Art News

Bible Lands Museum Looks at Jewish Magic through the Ages

A new exhibition entitled "Angels and Demons, Jewish Magic through the Ages" at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem May 3, 2010. The exhibition examines the origins and development of magical practices in Judaism by focusing on beliefs, customs and the use of magical objects in daily Jewish life.

JERUSALEM.- Magic permeates our daily (Jewish) lives
to such a degree that life without magic is close to impossible. An
fact is that most individuals are unaware that many items in their daily
and many daily actions and beliefs are magical in nature. Examples of
this are
endless: knocking on wood, tfu tfu tfu, Evil Eye (בלי עין הרע), not
naming a
child before birth, the amuletic power of the mezuzah, red ribbon
khamsas, jinxes… These and many more practices have ancient sources.
Some have
lost their meaning even though they are still used, for example, the
formula ABRACADABRA, has its roots in the 3rd century CE, and is
used even today.