Pisqa’ 172

Pisqa’ 1721


“Or a charm-trafficker”2 (Dt.18:11).

All the same

[regarding punishment]

is a trafficker in many charms

and a trafficker in a few.

All the same is a snake-charmer

and a scorpion-charmer.

“Or a spirit-medium”3(Dt.18:11)—

this is a ventriloquist who makes

[the dead seem]

to speak from his armpit.


“Or a familiar-spirit”4 (Dt.18:11)—

this one speaks through his own mouth.

The practitioners themselves are sentenced to stoning,

and those who consult them are forewarned.5


“Or a petitioner of the dead”6 (Dt.18:11).

All the same is

[the rule regarding]

one who conjures through a necromantic apparition7

and one who petitions a skull.

What is the difference between [the results of]

conjuring through a necromantic apparition

and petitioning a skull?

The one who conjures a necromantic apparition—

[the ghost] does not reliably arise,

and accepts no petitions on the Sabbath.

But the one who petitions a skull—

[the ghost] reliably arises,

and accepts petitions on the Sabbath.

  1. H:200-201; JN2:49.
  2. Heb: khover khaver.
  3. [iii] Heb: sho’el ‘ov. So the text of Scripture and Sifre. The mishnaic parallel at M. San.7:7 employs the rabbinic synonym, ba`al ‘ov.
  4. [iv] Heb: yid`oni
  5. //M. San.7:7 and Sifra, qedoshim, per.7:10.
  6. Heb: doresh ‘el hameitim.
  7. So Jastrow, p. 398, s.v. zechuru. H:201 translates: “by divination”; JN2:49: “through his penis.” See Rashi, B. San. 65b, s.v., zachrut.