How Some ‘Jewitches’ Embrace Both Judaism and Witchcraft |

TBC Staff

In a scene from a recently released movie, three older women in a small room slowly walk clockwise around a table covered in candles, chanting curses softly. A scene from the latest “Macbeth” remake? Not exactly: It’s a moment from indie film “A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff,” a musical exploration of spirituality, Jewish identity and the Bernie Madoff case.

Its creator, Alicia Jo Rabins, identifies as a Jewish artist and educator who incorporates elements of witchcraft into her practice of Judaism, an increasingly common, if still controversial, combination.

This variety is evident anywhere you find people who practice Jewish witchcraft. Professional astrologer Aliza Einhorn doesn’t merge Judaism and magic at all. Einhorn grew up in a traditional Jewish household and continues an Orthodox practice. However, along the way, she studied astrology and other forms of esoterica.

“I was hungry for spiritual knowledge. I wanted to learn,” she said.

While Einhorn does call herself a Jewish witch, she does not seek to define what that means. “Words like witch are fluid and mean different things to different people,” she said. “I do what I do.”

For Rabins, Jewish tradition gives her spiritual life structure, she said, while other rituals meet her needs in the moment. The connection, however, is seamless in practice: It might mean untying all the knots in the house before a birth, in keeping with Eastern European Jewish rituals, or incorporating plants mentioned in the Talmud into her practices.

“I think that’s part of why it’s easy for me to kind of dismiss the traditional Jewish rules against witchcraft — because I grew up in a place that basically de facto had rules against traditional Judaism,” she said.

“I already kind of broke all the rules I grew up with, and from here on it’s all just kind of searching.”

[TBC: Despite this paganism, the Apostle Paul declared that God was far from finished with the nation of Israel. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot [Know] ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets and digged down thine altars…But what saith answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal” (See Rom:11:1-25). Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul writes in Romans:11:5, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The authenticity of the entire Bible rests upon the continuation of the nation of Israel according to God’s plan.]