The Dybbuk

by S. An-Ski

Other authorsJohn Hirsch
Book, 1975



Call number

185 ANS



Winnipeg : Peguis, 1975.


In the folklore of Eastern European Jewry, a dybbuk is a wandering soul that comes to rest in the body of a living person. In this case, the dybbuk is an impoverished student that possesses a young bride on her wedding day. She is taken to a great Chassidic rabbi for exorcism. But before he can expel the spirit, the sage must discover who the dybbuk was in life, why he has possessed the maiden, and most importantly, how to balance the scales of cosmic justice. Part folk tale, part love story, and part allegory, The Dybbuk recreates the atmosphere of a bygone era, with all its rich humor, music, folkways, magic, and humanity. This Audie Award-winning production of the most revered drama in the Yiddish repertoire is the only sound recording of the play in the English language.… (more)

Media reviews

New Republic
Great art, we know, is universal, but, before it is universal, it has to be thoroughly local, it has to bear the signature of a people and a way of life. The point has been proved by an artist rather close in nearly all respects to Ansky—namely, Chagall. Sholom Aleichem I should judge to be less
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close, for, unless the English translation has misled me, Ansky's achievement is visual and aural, that is, theatrical, rather than literary. Great theatrical work being even rarer than great writing as such, The Dybbuk is the more welcome on this account... I've no idea whether Ansky was theologically minded, and I am sure there are experts to tell me that The Dybbuk is not at all a pious play; at the same time there is something in it that is religious in a broader, and perhaps deeper, sense. Ansky makes real to us people whose religious tradition is perhaps the main thing in their lives and, like Chagall, he seems to tell us that we can be happy in the universe even if we are miserable in the world. There is a fine Dickensian mixture, in this Hasidism, of mysticism and jollity.
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Original language


Original publication date



0919566391 / 9780919566392
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