Jewish magic

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TeddyG

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smiley10000 said:
Angels are said to have one leg, this is why we say the Shemoneh Esreh with our feet together-to stand like angels. Now what this means no clue, I have never learned the Gemorah...

I am not really sure the Source for the above. And I believe strongly in sources. The most prevelant reason given for standing with feet together during The 18 Bendictions (Shemonah Esreh) is that you are standing before God and this prayer includes not only praise but also all your private supplications. Thus you stand at ATTENTION before the King. Just as you would stand at attention before a Human King, all the more so you stand at attention before the King of Kings.

As to the way angels look. Oh boy. You have many diff. categories of angels. Just to name some from the Shabbat Prayers

1. Areylim
2. Cherubim
3. Hayyot
4. Ofanim
5. Metatron & Sandalphon
and now some more
5. What is known as the Arch Angels (originally 5 and now 4 as Satan is whom we call Sammael and was an original Arch Angel)
6. Many many different categories of angels below this....

Now each category has its own traits. Each one has its own powers. Each also looks differerntly. As you can see this can very complicated and very long.

smiley10000 said:
There is a concept of Hell although it is rather different than the Christian one. I think (Teddy you may be able to confirm) that most sources say the max period a neshama can stay in Gehennom is nine months. It is a cleansing process to prepare the soul for Heaven. Heaven does have levels, so to speak, the reason a person says Kaddish for a year after a family member dies is for Aliyah Neshama (A raising of the Soul).
To correct this the period is 11 months. Thus one says Kadish for one's parents only for 11 months and not the full 12 which is the year of mourning for a parent. The Aliyaha Neshamah takes place at the END of period of Kaddish. The Kaddish and why it is said for the dead is a very interesting choice. I will try and explain some things.

(Actually it is 12 months - but only for a truly evil person. Since one never assumes that one's parents are evil it is only said for 11 months for them for you assume your parents are not evil. Interestingly enough, one time I saw someone saying Kaddish for his parents during the 12th month. I assumed this was due to his ignroance of the law. So after synagogue I pointed this out to the person in private. He said with a smile, "I am well aware that Kaddish must only be said for 11 months but this case is different" So I let the matter drop. Much later on, I found out the reason for that full 12 months, and I must say that I had to agree - and also found out which Rabbi had given him the answer to say Kaddish for 12 months, which was also interesting.)

First off if you look at a Kaddish (English trans.) you will NOT find one word in there about the dead. The whole Kaddish is glorification of God's name. It does not mention the dead nor does it speak in any way about them. Thus one should ask oneself why this prayer specifically is being used to "remember" the dead and why it is recited during mourning.

Second, the kadish is not in Hebrew. it is Aramaic. The talmud tells us that the reason it is Aramaic, is because the angels themselves do not understand one langauge...Aramaic. And thus the Kaddish goes straight from the person reciting it to the throne of God without any angelic intercession. Thus it is actually in esoteric terms a prayer that we recite which rests at the throne of God and comes directly from the person reciting it. For the person himself gives praise to God even in times of mourning. In a way it can be looked at as a fulfillment of the mishnah which states "as one blesses God for the Good so must one bless God for the evil" (Tractate Berachot)

Since your original questions were not on this matter I will let this rest here.
 
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smiley10000

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The source: Taken from Ezekial 1:7 (describing the image of Chayos -one of the types of angels- Teddy, what is the English for Chayos?) Artscroll Stone Edition Translation
"Their legs were a straight leg, and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a rounded foot,..." Original Hebrew: ורגליהם רגל ישרה
Kedushah in the 18 Benedictions is based on the praise of the angels. We therefore stand as they do (with one straight leg) when we say it...

sometimes you have to go back to the basics to find the answer...
;) 10000
 

Lisamer

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For inspiration on this topic, you must, must, must read Snow in August by Pete Hamil! One of the best books I have ever read!
 

Saint Fool

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Hmmm ... great discussion. NOTE TO SELF: If I ever write a book with magic as a key element, I will either make it up or keep it so simple that it is basic and sensible, e.g., Pratchett's Feet of Clay where putting the words in its head makes a gollum work)
 

Ralyks

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I popped in and read this discussion because I found it interesting as a Christian who was trying to explain to a friend why the practice of "magic" was incompatible with Christianity and that, in this respect, there was really no such thing as "white magic." There are miracles and there is magic, and magic is a forbidden practice for the Christian. Miracles can occur in a ritualistic setting--like Christ spitting in the dirt to make mud and then rubbing it on the blind man's eyes--but it is not the ACT or ritual that creates the miraculous outcome, but rather God behind the act. It's not like a spell that can just be said and -- poof -- you get the outcome.

Magic is man's attempt to play God rather than allowing God to work through man. Anyway, the heading caught my eye, because I didn't see how Judaism was compatible with magic.
 

TeddyG

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smiley10000 said:
The source: Taken from Ezekial 1:7 (describing the image of Chayos -one of the types of angels- Teddy, what is the English for Chayos?) Artscroll Stone Edition Translation
"Their legs were a straight leg, and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a rounded foot,..." Original Hebrew: ורגליהם רגל ישרה
Kedushah in the 18 Benedictions is based on the praise of the angels. We therefore stand as they do (with one straight leg) when we say it...

Quick hit and run here cause this is basically the only thread i have time for...
Okay remember Smiley...i doubt anyone else sees the Hebrew you are typing it probably shows up as gibberish on their screen

First to Chayos or Hayyot or Chayyot...Remember it is actually Chayyot Ha'Kodesh and thus kind would literarly mean "The Holy Animals" but would be misleading for those reading it and then putting it into English terminology of animals meaning animals.

