1 11, 2015

The Bizarre, Irrational, and Harmful Belief in Evil Angels

By |2015-11-01T06:49:31-07:00November 1st, 2015|Thoughts|

                                       The Bizarre, Irrational, and Harmful Belief in Evil Angels   Since demons and evil angels played such a large part in the lives of many Jews, it is advisable to explore the origin of the belief in some depth. The average Jew today is convinced that angels exist. He or she is certain [...]

25 10, 2015

The Tashlich Ceremony: Another Bribe to Silence Satan

By |2015-10-25T02:29:18-07:00October 25th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                            The Tashlich Ceremony: Another Bribe to Silence Satan   Tashlich is a rite like kapparot whose non-rational basis is very obvious. The tashlich ceremony preserves a superstitious belief held by the Jewish masses of ancient times concerning water and the divine beings that dwell around it. The rite has been reinterpreted over time, [...]

10 10, 2015

The Shofar Scares and Confuses Satan, Keeping Him at Arm’s Length

By |2015-10-10T22:15:55-07:00October 10th, 2015|Thoughts|

                             The Shofar Scares and Confuses Satan, Keeping Him at Arm’s Length   It is absolutely certain that both the spiritual leaders of Jewry and the masses of uneducated Jews (or at least the majority of these) before, during and after the talmudic period believed that the shofar, the ram’s horn, was blown on [...]

19 09, 2014

The Bizarre Belief in Evil Angels – part 2

By |2014-09-19T02:56:01-07:00September 19th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                               The Bizarre Belief in Evil Angels                                                                    Part 2   Medieval Jewish Bible Commentators Accept the Existence of Angelic Beings Many medieval Bible commentators were not affected by rational philosophy. Principal among them is Rabbi Solomon Yitzchaqi (Rashi), Moses ben Nachman (Nachmanides) and Abraham Saba (born 1407). These Bible commentators accepted the [...]

19 09, 2014

The Bizarre Belief in Evil Angels – part 1

By |2014-09-19T02:40:47-07:00September 19th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                     The Bizarre Belief in Evil Angels                                                                     Part one[1]   Since, as we saw in earlier essays that I wrote, demons and evil angels played such a large part in the lives of many Jews, it is advisable to explore the origin of the belief in some depth. The average Jew today is [...]

13 09, 2014

Bribing Satan: Part Two

By |2014-09-13T23:12:53-07:00September 13th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                     Bribing Satan: Part Two[1]   The Tashlich service was not the only High Holiday ceremony that the masses felt they must observe to avoid having Satan harm them. The eighth-century Midrash Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer is a rather unusual volume of biblical folk legends that many Jews insisted were true. The Pirkei author believed that [...]

13 09, 2014

The Tashlich Ceremony: Bribing Satan

By |2014-09-13T23:08:48-07:00September 13th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                         The Tashlich Ceremony: Bribing Satan[1]   Tashlich is a rite whose non-rational basis is obvious. It preserves a superstitious belief held by many people in ancient times concerning water and the divine beings that dwell in and around it. The rite has been reinterpreted over time, modified slightly and rationalized, but its original [...]

3 09, 2014

The Shofar Scares and Confuses Satan

By |2014-09-03T00:41:54-07:00September 3rd, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                        The Shofar Scares and Confuses Satan, Keeping Him at Arm’s Length[1]     It is absolutely certain that both the spiritual leaders of Jewry and the masses of uneducated Jews (or at least the majority of these) before, during and after the talmudic period believed that the shofar, the ram’s horn, was blown [...]