Archive for September, 2008

Dear Reader

September 17, 2008

Dear Reader,

Just a reminder that our next Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature program takes place this Thursday, September 18, at the Waldo branch beginning at 7 p.m. During this session, we’ll be discussing The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky. If you have not already picked up your free copy of this book, please do so soon. If you have any questions, please call branch manager Alicia Ahlvers at 816.701.3586.

We look forward to seeing you.

Yours cordially,
Henry Fortunato
Director of Public Affairs

Demon possession in Jewish Literature

September 9, 2008
Although the play, The Dybbuk,  by S. An-Ski was written in the early twentieth century and set in seventeenth century Eastern Europe, Jewish demon possession continues to be a phenomenon until today.  In 1999 a Dybbuk exorcism was performed by a Rabbi in Dimona, Israel.  It was broadcast on radio and also videotaped.  Needless to say the religious establishment in Israel was perturbed.  Later the woman who had allegedly been possessed claimed it was a sham; however, the exorcism apparently enhanced the reputation of the Rabbi who performed the ritual.
For some modern takes on Dybbuks, read The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman or the Dyke and the Dybbuk by Ellen Galford
-Andrea Kempf