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Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg, [1939], at



1. Joseph Omeẓ, pp. 277-8; Yore Deah, 179:9 and the commentaries; S. Ḥas. 818; ‘Amude Shlomo on Semag, I, §51; Landshuth, p. xx; Perles, Graetz Jubelschrift, p. 28. Wuttke, 144, writes of the Germans: "Gesang und Gebetbücher werden viel als Zauberschutz gebraucht, Wöchnerinnen und Säuglingen ins Bett gesteckt."

2. S. Ḥas. B 1140; Singer, Proc. of Brit. Acad., 1919-20, 343; Tashbeẓ, 256 (which attributes the statement concerning the manna chapter to the Jer. Talmud); Yesh Noḥalin, 10b, n. 9; Or Ḥadash, p. ix; Yesh Noḥalin, 13b, 14a.

3. Maḥ. Vit., p. 510.

4. Ber. 56b; Pes. 112a, 111a; JE, III, 202; HaḤayim, IV, 10. Mention is also made of a verse which begins and ends with "lo" (the reverse of "el"), presumably Nu. 23:19. Tos. Pes. 111a refers this passage to a prayer by R. Ḥananel, beginning with "el" and ending with "lo," but Blau (70-71) considers that both statements refer to the same verses, Nu. 23:22-23, which begin and end with both "el" and "lo" when read forward and backward, respectively.

5. M. San. XI, r; San. 101a and Rashi; Sheb., 5b; S. Ḥas. 818; Toledot Adam veḤavah, 17:5, p. 127b; Yore Deah, 179:10.

6. See, e.g., n. 8 below; Shimmush Tehillim, passim.

7. Ibid.; cf. Grunwald, MGJV, X (1902), 91 ff. for several ms. versions of this work; JE, III, 203 f.; REJ, XII, 315; Kiẓur Shelah, 111, 203. Schudt (II, 31:7, p. 191), in the 18th century, testifies to the popularity among German Jews of "das aberglaubische Büchlein Schimmusch Tillim, darin der gantze Psalter Davids zu lauter aberglaubischen Dingen verdreht wird." The use of hymns and psalms in incantations goes back to the ancient Babylonians, and was practiced by Christians as well as Jews. See Daiches, 41; C. Kayser, "Gebrauch von Psalmen zur Zauberei," ZDMG, XLII (1888), 456 ff.; Montgomery, 62 f.

p. 293

8. See Bibliography C for a description of this ms. These quotations chosen at random will illustrate its style:

29a: ... (Gen. 39:2) ... (Deut. 21:10) ... (Gen. 48:20) ... (Cant. 1: 7) ... (Cant. 2:14) ... (Deut. 29:28) ...

9. Cf. Shimmush Tehillim, passim; Ms. S. Gematriaot, loc. cit.; pp. 122 f. above.

10. Cf. Sheb. 15b and Rashi; Blau, 95, n. 4; Rabiah, Aptowitzer's note, I, 4, n. 3; Mordecai, Ber. §19, p. 2a; Kol Bo, §29; Joseph Omeẓ, §647, p. 143.

11. Tashbeẓ 257; HaManhig, Hil. Shab., 65; Iggeret HaTiyul, I, 3a, s. v. zayin; Mateh Moshe, §370; ‘Emek Beracha, II, 61, p. 77a; Perles, Graetz Jubelschrift, 28; Grunwald, MJV, XIX (1906), 114; Testament of Shabbetai Horowitz, §13.

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