Scholar reveals magical connections
By Jewish Review
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Magician, kabbalist, Talmudist, author and genealogist Arthur Kurzweil explains the Jewish root of the most famous magic word in the world—Abracadabra—during his Feb. 10 show “Finding God in the Magic Shop.”
In Hebrew, barah means creation and dabera means speak. During his magic show, which attracted more than 120 people, Kurzweil wove in Jewish tales. As a member of two societies for magicians, he said he has pledged not to reveal his secrets, but as a Jewish magician, he said he is obligated to tell his audience he has no special powers. In the Talmud, a discussion of magic and illusions in Tractate Sanhedrin refers to “capturing the eye,” which Kurzweil said is the modern magician’s equivalent to “misdirection.”
P’nai Or, Havurah Shalom, Shir Tikvah, Congregation Shaarie Torah and the Jewish Genealogy Society of Oregon brought Kurzweil to Portland for a scholar-in-residence weekend Feb. 8-10.