Monday, January 07, 2008

The Superstition of Pouring Lead

This is one reason I am against segulahs in general. People are trained to think magically, rather than rationally, and they do not know when they are stepping over a line into the prohibited. Calling a witch who uses tools of divination to determine who has been affected by the "evil eye," and then having her remove the evil eye via a potion is certainly foolish, but quite possibly a violation of witchcraft, nichush (divination / augury) and darkei emori (in my opinion -- feel free to argue; and see my next post on this topic when I post it). But call it "ayin hara," and pretend that these are segulahs, and you have otherwise frum people passing out her business card at weddings. Bluke at TheJewishWorker points out a positive article about this practice, in the English HaModiah, by popular a Jewish author. He has a scan of the article, so check out his post.

The article is about a woman who pours lead and interprets the shapes, and performs rituals to remove the evil eye. For comparison, here is a passage from the book Pensylvania Dutch and Other Essays, about this superstition among the gentiles. They practice it on New Years or on Halloween:

The practice is called Bleigießen, or lead casting. Oy.

4 comments:

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...

Great post. Thanks for drawing attention to these issues on a regular basis.

Sholom said...

What kind of idiot calls the "Ayin Hara specialist" instead of 9-1-1?

Shelomo Alfassa said...

A great article, thanks for taking the time to write this. I am all for taking our religion back from those that are overly emotional and continue to think these things are part of Hashem's process.

I invite you to see my: "Fortune Telling and Palm Reading are Not Part of Judaism"

http://www.alfassa.com/palms.html

Anonymous said...

Regarding pouring lead, check this out from R' Yaakov Shapiro:

http://www.jewswithquestions.com/index.php?/topic/263-pouring-lead/

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