If there’s something strange in your neighborhood and it’s speaking Yiddish, who you gonna call? Ghost-bupkes! Yes, that’s a bad Yiddish joke (‘bupkes’ is Yiddish for ‘nothing’) but it’s appropriate because what may be a real ghost left a Yiddish word on the wall of a bathroom in Arizona and so far the owner of the house has gotten bupkes in the way of explanations. Does anyone know a good Jewish exorcist?
“For the past few days our house that my grandfather, aunt, two cousins and myself have been living in has been ‘acting up.’ We have been hearing noises, objects appear out of nowhere, they move around and yesterday all of our kitchen cabinets were left open. All doors were locked so no one could have gotten in and we tried to blame each other but then things got weirder.”
West Phoenix resident Rudy Calderon told azcentral.com that his ghost problems began on December 21st. These first incidents sounded more like pranks but he got worried a few days later when both of his bathrooms mysteriously flooded and he found some strange letters on the wall written using something that resembled charcoal. Calderon uploaded a video of the writing to social media and someone identified it as the Yiddish (Jewish) word for “danger.”
Oy vey! (That’s Yiddish for “Oh, woe!”)
While the noises and incidents of things moving and even the flooding are not unusual in terms of paranormal activities, the Yiddish writing is because Jewish ghost stories are rare. The Hebrew word for ghost is ovoth, but a more familiar and currently popular word is dybbuk, which is a wandering soul that can take over a person and control their actions, although it’s usually not considered to be a bad thing to be possessed by a dybbuk since they can often offer guidance and direction. The 2012 movie “The Possession” is about a dybbuk box — in this case, an old wooden box purchased on eBay that is possessed by an evil dybbuk.
If it’s not a dybbuk, what’s causing the mishegas (craziness) in Calderon’s house? He and his family aren’t Jewish but it sounds like they could use the help of a rabbi experienced in practical Kabbalah — a branch of the Jewish mystical tradition that concerns the use of magic. The rabbi would most likely blow a trumpet or shofar to separate the ghost from that which it possesses. He would then comfort the ghost and help determine what unfinished business it has. The exorcist would also say prayers to help protect the house and its inhabitants.
Would a Jewish exorcism help Rudy Calderon get rid of his home’s Yiddish ghost – if indeed that’s what causing his problems? Who knows? Calderon hopes so. He doesn’t want to be known as the neighborhood shlimazl (chronically unlucky person) who bought a house with a dybbuk.