Dazzling Blue: Color Symbolism, Kabbalistic Myth, and the Evil Eye in Judaism

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The color blue is thought to protect against the evil eye in Mediterranean cultures. This article unfolds the yet-unstudied role played by kabbalistic theology, symbolism, and myth in the construction of the color blue as a protective color for Jews. It traces particularly the development of a medieval kabbalistic myth of a dazzling blue garment of the feminine aspect of the godhead, protecting her from contact with evil forces. The article shows how this myth became the foundation for various practices against the evil eye among Jews in the modern period and contextualizes this myth within theories about the evil eye.

Dazzling Blue: Color Symbolism, Kabbalistic Myth, and the Evil Eye in Judaism

in Numen

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References

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3

For example see Farber-Ginat 1986: 259–302468–479; Kallus 1992: 19–25; Wolfson 1994: 299–301 380–383; Zabolotnaya 2004; Garb 2005: 167–169; Schneider 2007: 191–211; Porat 2012: 429–437.

10

See for example Gikatilla 1994: 21.

15

Translation according to Matt 2016: 71–72with slight modifications.

23

Translation according to Matt 2011: 392.

26

See for example 1852: 121a–b 188a 206a 256a 261a 273a 283b–284a 326a–b 364a–b 383b 384b–385b 391b–392a 393b 404a.

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