Magic & the Supernatural QuizJudaism has many folk customs with magical undertones. But these are not without controversy. How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?
Question 1. Which two medieval Jewish thinkers address the theological legitimacy of astrology?
Rav & Shmuel
Ibn Ezra & Maimonides
Rashi & Rabbenu Tam
Sforno & Sahl ben Bishr al-Israeli
Question 2. Why were Jews thought of as excellent magicians in the Middle Ages?
Many were moneylenders, and had an affinity for silver
They prayed at night
Jewish congregations held a service each month publicly blessing the moon
Many Jews had scientific or medical training
Question 3. Which is NOT used to ward off the Ayin Hara (evil eye)?
A hamsa, or a divine hand
A red string tied around the wrist
A Magen David, or six-pointed star
An incantation stating that one is "of the seed of Joseph"
Question 4. In the Middle Ages, which of these Jewish customs lapsed because of Christian suspicions of black magic?
Certain mourning practices
The search for leaven
Certain Shabbat practices
Some of these
All of thee
Question 5. True or false: in the Talmudic period, bowls etched with magic formulas were used by Christians, Mazdeans, Mandeans, but never Jews.
Question 6. Which biblical character is said to be a witch?
Question 7. What is a golem?
A dead human that takes possession of the body of a living human
A demon that takes possession of the body of an animal
A giant creature made of clay which is brought to life by magical means
A carnivorous blood-sucking creature living in the forests of Eastern Europe