The article discusses the she’elat ḥalom (dream request), a specific oneiric technique used to auto-induce a dream on a certain topic for divinatory purposes documented in Jewish culture from the tenth century onwards. In particular, the study surveys the she’elat ḥalom on the basis of the abundant evidence uncovered in the Cairo Genizah. Through a comparative analysis with non-Jewish sources, the article aims to detect the ritual and linguistic features that make the she’elat ḥalom a specifically Jewish practice distinguishing it from similar practices developed in the neighboring cultures. Providing the commented edition of a medieval recipe for she’elat ḥalom preserved on an early twelfth century Genizah fragment (TS K 1.111) and re-examining in detail a few accounts on revelations from the Book of Daniel, the essay shows that prayer represents the most fundamental component of the oneiric technique in the Jewish world or, at least, within the medieval Jewish community of Fusṭāṭ (medieval Cairo).

“Jewish oneiric divination: From Daniel’s prayer to the Genizah she’elat ḥalom.”

Alessia Bellusci
2021-01-01

Abstract

The article discusses the she’elat ḥalom (dream request), a specific oneiric technique used to auto-induce a dream on a certain topic for divinatory purposes documented in Jewish culture from the tenth century onwards. In particular, the study surveys the she’elat ḥalom on the basis of the abundant evidence uncovered in the Cairo Genizah. Through a comparative analysis with non-Jewish sources, the article aims to detect the ritual and linguistic features that make the she’elat ḥalom a specifically Jewish practice distinguishing it from similar practices developed in the neighboring cultures. Providing the commented edition of a medieval recipe for she’elat ḥalom preserved on an early twelfth century Genizah fragment (TS K 1.111) and re-examining in detail a few accounts on revelations from the Book of Daniel, the essay shows that prayer represents the most fundamental component of the oneiric technique in the Jewish world or, at least, within the medieval Jewish community of Fusṭāṭ (medieval Cairo).
Unveiling the Hidden—Anticipating the Future. Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3743925
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