Chayei Sarah: Chapter 13

All kinds of witchcraft and sorcery abide only in women


When the serpent came upon Eve it injected impurities into her. For this reason, women are more susceptible to the allure of magic and witchcraft than men. Rabbi Yosi asks why this is so, since the children of Israel were cleansed of impurities at Mount Sinai. Rabbi Yitzchak replies that the Torah was only given to males. Furthermore, since women are of the left side, it is more difficult for them to cleanse themselves of defilement. Various kinds of impurity are discussed, and we learn that anything attached to the world - as are unholy spirits - holds the potential to defile.


The term woman is used as a metaphor for man's Evil Inclination. Kabbalistically, women are on a much higher level of spirituality, as evidenced by their great intuition and heightened sensitivity. Therefore, only the male is required to work at eradicating his Evil Inclination through Torah. When a woman, however, uses her natural gifts for negative purposes, it is referred to as witchcraft. A reading of this section helps men and women subjugate their negative desires.