Posted By MSH on June 25, 2009
Here’s a very nice 131 page bibliography on Jewish magical practices (all eras – biblical, the ANE background to the biblical, and later Judaism). Just came up on the ABZU blog.
You say you’ve never heard of “Jewish magic”? Well, that’s what the bibliography is for. “Magic” (in ancient terms — not David Copperfield) is broadly defined is the idea of soliciting a deity through various ritual means to get the deity to do or not do something, or to get knowledge from the deity. The most obvious biblical example are the Urim and Thummim. Another is the water ritual in Numbers 5 — an example of “sympathetic magic.”