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Video Archives: Liza Petrunenko

Liza Petrunenko

Liza Petrunenko

born in Rakhiv , 1918

Videos

Liza Petrunenko Liza Iakovlevna Petrunenko was born in Rakova in 1918. Her father worked at the kolkhoz Gigant in Tomashpol. She studied at a Ukrainian school and worked at the kolkhoz as well. After the war, she went to the medical institute in Vinnitsya for six months and then worked as disinfector at a hospital in Tomashpol for 47 years.


Current Video: Rolling an Egg

"Incantations must not be taught to anyone," writes Avraham Rechtman in his 1958 book Yidishe Etnografie un Folklor (Jewish Ethnography and Folklore). During an expedition to Tomashpol (a shtetl in the Podolia region of Ukraine) in 2003, AHEYM met Liza Petrunenko, who believed in this rule of silence. Although she knew the formulas that one must say in order to ward off the Evil Eye, she refused to tell the interviewers. However, she did agree to demonstrate the procedure of ""rolling an egg"", which is done to dispel fear.

In Jewish custom, the Evil Eye is mentioned as far back as Proverbs in Tanakh (see, for instance, 23:6 and 28:22), and many preventative and curative measures for it exist, including spitting and incantations (mentioned in the video). Folklorist Dov Noy writes that ""Although practices of this kind were disapproved of by rabbinic authorities... they persisted... In the Middle Ages there is evidence of a more widespread use of folk medicine among Jews. There are many folk prescriptions in the Sefer Hasidim (13th century), most of them derived from the contiguous Christian culture"" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition).