Amulet for the protection of newborn children (Iran, 18th cent.)

Amulet for newborn children depicting Lilith, inscribed with biblical quotations and kabbalistic formulas listing the letters of the “name of god”
Iran, 18th century
Silver

Judah L. Magnes Museum purchase, Siegfried S. Strauss collection, 67.1.1.3
 

Silver rectangular cut-sheet with peaked top; human figure at center; Hebrew inscriptions; ring at top for chain attachment; linked chain.

Amulet for the protection of newborns featuring a visual representation of Lilith and multiple textual formulas. These include: a quotation from the Leviticus 6:22-24, וידבר יהוה אל משה לאמר. דבר אל אהרן ואל בניו לאמר כה תברכו את בני ישראל אמור להם יברכך יהוה וישמרך (And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 'Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying: On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel; ye shall say unto them: May the lord bless you and keep you); Kabbalistic permutations of the "name of God" אנקתם פסתם פספסים דיונסים (after Moshe Cordovero, Pardes rimonim 24:14) and טפטפיה בשך מלו; verses relating to Lilith אדם וחוה אברהם ושרה יצחק ורבקה יעקב ולאה חוץ לילת חוה ראשונה (adam ve-chavah avraham ve-sarah yitzchaq ve-rivqah ya'aqov ve-leah chutz lilit chavah rishonah; "Adam and Eve Abraham and Sarah Isaac and Rebecca Jacob and Leah exit Lilith the First Eve); and the acronym בפי בפע עבץ עלש (corresponding to Genesis 49:22: בן פרת יוסף בן פרת עלי-עין; "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain").

The human figure, representing Lilith, is surrounded by an inscription that completes the quotation from Leviticus featured on the top section of the amulet (the text of the Priestly Blessing, Leviticus 25-27: יאר ה פניו אליך ויחונך ישא ה פנו אליך וישם לך שלום ושמו את שמי על בני ישראל ואני אברכם; May the lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, may the lord lift his countenance on you and give you peace, So shall they put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them). The inscription inside the figure states: שמירה לילד הנולד שלא יזרק לעולמא סנוי סנסנוי סמנגלף (a protection for this child, that he may not die, Sanoy Sansanoy Semangalof) and לילית אסורה בזיקים.

Collection Information
Collection #: 
67.1.1.3
Publication Date: 
1701 to 1800
Place of Creation/Publication: 
Iran