THE KABBALAH OF POURING LIBATIONS

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Contents

  1. A Liquid Joy: The Sukkot Water Pouring Ceremony
  2. II. The Use of All Wines, Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff
  3. Last Call | The New Yorker
The Importance of Libations

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A Liquid Joy: The Sukkot Water Pouring Ceremony

The page you are attempting to access contains content that is not intended for underage readers. This item has not been rated yet. In this book is a step by step instructions on how to pour libations to summon and invoke angels for all kinds of purposes including protection, love, financial prosperity, knowledge and more. In this book is include the names of angels that I have personally seen or heard and know what they do and how they can assist a person daily.

Spirits that can materialize as human beings are of most benefit to us as humans since these types of spirits can offer actual physical assistance when you need it. How can I use this format? Lulu Sales Rank: Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review. Please log in.

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From our Membership Agreement "Lulu is a place where people of all ages, backgrounds, experience, and professions can publish, sell, or buy creative content such as novels, memoirs, poetry, cookbooks, technical manuals, articles, photography books, children's books, calendars, and a host of other content that defies easy categorization. Address Address is required. The cock is employed to represent a man, the hen, a woman, in many magic rites. The circles which are described about the head of the individual, and the numbers three and seven, are well-known magical elements.

The words which effectuate the substitution have all the earmarks of a typical incantation. In the earlier texts the words "this is my atonement" are not present; they were added later so that the initials of the Hebrew terms might form the word. In view of this the requirement that the entrails be thrown on a roof acquires special significance.

Thus analyzed there can be little doubt of the true meaning of the rite, which is still observed today. It is probably the most blatantly superstitious practice to have entered Jewish religious usage, for where the significance of other such practices has long been lost sight of, the purpose of this one is too apparent to escape even the dullest wits. However little meaning the details of the rite may convey to the uninformed, the substitution of fowl for man is unescapable. Not unrelated is the rite of Tashlich , observed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah , which derived its name from the words of Micah , "Thou wilt cast tashlich all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Professor Lauterbach, however, has shown that this ceremony represents merely the latest version of a complex of superstitious practices centering about the belief in the existence of spirits in bodies of water, which reaches back to remote antiquity. Maharil's comment is suggestive of a connection with the first form of the Kapparah rite, for he speaks of people "throwing bread to the fish in a river. Whatever its origin, the explanations varied widely.

Maharil viewed it as a symbolic affirmation of faith: according to a Midrashic legend, when Abraham was on his way to fulfill God's demand that he sacrifice Isaac, Satan flung a swift-flowing stream across his path, but the patriarch pressed forward, confident that God would respond to his plea for aid. Others suggested that since the limitless deep saw the beginning of Creation, visiting a body of water on New Year was the most impressive reminder of the Creator's might; or that man should emulate the river, endlessly renewing. These explanations only too patently evade the main issue, the bread offering to the spirits.

Under Kabbalistic influence an attempt was made to limit the rite to shaking one's clothes at the river-side "to dislodge the kelippot ," the clinging demons of sin and reciting various prayers and Biblical selections "whose secret significance is very profound.


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Less formal food offerings were also fairly common. The Talmud cites the opinion of R. Eleazar b. Pedat: "He who leaves crumbs on the table is to be regarded as a worshiper of heathen gods," and from the discussion it would appear that not only "crumbs" but sometimes whole loaves were set on the table at the conclusion of a meal. Other usages of the same nature were popular in Talmudic times; try as they might the rabbis could not root them out.

They compromised by forbidding the leaving or scattering of food "that may spoil," thus accepting the practices but obscuring their purpose. In the Middle Ages the Talmudic custom was sedulously observed; crumbs, "but not morsels of bread," were left on the table, the explanation offered being that this was a symbolic expression of hospitality to the wayfarer and the needy. Still we find that on certain occasions, notably on the eve of a circumcision, a table was set especially for the delectation of the spirits. On Friday nights, too, a loaf of bread and a cup of wine were set aside during the meal or left standing overnight.

Some advanced the dubious rationalization that this was "in commemoration of the manna" which fell in double portion on the eve of the Sabbath, but there were rabbis who saw through the shallow evasion and did not hesitate to categorize it as "setting a table for the demons. But during the same service there is a late custom, which arose in German-Jewish circles, to pour out a drop of wine at the mention of each of the ten plagues, possibly to placate the evil spirits, who may be impelled by the reference to so many disasters to visit some of them upon the celebrants.

Israel Isserlein's biographer wrote of him, "He always spilled some of the water from his cup before drinking," thus observing a universal Jewish custom going back to Talmudic times. The intention was to induce the demon to neutralize the possible ill effect of the water by making him a libation. On Saturday evening, during the Habdalah ceremony which marks the beginning of the new week, another libation was offered to the spirits, as part of the ritual.

