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

In: Numen
Author: Gadi Sagiv1
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  • 1 The Open University of Israel, Department of History, Philosophy, and Judaic Studies, 1 University Road, p. o. Box 808, Raanana 4353701, Israelgadsagiv@openu.ac.il
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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.

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