Sorcery and Medications

Question

Hello, a question i have if you don’t mind is regarding “sorcery”. What exactly is “sorcery”? In Greek it is “pharmakia” and that sounds like “pharmacy”. Also if you look the word “sorcery” up in a Strongs concordance where it gives you the Hebrew definition for the definition, it uses words like “drug” and “poison”. I’ve also heard people talk about how things like cannabis a mind altering drug can open your mind up spiritually to demons, and also how some use mind altering drugs to communicate with spirits/demons. I’ve also seen a rabbi that said cannabis was kosher and ok to use, and have heard of rabbis saying that medication is ok. So idk. I’m trying to understand.

If sorcery does have to do with drugs does that mean certain types of drugs or all drugs? Only mind altering drugs? Or only all man-made drugs including pharmaceutical medication, hence pharmakia? Is cannabis ok to use/smoke? Are psychiatric mental health medications ok to use?

There may be a few questions in here which I am wondering, but mostly i want to understand: What exactly is “SORCERY” aka pharmakia? Thank you, I really appreciate this service.

4 months

Answers

  1. While it is true that the Greek word pharmakia can mean sorcery, it also means several other things as well. However, its main meaning is to do with medication and pill-taking, which is why it is associated today with medicine and pharmacy. No modern day resource that I looked at makes any connection between the word sorcery and pill-taking today.

    In any event, recreational drug taking is forbidden according to Jewish Law. Jewish Law does allow for narcotics that are required solely for medicinal purposes, such as cannabis and opiates, but they should be taken carefully and only together with a doctor overseeing the patient’s medical needs.

    There is an essay about what sorcery is according to Judaism that I hope you will find helpful: https://www.aish.com/sp/ph/48938547.html

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team