Some of the wine was poured upon the ground "as a good omen for the entire week, to symbolize good fortune and blessing," for was it not written in the Talmud, "A man in whose home wine does not flow like water is not among the truly blessed"? This custom was not mentioned earlier than the Geonic period; the Talmudic support was wholly arbitrary, for the plain sense of the words is the reverse of the interpretation here given them.

The Talmud speaks of overflowing wine not as a symbol of blessing to come, but as a token of blessings already enjoyed. The Geonim admitted that the custom was not altogether respectable when they included it among a list of superstitious practices. Centuries later we come across a recognition of its true significance which shows the retentiveness of the popular memory.

Moses Mat in the sixteenth century wrote that this practice is intended to "give their portion to the company of Korah," namely, to the powers of evil. And that portion was not inconsiderable. As one rabbi in Silesia remarked, "If I had the wine that is poured upon the ground in Austria during Habdalah it would suffice to quench my thirst for a whole year!

Christians in those days believed that consecrated water had such power, and Jews may. The final weapon in the anti-demonic strategy is that of deceit. It figures prominently in the initiation, marriage and burial rites of primitive peoples and not a few examples have been collected from European folk-customs. Medieval Jews, however, resorted to this device only rarely. Apart from several instances connected with birth and marriage, to be cited later, it was most commonly employed in changing an invalid's name so that the spirits who might be charged with effecting his death would be unable to locate him.

This deception was also practiced by individuals who had suffered a run of bad luck; just as criminals adopt aliases to evade the police, so medieval Jews embraced new names to give their spirit harriers the slip. Changing one's residence, or moving out of a city altogether, was another way of confusing and eluding the demons; this remedy was suggested to people whose fortune had soured, to couples whose children died young, to men who had lost their peace of mind through the operation of love charms.

It was in such moments that the whole battery of anti-demonic weapons was trained upon man's mortal enemies, that we find a massing of all those superstitious devices which from time immemorial have been accredited with potency to counteract magic, curses, the evil eye, to cure disease, to shatter the onslaught of the evil spirits.

A brief enumeration of the customs associated in Jewish life with these critical moments, which display either singly or in combination the anti-demonic measures described, may astound many Jews familiar with some of them as a respectable part of Jewish ceremonial. The Jewish propensity for re-interpreting ineradicable primitive usages and endowing them with religious values has successfully masked their true significance, at least in the western world. In Eastern Europe and in the Orient, where more primitive attitudes still prevail among the masses, an awareness of the real import of such customs still persists, albeit along with a doctrinal acceptance of the.

Not all of these practices were employed collectively, nor were they of equal moment; the selection varied from place to place and from time to time, often according to individual predilection, and was frequently accompanied by the recital of Biblical verses, amulets, etc. The woman in childbirth was closely guarded; men were stationed in the house who prayed for her and her child, and recited various Psalms that were believed to be effective against the spirits. They were warned, however, on no account "to gossip about any sins that she might have committed.

The Scroll of the Torah and phylacteries were placed on her bed, or at least brought to the door of her room. During the last days prior to delivery she would keep a knife with her when she was alone. According to a late report, which probably reflects an earlier usage, the key to the synagogue was placed in her hand during labor; in isolated country places and villages where there was no synagogue the key to a church was borrowed for this purpose.

A circle was drawn around the lying-in bed, and a magical inscription reading "Sanvi, Sansanvi, Semangelaf, Adam and Eve, barring Lilit" was chalked upon the walls or door of the room.

II. The Use of All Wines, Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff

I know of no record of an actual offering to the spirits at this time, though it was customary among the Germans, and occurs in Oriental Jewries. However, a prime protective amulet bore the figures of fowl, which may be taken to have been a refinement of an earlier offering. It was suggested, to ease labor pains, that a woman should wear an article of her husband's clothing, such as his doublet, trousers, or belt.

The rite itself must be considered as in some degree a measure of protection against the forces of evil. It is significant that the heightened danger which threatens both mother and infant during the eight days prior to the operation subsides immediately afterward.

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Last Call | The New Yorker

Circumcision ushers the child into the community of Israel and at the same time evokes the guardianship of the powers of good. Certain incidental usages illustrate the potency attributed to circumcision.

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A Geonic source is cited as authority for this practice: the bloody foreskin was placed in a bowl containing water and spices, and each member of the congregation, as he left the synagogue where the rite used to be performed , would bathe his hands and face. A late work suggests, as a "wonderful charm," that during the days preceding the rite the foreskin of a child previously circumcised be put into the mouth of the infant who is about to undergo the operation.