Rabbi’s Skype exorcism

December 30, 2009

A renowned Israeli master of kabbalah, Rabbi Dovid Batzri, has attempted to remove a dybbuk, or disembodied spirit, from a Brazilian man via the internet.

A video posted on Charedi website ladaat.net, shows Rabbi Batzri, surrounded by dozens of supporters, reciting kabbalistic verses and praying for the exorcism of the dybbuk. He connected with the possessed man via Skype.

According to another Charedi site, kikar.net, the story began when a Brazilian yeshivah student started shouting in shul that he could “smell many sins” and that “the end is very near”.

Although he could only speak Portuguese, he was yelling in Hebrew and Yiddish, and “his lips did not move”. The commotion caused the women of the unnamed synagogue to flee.

The man, who is also unnamed, claims to remember nothing of the scene. However, his wife — who in the meantime has demanded a get — has reportedly testified that he also yelled in his sleep — in German.

He spoke only Portuguese but yelled in Hebrew

Recently, according to the report, the man’s community consulted several leading rabbis, who referred him to Rav Batzri in Jerusalem.

“After it was determined that it would be extremely difficult to bring the student to Israel, arrangements were made to remove the dybbuk using Skype and a computer, permitting the rabbi and the student to see each other,” kikar.net said.

The ceremony was conducted over several hours. The fate of the dybbuk, however, is unclear. Ladaat claims that Rabbi Batzri managed to exorcise the spirit, while other sources say that he failed, and that the yeshivah student is flying to Israel, so that Rabbi Batzri can try again, face-to-face.

The 12-minute video does not document the ending and the JC has been unable to confirm the reports.

In 2003, the community in New Square, a strictly Orthodox suburb of New York, was gripped by reports by two fishmongers that a carp that was about to be killed and made into gefilte fish for Shabbat suddenly began shouting that “the end is near” in Hebrew.

Last updated: 1:50pm, December 31 2009