• Annie

An ayin-hore incantation, to exercise an evil eye from a child

From the memorial book of the town of Pruzhany, Poland, recorded by A Fayvushinsky. Incantations like this one are often purposefully written to sound a bit incoherent, so that the Sheydim (demons) and evil spirits (who I assume all have impeccable grammar) can’t keep up with what’s being said. The text has very little punctuation (I've added a bit in translation) and often switches tense or case mid sentence. The word "shlos' which has the double meaning of "castle" and "lock" appears three times without clear indication which meaning is correct, which may be intentional.


I come here with the name of God, who creates heaven and earth. With ten thousand toyres, and ten thousand seyfer-toyres, and with ten thousand mezuzes, and with ten thousand good angels to stand by me: that no evil-eye or evil thing shall have power over this child. And I come here with God’s strength and with God’s power, and I come here with heavenly stars and a heavenly castle and the virtue of Abraham, Yitskhok and Yankev, and the virtue of Sarah, Rivke, Rokhl and Leah, and the virtue of the tsadikim (wise ones) and the khasidim (mystics) should stand by this child. I have come here for the first time, and for the best time, to utter an incantation to protect and heal this child. Whether it came to the child from breastfeeding, or from food, or from drink, or from a sun or from a heat, or from their father, or from their mother, or from their household, or from an evil encounter, whether it came to you from a night-fright, or a cattle-fright, or from a dog, or a swine-fright, it came to you from a female, or from a male-fright, whether it came to you from small or big and young, or an old-fright, or from evil eyes, or from evil hearts, or, God-forbid, from a draft, or from heat, steps of evil beings overpower your blood from evil tongues, the evil shall leave this child with the smoke, with the wind over all waters, over all fields shall the evil go, there stands a stone castle, an iron lock. There shall all evil things remain, and to the child shall have no power and no thoughts, not to violate, not to infect, not to paralyze, not to fulminate, not in your head and not in your eyes, not in your feet, not in your back, not in your belly, not in your heart and not in your 248 limbs or 365 tendons. You shall not harm this child. Just as the earth is silent, so shall the pains you cause him/her/them be silenced.

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