיגה ןייעמב אוה בצמה ךכ 37 ןיעב וא ,(ןייעמה תעיפש תקספנ ךכמ האצותכו ,םעפל םעפמ םיבר םימ התושה למג .דומע לחנבש ,(ןי'ג-ןיע :תיברעב יורקה) םעופ
38 ל ,ארקמ תיב ,'רבדמב םימיה תא אצמ רשא הנע אוה"' ,אירול צ"ב :דוע ןייע 38 .268-262 'מע ,(ה"משת)
39 ,סופסוי ;גי,ב הימחנ) 'ןינתה ןיע' םייארקמה תומשה תא ןענכ שרפמ ךכ 39 םג ןכו) 'ידג ןיע'ו ,(אליממ תכירב איה ,םישחנה ןיע = ב,ג,ה םידוהיה תומחלמ האר ,םינרק ולו דש לע .ןייעמה לע םירמושה םידשה תורוצ םש לע ,('םילגע ןיע'