An Essay On Jewish Superstitions And How They Negatively Effect The Jewish Community As Compared To Teyve The Dairyman

1932 words - 8 pages

Superstitions have unpleasant effects on the Jewish population regarding the Jewish religion. Jewish people such as Isaac Bashevis Singer's father Pinchos Menachem Singer, a rabbi, believed more strongly in the superstitions that are filled into his head than what the Torah and Pentateuch teach him. One of the end results of the superstitious ways of Pinchos Singer is the belief of superstitions by Itchele. Superstitions have become the backbone for the Jewish religion. In the book A Day of Pleasure , Bathsheba Singer, Pinchos's husband, is a very rational, very realistic, and very skeptical Jewish woman. Jewish tradition teaches that you are not to allow yourself to believe in these superstitious happenings due to the fact that they are from the devil. Pinchos put into Itchele the belief that the sound of the dead geese must mean that the geese are all powerful supernatural beings that are letting their presence be known. Superstitious beliefs were taught to young Itchele all the time. In his household they spoke of these evil spirits a great deal of times,"On our home there was always talk about spirits of the dead that possess the bodies of living, souls reincarnated as animals, houses inhabited by demons" Singer(39). It is through hearing such discussions in his own house that Itchele learns to believe in these superstitions. There are many wonders in the Jewish religion on how such superstitions could be significant to so many Jewish people. It is very possible that it could be due to the twisting and misinterpretations of philosophers, "During the Middle Ages, Jewish philosophers such as Maimonides taught that evil was the result of human free choice to sin. Sin diverted our moral strength and damaged our intellectual abilities,"(Ariel98).Brum2For this to be true that means that God made evil and superstition.This is true becauseGod made free choice available to humans. Through this we make mistakes and create evil. Parts of evil are demons, imps, and superstitious beliefs. Maimonides completely contradicts himself. If he is to claimhe is a true Jewish philosopher he can not possibly write how God brought superstition into the world. Jewish people are not to believe in such superstition. It is written in the Torah that it is a sin due to the fact that it comes from evil. At a certain point, Itchele speaks of what his parents teach him about the afterlife. Instead of using scripture from the Pentateuch they again discuss superstitions, "When I used this murky stairway, I was pursued by all the devils, evil spirits, demons, and imps of whom my parents spoke to prove that there is a God and life after death"(Singer165). In this quote his parents try to teach him that there is an afterlife which is true to Jewish belief, yet at the same time they lie to him and teach him that there are also evil spirits, devils, demons, and imps. The Jewish culture is teaching the truth through teaching an outright sin. It seems that believing in superstitions...

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