Dybbuks & Jewish Women in
Social History, Mysticism, & Folklore
By Rachael Elior
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
128 pages, 5 3/4 x 8 3/4"
How and why a person comes to be possessed by a dybbuk (the possession of a living body by the soul of a deceased person), and what consequences ensue from such possession, form the subject of this book.
While possession by a dybbuk may have been understood as punishment for a terrible sin, it may also be seen as a mechanism used by desperate individuals – often women – who had no other means of escape from the demands and expectations of an all-encompassing patriarchal social order.
Dybbuks and Jewish Women examines these and other aspects of dybbuk possession from historical and phenomenological perspectives, with particular attention to the gender significance of the subject.
About the Author
Rachel Elior is the John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Mystical Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the chair of the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University and has been a research fellow and a visiting professor at University College London, the University of Amsterdam, Oberlin College, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Case Western University, Yeshiva University, Tokyo University, and Princeton University. She is the author of numerous works on Jewish mysticism and hasidism, including The Paradoxical Ascent to God: The Kabbalistic Theosophy of Habad Hasidism (1992). Three of her books were published by the Littman Library: The Three Temples: On the Emergence of Jewish Mysticism (2004), The Mystical Origins of Hasidism (2006), and Jewish Mysticism: The Infinite Expression of Freedom (2007). The recipient of many honors, she was awarded the 2006 Gershom Scholem Prize for the study of Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
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