Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 15, 1904.djvu/207
money value. Last year (1901), when a water famine brought disease and death in its train, the custom became a really important social question.
Nail-parings (as in the Highlands) must be hidden in the cracks of the house-walls or burnt. Sometimes a Jewish woman will serve her hair or nail-parings in a pudding to be eaten by her husband, in order to increase his affection. Nails should be cut early in the week so as not to begin to grow on the Sabbath. It is said that when a child dies, a piece of worsted, marked with the measures of his favourite playfellows, is put into his coffin, so that he may not be lonely, and so be tempted to call upon them to follow.
The "conversionists," as the Jews call the missionaries, allege that the Jews believe in Moon-worship. As a matter of fact they have a certain ceremonial upon seeing the moon at seven days old, and in the open air, but it is fair to remember that they have special blessings not only for this but for many occasions; on drinking wine, on smelling sweet odours, on seeing the rainbow, &c., &c. On first seeing the new moon under the prescribed conditions, the Jew stands with one foot upon the other, and says, "Blessed be He who formed thee, blessed be thy Maker, blessed be thy Creator, blessed be thy Possessor." Then he skips three times, and adds, "Fear and dread shall fall upon them by the greatness of thy arm, they shall be as still as a stone "; which he repeats twice. Some allege that he also repeats it backwards; then he concludes with " David, the King of Israel, liveth and existeth." After which he must salute the person he first meets.
The new moon, as with us, must not be looked at through the window. A reasonable explanation has been suggested in the fact mentioned in the Mishneh, that the evidence of a witness as to the appearance of the moon would not be taken if he first saw it through glass or reflected in water.
The Indulca, or Indulco, is a form of exorcism still practised in Jerusalem by the Spanish Jews (Sephardim) in extreme cases of such disease (madness, epilepsy, barrenness, loss of young children, &c.) as is regarded as incurable by ordinary methods. There are two classes of Indulca, the great and the small.
The small is thus practised. The patient's room and the adjoining habitations are cleared out, cleaned, whitewashed, and decorated. All holy books are removed, and the patient is for-