Protecting the Babies

Garlic and red ribbons were placed on the baby’s crib to protect it from the evil eye, or demons. Lilith, one such demon, is specifically suspected of stealing small children for herself, since, as legend has it, she is forever bitter about her own inability to bear children.

Jewish amulets contain verse from Psalms to ward off evil spirits, especially the verse, “The sun shall not smite thee by day, neither the moon by night.” (Psalm 121:6).

Many mothers and grandmothers tie red ribbons and strings to children’s underwear and bedding to prevent the evil peer. The color red is significant within Jewish history because it was one of the items necessary for the building of the original Temple. Red thread and dye were used to make fabric; the red thread came from a type of worm. Rabbi S. R. Hirsch points out that the worm was the lowest form of life, and yet it was intrinsic to the building of the Sanctuary. The red thread, reminiscent of the lowly worm, can be seen as protection against this. Each time a person looks at the string he is reminded that a person is really as lowly as a worm. This humility is the ultimate weapon against the “evil eye.” Mashallah! (the verbal amulet to ward off evil)

Link to site where found:

It was a popular Medieval amulet to protect mothers and children against an attack by Lilith.
The 3 angels Sanvai, Sansanvai and Semanglof were sent to bring Lilith back after she fled from Adam. Folklore has that she lived by the Red See and associated with demons. She refused to go with the angels who had been sent by Elijah. However, wherever the names of the 3 angels were inscribed, Lility would stay away!

sources: Hebrew Magic Amulets by T. Schrire and Jewish Magic and Superstition, A Study in Fold Religion by Joshua Trachtenberg.

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