The verses you are beginning to quote from Yechezkel are the origins of Maaseh Merkavah...and Maaseh Bereshit...and I have kind of tried to stay away from those for now. That would really lead into some deep discussions and verse interpertation which never seems to go over well in AW. Also it is imperative to remember that the descriptions you are reading must be superimposed with all the descriptions Ezekiel gives throught all those chapters (and possibly Daniel etc.)

And finally you have presented the Kedusha and before hand the Shemonah Esreh, both you claim is in imitation of the Chayyot. With all due respect to ArtScroll, you will excuse me if I ask - where did you get the source for the one-legged anaolgy. (Please dont say ArtScroll as that is NOT a source. Where is the original source for this?) [I know I know. But I am not a hasid of ArtScroll Judaism...]
 

TeddyG

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skylarburris said:
I popped in and read this discussion because I found it interesting as a Christian who was trying to explain to a friend why the practice of "magic" was incompatible with Christianity and that, in this respect, there was really no such thing as "white magic." There are miracles and there is magic, and magic is a forbidden practice for the Christian. Miracles can occur in a ritualistic setting--like Christ spitting in the dirt to make mud and then rubbing it on the blind man's eyes--but it is not the ACT or ritual that creates the miraculous outcome, but rather God behind the act. It's not like a spell that can just be said and -- poof -- you get the outcome.

Magic is man's attempt to play God rather than allowing God to work through man. Anyway, the heading caught my eye, because I didn't see how Judaism was compatible with magic.

I cannot in all fairness in any way comment on what is forbidden or not forbidden in Christianity. That I think would be up to a knowledgable person within their own sector to comment on. For instance "Talking in tounges" may to some seem like magic to others a legitimate expression or to others a miracle.

The question as to Jewish Magic. I tried to explain in previous posts the inherent contradicition in terms. HOWEVER, that does not mean, that magic in another realm or let us say by another terminology does not exist. Indeed one would say that it certainly does exist, but in more of a mystical/esoteric/religious context. The problem is that the OT has specific injunctions against witches and witchcraft - but it seems to recognize these powers as well.

I am not going to get into this now, but the famous Talmudic Statement in Tractate Sanhedrin that "Simeon Ben Shetach hung 80 witches on the same day" is proof of that - but do NOT jump guns here cause that statement cannot by any means be taken on face value. (First off Witches in OT were not given the punishment of hanging...second it was against Jewish Sanhedrin Law to kill more than one person in one day, and the Mishnah tells us that a bad Sandhedrin killed one person every forty years.) So you must know how to interpert that statement (which btw has a lot to do with Judaism and Christianity)

Anyway that is again just chapter headings...
 

dragonjax

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Thanks again to Teddy and everyone contributing to this thread. You folks are helping me rethink the concept for the novel -- which is now promising to be much stronger than previously.
 

smiley10000

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Sorry about the Hebrew... I didn't think about that...

Teddy, I'm shocked, you don't stand in awe of Rabbi Arthur Scroll, gadol of our generation? :tongue

No, I would never call Artscroll a source. I was actually just pulling it from the words of Kedushah itself:
"We shall sanctify Your Name in this wrold, just as they sanctify in heaven above, as it is written by your prophet (Isaih 6:3) 'And one will call another and say...'"
Sorry, thought it was pretty clear...
:Shrug: 10000
 

TeddyG

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smiley10000 said:
Sorry about the Hebrew... I didn't think about that...

Teddy, I'm shocked, you don't stand in awe of Rabbi Arthur Scroll, gadol of our generation? :tongue

No, I would never call Artscroll a source. I was actually just pulling it from the words of Kedushah itself:
"We shall sanctify Your Name in this wrold, just as they sanctify in heaven above, as it is written by your prophet (Isaih 6:3) 'And one will call another and say...'"
Sorry, thought it was pretty clear...
:Shrug: 10000

That is only step one. Okay you quoted the Kedusha, but now how do you know that is the way they (angels etc.) sanctify it in heaven and how do you know the ones doing the sanctification have but one foot?

(Thought I would let you off easy! - Think again!)
 

smiley10000

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TeddyG said:
That is only step one. Okay you quoted the Kedusha, but now how do you know that is the way they (angels etc.) sanctify it in heaven and how do you know the ones doing the sanctification have but one foot?

(Thought I would let you off easy! - Think again!)


Sigh... Okay... I think you would need to talk to someone far more learned than me... we are going back to my sem studies 7 years ago...

I'm just a girl! What do I know????
:flag: 10000
 

TeddyG

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smiley10000 said:
I'm just a girl! What do I know????

If any of my daughters said that to me, married or single, I would give them such a mouthful - they would not know what hit em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As to the sources...they are always critical. The reason I am pushing on this is that the normative reason is given that since you are standing before the King of Kings you must stand at attention (and thus feet together).

Any other reason of course, would be based upon either Midrash, Aggadata and/or Zohar etc. And if such a reason truly is given then their should be a "logic" behind it or some type of hint towards the why...

This is imperative. For even if we have a source that says that man is mimicing the Chayyot then we MUST ask why man should mimic them in this case - which would force an evaluation of the nature and purpose of the Chayyot.

I will take a look at the Netiv Binah (a two volume expl. of the Siddur) and see if he has any mention of this. I will also look at the Siddur of Rav Kook to see if there is any mention there. I dont deny what you are saying, I just find it puzzling and strange. So I need the source of course!
 

smiley10000

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I mean't it a little tongue in cheek...

But, the truth is, I do not learn Gemorah. I do not study sources and therefore I only know what I have been taught by those that know far more than me.

If you do find the source, I would be interested in hearing about it.

Why do you think it is so odd that we try and emulate angels? Is that not what we do on Yom Kippur?

I do think I was mistaken about the entire Shemoneh Esreh. But, not about Kedushah...

Oh well....
:) 10000
 

Hanukkah sameach!

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