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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Abraham the Jew (1362?-1460?) An alchemist/magician from Mayence, a town west of Koblenz, Germany. He came from a family of magicians and traveled through Austria, Hungary, Greece, the city of Constantinople, Arabia, Palestine, and Egypt, where he met and studied with a mentor magician, Abra-Melin. He finally settled in Würzburg, Germany, where he married.
      He performed his wonders before Henry VI of England, Pope John XXIII (the first one), and Emperor Sigismund of Germany.
      A tome supposed to have been written by Abraham titled The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his son Lamech, tells the reader how to “excite tempests,” have visions, “retain familiar spirits,” raise the dead and walk under (not on) water. Instructions on how to summon these convenient powers are followed by observations on “comedies, operas and all kinds of music and dances.” All these abilities are said to be attained by means of the kabala.
      Abraham was intolerant of other magi, believing himself——and his hero, Abra-Melin——to be the only performers worth consideration. This is a common delusion among such folks.

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