Gal Sofer

Gal Sofer is a MD/PhD student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Alongside his MD studies at the university's School of Medicine, Gal's PhD research at the Department of Jewish Thought addresses late medieval and early modern Jewish magic, specifically practices of summoning and binding demons, so the magician would force them to do his bidding. Through examination of manuscripts and Genizah fragments in Hebrew, Aramaic, Italian, Latin and Greek, Gal seeks to trace the paths of knowledge transmission of cross-cultural demonic magical practices. He examines spells, incantations and magical formulas in order to track their origins. In this way, he seeks to describe the reception of Jewish magic in the Latin West, and the contribution of Jewish literature to works on magical practices that were very popular in the period under study, practices that are still used today.