The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sun Feb 22 05:17:10 EST 2004

> Not by any usage that's familiar to me, nor anything I've been able to
> in a dictionary. "Mechashefa lo techayeh" (Exodus) is the Hebrew for
> shalt not suffer a witch to live' , and "mechashefa" has as far as I know
> always meant witch in Hebrew.

Thank you!

The witch of Endor on the other hand, was not
> called "mehashefa" in Hebrew but "ba'alat ov", a necromancer, if I
> correctly. Saul goes to her to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel,
> which arouses the wrath of the Lord, and his punishment is that both he
> his son Jonathan die in battle and David is made king. But I haven't
> read the books of Samuel since studying them in 8th grade, so don't hold
> to it. Though I must say, some of the best stories in the bible are in
> Samuel and early Kings - best as in interesting plots on a human level.

Absolutely. I studied them at A level and I thought the Saul-David rel'p in
particular was brilliantly done. (I was studying *The Mayor of Casterbridge*
at the same time, which owed a lot to I&II Samuel in this regard, with
Henchard-Farfrae being a kind of Saul-David for our/Hardy's times. Not sure
if this was deliberate on Hardy's part, but I do remember either reading or
making a list of the resemblances at the time, many on quite minor points of
detail, and was very struck.)


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