Rabbi Meyer

Background: Informant is a 19 year old, Jewish American/Argentinian college student. They are from the Chicago area but now live in Los Angeles. The informant has a long history of Jewish education and traditions.

Informant: My story is about Rabbi Meyer Bolanese. Basically, this is one of the famous rabbis that kind of are Jewish scholars and evryone refers to them in their interpretations of the torah and Jewish texts and they also are known for having special powers. So Rabbi Meyer’s power is to help you find an item you’ve lost. So when you’ve lost something your supposed to not panic and do some certain rituals. I think that they differ based on different communities that do this but the one that I know is that you’re supposed to put an empty glass in the corner of a room and you say a specific prayer and then rabbi meyer is supposed to send his powers to help you find whatever object you’ve lost. 

Reflection: I found this piece of folklore really interesting as it takes Jewish belief and adds a magical, folkloric aspect to it. There is an idealization of the rabbi going on that makes him into a magical figure, taking the power beyond religion and into a form of supersticious, folklore belief. The part about the empty glass is especially folkloric, as it is a ritual that is performed to find a lost object.