Jewish History

, Volume 32, Issue 2–4, pp 477–484 | Cite as

Geniza Magical Documents

  • Ortal-Paz SaarEmail author
Open Access


The Cairo Geniza has proved to be a fascinating trove of information about all aspects of Jewish life in the medieval and early modern period, magic being one of them. Hundreds of manuscripts, in different states of conservation, testify to the interest of Jews in composing and copying magical manuals as well as producing amulets and curses and otherwise attempting to harness the supernatural in order to achieve earthly aims. This essay introduces the reader to Geniza magical texts and provides some guidelines for reading these documents.


Jewish magic Amulets Curses Geniza 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

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