The fellow who claimed to have been possessed by a dybbuk and garnered the attention of the Jewish community worldwide last year has now come forth and admitted that it was all a hoax. The man, a resident of the Jewish community in Brazil, has apologized for his shenanigans and says that it was all one big show.
He has also expressed his regret that Rav Dovid Batzri, the noted mekubal, was asked to attempt to chase the dybbuk twice, including once via video conference.
As first reported here on Matzav.com, the story began when a man from Brazil claimed that a dybbuk had entered him. Apparently, some individuals approached Rav Chaim Kanievsky on the man’s behalf, asking his advice. Rav Chaim said that he is not an expert in these matters and that they should consult with Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman. Rav Shteinman allegedly recommended that the individuals go to Rav Dovid Batzri, the renowned mekubal who has expertise in this area. Since the fellow was located in Brazil, Rav Batzri’s assistants arranged for him to be able to be in video contact with the Brazilian man via Skype, an internet video tool, and in that way Rav Batzri could try to exorcise the dybbuk from the man. [The video of that attempt can be seen here.]
The effort was “not successful” and the man left for Israel for Rav Batzri to attempt, in person, to banish the dybbuk.
Prior to the Skype effort, Rav Chaim Kanievsky was reported as saying that trying to remove the dybbuk – if it was indeed a dybbuk – via video conference would not work, as the person must be present physically for it to be effective.
The man was brought to Eretz Yisroel and paraded himself around, visiting the homes of various rabbonim and gedolim, including Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Levi Rabinowitz (author of Madanei Hashulchan), Rav Yaakov Meir Schechter, Rav Zundel Kroizer and the Amshinover Rebbe. The visits to the gedolim were arranged at the recommendation of Rav Batzri, who said that prior to the attempt to banish the dybbuk, Weiss should visit gedolei Torah and get brachos from them.
Then, in the ezras noshim of Yeshivat Hashalom in Yerushalayim, Rav Batzri met the man to attempt to banish the dybbuk. Literally thousands of people gathered in and around the yeshiva to watch.
The “dybbuk“ wouldn’t leave the body of the Brazilian man, who was shaking like a leaf.
Thousands watched as Rav Batzri attempted for hours to chase away the dybbuk.
It is interesting to note that at that time, in January 2009, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, Rosh Av Bais Din of the Eidah Hachareidis, said that the man does not possess a dybbuk, but is inflicted by a mental illness of some sort. That statement by the Raavad was publicized by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn on his blog, Daat Torah. Rav Shternbuch was shown the Matzav.com report claiming that the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim has placed the dybbuk in nidui, excommunication, and forbade it from causing any harm to Rav Batzri. The report stated that following Wednesday night’s efforts to exorcise the dybbuk in the ezras noshim of Yeshiva Hashalom in Yerushalayim, Rav Batzri feared that the dybbuk may try to cause him harm. The report continued that Rav Batzri turned to the bais din of the Eidah Hachareidis and Rav Shternbuch, Rosh Av Bais Din of the Eidah, released a p’sak from the bais din placing the dybbuk in a state of excommunication and formally forbidding it from causing any harm to Rav Batzri.
Rav Shternbuch categorically denied this and added that this is not a case of a dybbuk, but of mental illness. He expressed dismay that thousands of people believed that this was a dybbuk and were involved with Rav Batzri’s ceremony. Rav Shternbuch urged Rabbi Eidensohn to write an article regarding his denial and emphasized the urgency to publicize his denial of his involvement with the proclamation of the nidui and that he viewed this as a case of mental illness.
The man is now looking to ask forgiveness from Rav Batzri and all those who he fooled during his charade.