Sunday, November 29, 2015

Zfatman, Jewish Exorcism in Early Modern Ashkenaz

Jewish Exorcism in Early Modern Ashkenaz

By Sara Zfatman

Printed book $ 46.00 $ 41.40
Online book & Download $ 34.50
Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press
Folklore, Yiddish, Jewish Studies
Publish date: November 2015
Language: Hebrew
Danacode: 45-341100
ISBN: 978-965-493-804-4
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 597
Weight: 1400 gr.

An exorcism which took place in 1696 in Nikolsburg, Moravia (today Mikulov, Czech Republic) is the focus of this book. The description of this grandiose magic event reached us in two different versions: one well-known, in Hebrew became a model for this folk-genre in the 18th century; the other in Yiddish, remained unknown until now and is published here in full for the first time .The analysis includes a thorough comparison between these two competing descriptions, the identification of the participants – with special emphasis on their Sabbatean background and connections, as well as an identification of the specific ‘manual for exorcism’ used in this event (also published here in full, along other esoteric manuals of its kind).

Through a thorough examination of the paradigmatic exorcism which took place in Moravia in 1696 and of its deep influence on the exorcism tales of the following generations, this book sheds new light on the central role magic in general and exorcism in particular played in the rich and multi-faceted cultural life of Ashkenazic Jews in the early modern period.
Exorcism traditions in Judaism go back to David and Saul, are well-known from the Second Temple period (mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls and by Josephus and the New Testament), come up in the rabbinic literature, and extend to modernity.