Does Jewish Magic Exist?


Just in time for Halloween: Is there such a thing as Jewish magic? [The answer isn’t what you think]. What the Torah and Talmud really say about sorcery, magic spells and witches. Maggie Anton, author of Rav Hisda’s Daughter – A novel of love, the Talmud and sorcery will teach this class.

Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual observance. Anton also worked full-time as a clinical chemist in Kaiser Permanente’s Biochemical Genetics Laboratory for over 30 years.

In the process of researching her book, Rav Hisda’s Daughter, Maggie discovered a corpus of research on Babylonian Incantation Bowls which for the most part were for benevolent purposes: Healing the sick, protecting children, guarding agains demons and the Evil Eye. To her surprise, she also discovered within the Talmud discussions of spells, amulets, demons and other occult subjects practiced by women, sorcery that was clearly the province of women. The sorceress in this culture was not a scary hag with a pointed hat, but rather, practiced freely as a respected professional who placed protective spells upon people to guard them from demons.

“Does Jewish Magic Exist?” at BCC, Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30

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