what is a dybbuk?
In Jewish Folklore, a dybbuk is a wandering spirit that possesses the body of a living person. In early biblical and Talmudic accounts they are called "ruchim," which means "spirits" in Hebrew.
A 1914 play by S. Ansky, titled The Dybbuk, tells the story of a young bride possessed by a dybbuk. It is considered a seminal play in the history of Jewish Theatre.
Footage from Der Dibuk, 1937
Hanna Rovina, from the 1937 Polish film, Der Dibuk
In our 2019 production hell prepared: a ritual exorcism inspired by kabbalistic principles, performed within a dominant cultural context, the character Moshe defines a dybbuk with the following language:
"So, here is what a dybbuk is not.
It is not a demon
Nor is it a devil.
Nor an angel that has lost its holiness.
It is a ghost
A now lifeless thing which invades a living body and clings to it.
It relies on this living being, this servant, to have any say in this world."