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Monsters and Magic in Jewish Tradition

Sunday, October 31, 2021 25 Cheshvan 5782

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

On the night of Sunday, October 31, many will be out trick-or-treating, dressed as pop cultural icons, tasteless jokes, and terrifying ghouls, demons, ghosts, and other horrors. Halloween, although largely celebrated in a secular manner today, evolved from a mix of Christian and Pagan traditions around remembrance. For this reason, many religious Jews refrain from participating in Halloween activities. After all, Jewish tradition has its own days of remembrance (Yizkor) and our beloved masquerade ceremony (Purim). But what about all of the spookiness? We'll delve into the mystical, mythical, mysterious, otherworldly, supernatural, and superstitious traditions that have been part of Jewish belief and practice at every stage of our people's development. We'll also look at how far-fetched beliefs about Jews evolved into antisemitic superstitions - and how those far-fetched stories of "Jewish monsters" still hold a frightening potency today.

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Wed, December 8 2021 4 Tevet 5782