Monday, November 15, 2010

Dybbuk debunked

Remember the dybbuk that allegedly possessed the body of a Brazilian man last year, and was subject to several 'failed' exorcism attempts by leading Charedi mystics?

Well, I bet you never saw this coming. The Brazilian man - a seemingly random member of his community, Ezra Weiss, now reveals - was "mentally ill" and made it all up. All the languages which the "dybbuk" was "speaking" were languages the man already spoke (although at the time, one of the "proofs" that there was a dybbuk was that the man was speaking languages with which he was unfamiliar). The approach to the mystics was apparently made by another member of the community.

In other breaking news, there's no tooth fairy. Nevertheless, some commentators do seem surprised (or in some cases, offended at the implication that some of the kabbalists involved in the exorcisms were either fools or charlatans, though they must have been one or the other).

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. Next thing you know, we're all going to be believing in a talking fish.


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