Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Jews used to have magic beds

 Sanhedrin (20a) Mishna If a relative of the king dies, he does not emerge from the entrance of his palace [palterin], as it does not befit one of his stature to accompany the deceased. Rabbi Yehuda says: If he wishes to follow the bier, he follows it, as that is what we found with regard to King David, who followed the bier of Abner. As it is stated: “And King David followed the bier” (II Samuel 3:31). The Sages said to Rabbi Yehuda: The matter was only to appease the people, so that they should not suspect David of ordering Abner’s death. And when the people comfort the king with the meal of comfort, all the people recline on the ground, and he reclines on the dargash.

 The gemorah asks what is this "dargash"? § The mishna teaches: And when they comfort the king with the meal of comfort, he reclines on the dargash. The Gemara asks: What is a dargash? Ulla says: A bed of fortune, which would be designated in houses for decoration and for good fortune, and no one would sit on it.

Rashi explains 
דרגש ערסא דגדא - נוהגין היו לערוך מטה ושלחן בבית ולא היו משתמשין בהן כלל אלא למזל הבית מונחת משום ניחוש גדא מזל ודומה גד גדי וסנוק לא (שבת דף סז:): 

 The normative custom was to set up a bed and table in the house which were never used for anything at all but it was to help the mazal of the house (good luck) and for magic...

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