An akkadian demon in the Talmud: Between Šulak and Bar-Širiqa

Avigail Manekin Bamberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the resemblance between the Talmudic privy demon (Shed Bet ha-Kise") and Šulak, a well-known Akkadian demon. There are four considerations that point to identifying the privy demon of the Talmud with the Babylonian demon Šulak: (1) They both dwell in the privy; (2) they both are demons that cause epilepsy, strokes, or sudden falls; (3) they both seem to have the form of a lion; and (4) their names (Šulak" and Bar Širiqa") are very similar. This suggestion is yet another example of the presence of beliefs and opinions from the Ancient Near East that found an echo in the Babylonian Talmud, one that may be added to a number of examples given by M. Geller.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ancient Near East
  • Babylonian Talmud
  • Jewish magic
  • Rabbinic literature
  • Šulak

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