KIPPAW The Hanadji
Arriving at the tomb.
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