Werewolves in the Talmud?

werewolfMSNBC can wax Christian over Harry Potter all it likes, but Rabbi Natan Slifkin contends that the magical creatures popping up all over the seven books have Jewish origins.

In his new book Sacred Monsters – a follow-up to his first book, Mysterious Creatures – Reb Slifkin mines the Mishnah and Midrash for references to a veritable zoo of mythical beasts, including mermaids, fire-breathing dragons, fire-proof salamanders, born-from-fire phoenixes, werewolves, giants, dwarves and a mouse that grows from dirt.

Sages from Rambam to Rashi weigh in about the existence of flying serpents, and if you’re the type to take the word of the ancient rabbis literally, this could cause a crisis of faith. But all the kids in my circle know Harry Potter a heckuva lot better than they know the Gemara, and after they’ve finished The DeathlyHallows, Sacred Monsters seems like a kosher way to prolong the magic. I can’t think of a better book to add to the required reading list at the Shalom School!

6 thoughts on “Werewolves in the Talmud?

  1. Check it out at Barnes & Noble
    by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis
    ISBN 978-0-7387-0905-5
    $24.95 US
    It seems that this type of thinking about the supernatural goes back a long way.
    Over three hundred years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher of his day, to give him proof of the existence of the supernatural. Without a moment’s hesitation, Pascal answered, “Why, the Jews, your Majesty-the Jews.”
    Need I say more?!

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