Photograph 8


THE KIPPAW The Hanadji
Arriving at the tomb.

 

This is the same woman shown in photograph 5. She appears to have located her tomb and, as the caption hints, has been waiting for the arrival of the honaci. Despite the fact that the tomb in the foreground is quite late (1908), that before which she is standing is a much older one. There are a number of other tombs packed closely about it and there is also a small shrub. The Jewish necropolis was quite arid and at the end of the summer (which is when apparently most of these pictures were taken) parched and very dusty. There were no trees, unlike the surrounding Muslim cemeteries that were quite heavily planted and could be recognized from afar by their soaring cypresses. Here and there, however, in the Jewish cemetery were shrubs growing close to certain graves of revered and venerated persons of some repute as intercessors. At the termination of the required prayers it was customary for the person making the ziyara to break off a spring from the shrub which would be taken home and used in a number of ways. Sometimes dried portions were inserted in amulets or put under pillows, or even consumed. Such magical practices on the whole were not looked upon favorably by the more conservative rabbis or the city. There were, however, kabbalists who wrote out amulets and who might suggest the use of such an additional charm to make an effective means to ward off evil. It was not at all uncommon to find Christian Greek women occasionally taking small portions of earth from specific tombs in the Jewish cemetery for similar uses in making charms.
Other, apparently purely magical, practices were carried out in the cemetery. A faithless husband could be brought back by stealthily burying an egg covered with kabbalistic symbols along with a knife near the head of a recently buried murdered man. An effective protection from the effects of the evil eye could be made from the earth taken from three burial mounds less than three days old. Another recipe called for the burial of the head and leg of a cock or chicken killed as kappara, (sacrifice), next to the head of a revered rabbi. This was said to be an effective manner of warding off jealously as well as assisting one in overcoming crises in private affairs.


Salonika, Jews and dervishes
By Nicholas Stavroulakis
Talos Press, Athens, 1993

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