8/6/14

Can a Woman's Magical Powers Remove the Evel (Kneivel) Eye?

I found this funny ad in the Five Towns Jewish newspaper. Had to comment on whether there is such a thing as the Evel Kneivel eye.

Rebbetzin Aidel Miller claims she can remove the Evel Eye because she is "blessed with tremendous siyata d'shmaya" - with the help of heaven.

Let's see. Who was "Evel" Knievel? He was an American daredevil, painter, entertainer, and international icon," according to Wikipedia. Why of course. Since he was a dare-devil he must have been involved with the Evel Eye!

If the Evel Eye is like the Evil Eye (ʿáyin hā-ráʿ עַיִן הָרַע‎) then it is bound up with the magical idea that there exists a "malevolent look that many cultures believe able to cause injury or misfortune for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike."

The notion behind the typo-hilarious ad is that rabbis and other holy men and women can banish evil forces and demons through the use of their special powers based in knowledge of the secrets of the Torah, the Talmud and the Kabbalah, with the help of G-d.

You might ask, how can we take anything in Talmud seriously if it promotes the idea that there are evil forces of envy and many other invisible demons at work in world? Aren't those magical ideas just ancient superstitions that we no longer take seriously? And if we dismiss such notions, don't we need to dismiss the whole body of religious literature that contains those bad ideas?

That is a good question that Dear Rabbi may have to answer in his next column.

1 comment:

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