Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Orthodox Jewish Superstitions by Astra Cielo 1918


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The following is a list of some of the most common beliefs of the orthodox Hebrews. Many of them have their original in some Biblical quotation or in some interpretation of a Biblical text. This collection is taken from the pages of the "Jewish Encyclopedia."

Animal:—To see an animal in an unexpected place indicates the finding of a treasure.

Bachelor:—Bachelors are not looked on with favor. As it is not good to be alone, every man is supposed to marry. Sand is strewn before the hearse when a bachelor is buried, as a reproach.

Barrenness:—To cure barrenness, water was prescribed in which moss taken from the Temple wall in Jerusalem was cooked.

Bat:— To kill a bat with a gold coin was considered lucky.

Bathtub:— A child's bathtub was not to be used for any other purpose, or the child would meet with misfortune.

Bear:— To eat a bear's heart would convert the eater into a tyrant.

Bed:— It is considered lucky for girls to sit on a bride's bed, and will cause other marriages.

Blood:— As blood was supposed to carry the life of the animal and was used on the altar, it is not eaten by professing Jews.

Blood as a cure:—< For many illnesses, blood was smeared on the breast and forehead. The blood of a rooster was usually taken for this purpose.

Bone:— When a fishbone has been swallowed, place another fishbone on the head, and the offending bone will be either ejected or swallowed completely.

Book:— It is dangerous to go away and leave a book open.

Bread:— After saying the usual blessing over bread at a meal (grace), the bread should be cut in two before eating.

Bride:— If on the return from the marriage canopy, the bride takes the groom's hand, she will be the ruling power in the family. If the groom takes the bride's hand, he will be boss.

Broom:— A table should never be brushed off with a broom, as it may bring poverty.

Brothers:— It is unlucky for three married brothers to live in the same town.

Buckets:— It is unlucky to come across an empty bucket in going out of a house, or a full bucket in coming in.

Cat:— When a cat licks her paws, be prepared for company.

Convulsions:— When a child has convulsions, break an earthenware pot in front of its face, to drive away the demon.

Cemetery:— In order to allay the fears of any member of a community of being the first to be buried in a new cemetery, a rooster is often slaughtered and buried.

Curse:— An undeserved curse, usually rebounds on the one who curses, and brings him bad luck.

Dead:— A dead person is supposed to know what is going on until the last spade-full of earth is placed on his grave.

Dirt:— It is unlucky to throw dirt after a man who is leaving a house.

Eggs:— To steal an egg brings poverty.

Epidemics:— In case of an epidemic, never open the door of your home to any one until he has knocked three times.

Evil Eye:— To avert the curse of the evil eye, spit three times on your finger tips and make a quick movement with your hand through the air.

Eye:— If the right eye itches, rejoice; if the left, you will grieve.

Fingers:— When washing the fingers, hold them downwards so that the water will drip off. Evil spirits will depart with the water.

Feet:— Itching of the feet denotes that you will make a voyage to a place you have never been to.

Hair:— If child's hair is cut on certain days, an elflock will grow.

Looking back:— In running from danger, never look back, or like Lot's wife, you will come to grief.

Money:— In taking money out of a purse or box, always leave a coin, however small, as a luck token.

Money:— Dreaming of money is a sign of bad luck.

Mourning:— Don't weep too long for the departed or you may have to weep for some one else. Weep three days, mourn seven, and refrain from wearing jewelry for thirty days.

Oven:— It is unlucky to leave an oven empty. When you are not baking in it, keep a piece of wood within, or you may not have anything to bake.

Rats:— If rats leave one house for another, it is a sign of bad luck for the first and good luck for the second.

Shoes:— Never walk out with only one shoe or slipper on your foot. It may forecast a death.

Shroud:— In making a shroud, avoid knots.

Sisters:— Two sisters should not marry on the same day, nor should two brothers marry two sisters. Both bring bad luck.

Sweeping:— It is unlucky to sweep out a room at night or to throw sweepings into the street after sundown.

Widowhood:— The fourth husband of a widow will die soon after his marriage.

Spitting:— When a person spits at another, he takes over the other's sins.

Travelling:— Monday is a bad day for travelling, but Tuesday is a lucky day.

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