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Why we wear evil eye or protective jewelry.

Some History of the Evil Eye

Taken from Encyclopedia Brittanica

Evil eye
A glance believed to have the ability to cause injury or death to those on whom it falls; children and animals are thought to be particularly susceptible. Belief in the evil eye is ancient and ubiquitous: it occurred in ancient Greece and Rome; is found in Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions and in folk cultures and preliterate societies; and has persisted throughout the world into modern times. In many traditions strangers, malformed individuals, and old women are most often accused of casting the evil eye.

The power of the evil eye is sometimes held to be involuntary; a Slavic folktale, for example, relates the story of a father afflicted with the evil eye who blinded himself in order to avoid injuring his own children. More frequently, however, malice toward and envy of prosperity and beauty are thought to be the cause. Thus, in medieval Europe--and in popular superstition today--it was considered unlucky to be praised or to have one's possessions praised, so that some qualifying phrase such as "as God will" or "God bless it" was commonly used.

Measures taken to ward off the evil eye may vary among cultures. For example, some authorities suggest that the purpose of ritual cross-dressing--a practice that has been noted in the marriage ceremonies of parts of India--is to avert the evil eye. Asian children sometimes have their faces blackened, especially near the eyes, for protection. Among some Asian and African peoples the evil eye is particularly dreaded while eating and drinking, because the soul is thought to be more vulnerable when the mouth is open; thus; the ingestion of substances is either a solitary activity or takes place only with the immediate family and behind locked doors. Other means of protection, common to many traditions, include the wearing of sacred texts, amulets, charms, and talismans (which may also be hung upon animals for their protection); certain gestures; and the display of ritual drawings or objects.

The existence of a demonic kingdom was accepted by the rabbis without question. Evil spirits are invisible and fill the nether world. They avoid sunlight and concentrate in waters and deserted places. They also mingle with people, trouble them, and help them. They have passions and are born and die like people. However, they also have some of the traits and powers of angels. The evil eye was considered as dangerous as evil spirits. It was thought that for mysterious reasons some people have the power to injure others by looking at them and that it is generally jealousy that triggers this effect. The rabbis, however, repeatedly emphasized that all of these strange powers are under the divine government and, moreover, that they cannot hurt the pious.


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