Hi Rabbi! I hope you are doing well. Some sephardic family members of mine have recently approached me and urged me to use "blue beads" on our baby's crib (due in three weeks, G-d willing) to protect it from the "evil eye." I responded that, as an observant Jew, I believe there is no other power other than G-d, thus, I need only turn to Him for protection. They were quite upset by this and insisted I reconsider. What exactly is the rationalist approach to amulets such as blue beads and chamsas in Judaism? Are there any sources on the subject so that I can show that our sages rejected such seemingly irrational and pagan practices (which seem to be rampant in many sephardic circles)? Thanks!!
There are a few issues here. Things like this relate to disputes stretching back at least 600 years as to what Judaism is about. Rambam certainly would have opposed such things as harmful nonsense. But even Rambam okayed certain segulos for their placebo benefits. Now, there aren’t any placebo benefits here, but there is another factor to take into consideration: the importance of maintaining a good relationship with your extended family! But only you can figure out how much of an issue this will be.
Can I post your question (with a different name) and my answer on my blog?