Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Women and witchcraft

 Moreh haNevuchim (3:37) In most cases the condition is added that women must perform these actions. Thus it is stated in reference to the means of obtaining rain, that ten virgins dressed with diadems and red garments should dance, push each other, moving backwards and forwards, and make signs to the sun: the result of this long process was believed by the idolaters to be a downpour of rain. It is further stated that if four women lay on their back, with their feet spread and lifted up, said certain words and did certain things whilst in this disgraceful position, hail would discontinue coming down in that place. The number of these stupid and mad things is great; in all of them without exception women are required to be the agent.

Moreh haNevuchim (3:37) It is the object and center of the whole Law to abolish idolatry and utterly uproot it, and to overthrow the opinion that any of the stars could interfere for good or evil in human matters, because it leads to the worship of stars. It was therefore necessary to slay all witches as being undoubtedly idolaters, because every witch is an idolater: they only have their own strange ways of worship, which are different from the common mode of worship offered to those deities. But in all performances of witchcraft it is laid down as a rule that women should be employed in the chief operation; and therefore the Law says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exod. 22:17). Another reason is the natural reluctance of people to slay women. 

1 comment :

  1. How many instances in history do we have recorded where Beis Din executed witches? And do we have both Jewish and Gentile witches being executed?

    Of course the most famous story is when Shimon ben Shetach hung 80 Jewish witches in one day.


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