Do You Believe In The Evil Eye? Jewish Protective Amulets © Franz Kimmel

Do You Believe In The Evil Eye?
Jewish Protective Amulets

An exhibition in the Study Area at the Jewish Museum Munich

According to mystical tradition, Lilith is not only the mother of various demons, ruling over the power of darkness, she is also said to seek out the souls of newborn children. Apart from reciting blessings and prayers, in popular Jewish belief people tried to protect themselves from Lilith and evils spirits through the powers attributed to amulets. Plagues, illnesses, poverty, and destitution, and a high infant mortality rate in particular, encouraged the wearing of amulets.

Protective amulets can be made from different…

Do You Believe In The Evil Eye?
Jewish Protective Amulets

An exhibition in the Study Area at the Jewish Museum Munich

According to mystical tradition, Lilith is not only the mother of various demons, ruling over the power of darkness, she is also said to seek out the souls of newborn children. Apart from reciting blessings and prayers, in popular Jewish belief people tried to protect themselves from Lilith and evils spirits through the powers attributed to amulets. Plagues, illnesses, poverty, and destitution, and a high infant mortality rate in particular, encouraged the wearing of amulets.

Protective amulets can be made from different materials and come in the most varied of shapes. These provide indications as to an amulet’s origin as do inscriptions and motifs.

In addition to 18th-century paper amulets from southern Germany and contemporary amulets from Israel, a rare 19th-century circumcision amulet that belonged to a Counsellor of Justice in Munich, Dr. Hermann Raff (1868–1943)—a gift from his grandson and now found in our museum collection—can also be seen in this exhibition.

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Duration of exhibition

May 17, 2011 - April 15, 2012

Where

Study Area

Curator

Piritta Kleiner

Architecture

Juliette Israël, Munich

Ein Museum der Landeshauptstadt München