Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sometimes people ask me if Jews still use amulets. I tell them that I've seen preprinted amulets that can be bought at Jewish book stores (I have a few in my office). But this is an example of a contemporary soferet (scribe) writing an amulet based upon the classic form of an amulet taken from Sefer Raziel, an early 18th century anthology of mystical and magical texts. Aviel Barclay-Rothschild, "the only living certified Soferet (female Jewish ritual scribe)," says about the amulet:
The top text is a series of angel names, invoked for the safety & health of the mother & child. The middle is an illustrated focal point, representing the 3 angels who have power over Lilith as birds on one hand, mysterious shapes on the other. Adam & Eve are banishing Lilith from the birthspace. The bottom text is a blessing for the mother, here referred to as "Plonit bat Plonit", or "What's-her-name daughter of What's-her-name". This space can be personalised. I sold the original work to a female obstetrician/gynecologist in St Louis, MO.

She also has an example of another amulet she has made, this time a birth-protection amulet


  1. When I was in Tzefat last year, everywhere you looked there were street vendors selling amulets with Kabbalic inscriptions.

  2. Hi. Did you know that we just passed a section on amulets in daf yomi? It inspired a post, which you may find of incidental interest. Take care, Kaspit.

  3. BS"D
    Really, Kaspit? What Gemara is it? In case I haven't learned it already, I'd appreciate it if you could share the sources you have with me.

    Rebecca - I'm really enjoying your blog an awful lot - I just read your post about the Gay Pride violence to my husband - thank you for all your thougts & writing.

  4. FYI The gemara is at bShab 53b and also bShab 61. The post that mentions amulets cites and discusses (very briefly) these passages. b'hatzlakhah rebecca and fans.