My Jewish Learning

Magic & the Supernatural Quiz

Judaism 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 of these Jewish thinkers expressed the strongest anti-magic position?
 A.J. Heschel
 Joseph Karo


Question 2. Which of the following "magical" rites was Moses not responsible for?
 Turning his staff into a snake
 Hitting a rock to exhort water to flow
 Speaking with a burning bush
 Hardening Pharaoh's heart


Question 3. Which of the following is not a punishment for the use of magic as cited in the Mishnah?
 Death by stoning
 Loss of place in the world to come
 Death of one's firstborn son


Question 4. Which of the following supernatural practices is forbidden in the Bible?
 Hepatoscopy (reading animal entrails)
 Belomancy (casting or shooting arrows as lots)
 All of these
 None of these


Question 5. Which two early rabbis were famous for having a healing power that resided in their touch?
 Masmasiah & Kaskasiah
 Hiyya & Yohanan
 Joshua ben Levi & Judah
 Tannaim & Yehuda


Question 6. 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 7. Who is the author of the play The Dybbuk?
 Grace Aguilar
 S. Ansky
 Sholem Aleichem
 Sholem Asch