A rabbinic ghostbuster

By Simon Rocker
January 29, 2010

From the initimitable Rabbi William Wolff’s “Last Word” column in the new edition of Manna magazine:

“Just once in nearly 30 years have I been asked to get rid of noisy ghosts – exorcise them is the technical term. For a moment I was flummoxed. Exorcism was not part of the Leo Baeck College ordination course when I was allowed to take it. But I could not tell the haunted, middle-aged man in my office to find a pliable vicar. So I listened to him. The ghosts were his parents. And suddenly they were bestriding his conscience because he had never said Kaddish for them or otherwise honoured or mourned them.
“I went back to his flat and said the Shema with him. I got him to come to our next evening service when I said the memorial prayer… and the Kaddish. I have never seen him since. And I gather he never again heard from the ghosts of his past.”


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