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Video Archives: Malke Snook

Malke Snook

Malke Snook

born in Kolochava , 1921

Videos

Malke Snook 's father was a farmer. Before the war, she studied at a technical college. She also attended a religious school for three years. She was deported to Auschwitz during World War II. After the war, she raised a child that she was able to rescue from a woman about to be sent the crematory. She raised her son traditionally Jewish and made sure he would attend religious school.


Current Video: Extinguishing Coals

The Slavic folk custom of throwing hot coals into water in order to determine the presence of the evil eye and to remove its effects was widespread among the Jewish population as well. The hissing noise of the coal when thrown into water symbolizes the bursting of the evil eye. It is difficult to establish why healing power is attributed to coal. One explanation could be the cleansing and disinfecting properties of charcoal ash. If the coal sinks, the person is diagnosed with being inflicted with the evil eye. After the coal has sunk to the bottom of the glass, the afflicted person takes three sips of the water, and the person performing the ritual sometimes sprinkles the four corners of the room to ward off or wash away the evil eye.

The practice of finding a remedy for good health or to protect someone from the evil eye [Yiddish: a gut oyg; Hebrew: ayin ha'ra] has been part of Jewish tradition for over a thousand years. It also became a widespread Christian and pagan tradition and was absorbed into Jewish daily life throughout Eastern Europe. Jewish residents would for instance visit Christian neighbors to protect their newborn children from the evil eye. In Jewish towns, or shtetls, other folk customs - involving the practice of folk medicine, such as rolling an egg and drinking urine - were also widespread.