Rav Shternbuch is Shown Matzav Report, Says Not a Dybbuk, But Mental Illness

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rav-moshe-shternbuchMatzav.com and various Hebrew language websites have been reporting the past weeks regarding the Brazilian man said to have a dybbuk inside of him (see past Matzav.com reports here, here and here). Rav Dovid Batzri, noted mekubal and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Hashalom, has tried to chase a dybbuk from the man, as we’ve reported.

Now, however, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, Rosh Av Bais Din of the Eidah Hachareidis, has 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, and others, 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 denies 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. Rabbi Eidensohn says that Rav Shternbuch urged him 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.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Rav Shternbuch reads English. Was he shown the other Matzav reports about all the symptons the gut was suffering etc.? I am curious to know his response.

  2. i read on this sitye that Rav Chaim Kanievsky told them to go to Rav Batzri. does that mean that he holds it’s a dybbuk or did he just want to be mafkiah himself from the whole thing?

  3. Rabbi Eidensohn of the Daattorah blog has discussed this with Rabbi Shternbuch and he denies any involvement. He says this is a case of mental illness and not a dybbuk.

  4. I know someone who was there when harav sternbuch said this
    he said lo haya velo nivrha that this is a dibik
    and he said he never gave a psak niduy

  5. Reb Chaim Kanyevsky feels otherwise. He has advised the Rabbonim in Brazil to go to Reb Aaron Leib Shteinman for help, which in turn sent them to Rav Batzri. I have yet to find Reb Chaim Kanyevsky to be fooled. He has a S’yatta Dishmaya to very few have.

  6. Rav Sternbuch did not attend Wednesday night’s efforts to exorcise the dybbuk. It would only be fair to find out from Rav Batzri whether he still claims it was a dybbuk or agrees with this latest statement of Rav Sternbuch?

  7. Ehrliche Yid,

    I’m sure you’ve heard this from Reb Chaims mouth directly… C’mon, you just read it on internet from an anonymous source!

  8. You mean to say Rav Kanievsky, Rav Steinman, the 3 Rabbanim that came from Brazil with the Avreich, Rav Batzri and all those mekubalim attending the exorcise, were all fooled?

  9. I believe this is what happened:

    The guy’s rep came to Rav Chaim Kaneivsky who sent him to Rav Shteinman. Rav Shteinman sent him to Rav Batzri who is the expert. That does not mean that Rav Chaim or Rav Aharon Leib feel that it is a dyubbuk. It means that they were not going to deal with it.
    Rav Batzri obviuously felt that there was enough evidence that it is a dybbuk. Rav Shternbuch obviously disagrees.
    There is nothing wrong with a machlokes lesheim shomayim in Torah.

  10. Rav Shternbuch is a gaon olam. Rav Batzri is a tzaddik gomur. as a previous person said, ailu ve’ailu.
    we are lucky to have such holy jews, no matter if there is a dybbuk or not.

  11. #15 –

    Right you are. If only a lot of other people had the same attitude, Klal Yisroel would be saved from a lot of machlokes and a lot of grief. Dybbuk or no dybbuk, we should appreciate our Gedolim and stop worrying about trivialities.

  12. I appreciate that Matzav is keeping the comments here civil and respectful. the chillul hashem going on on other site with this story is awful.
    my fellow writers, feel free to comment but let’s keep it on the up and up.

  13. poor guy ,he is suffering and everyone is just arguing if he is mental or not! honestly, didn’t we hear that the dybbuk said his ‘name’ to R’ BAtzri? How can someone explain stomach movements as a mental illness? how can a voice come out and be heard by others (not in someones head) be a mental illness? please explain what mental illness this might be.

  14. Rav Shternbuch is the author of Teshuvos Vehanhagos and other seforim. He also writes a column for the American Yated Neeeman. That article is written by a Rabbi travis of Yerushalayim – and I was told that Rabbi Shternbuch reviews the article before it is printed – so he surely knows English quite well.

  15. Hello everybody, R’Kanievsky and R’Shteinman were not fooled. You who actually believe that they said anything were fooled. I agree with what this article says that R’Shternbuch said about finding it hard to believe that so many people believe this ridiculous story. What has happened to our Yiddishkeit for people to believe such foolishness?

  16. No one can tell me this is not true I heard six voices coming from him during the reciting of the shema. His body and stomach were shaking vilolantly as in KOL ATZMOSAI TOMARNAH!

    This was a real chizuk to me to see that there is real punishment for those that dont follow the derech Hashem.

    It was well worth the climb!

  17. didnt the gedolim say not to use the internet?
    how was this posted on a site called daat torah, when daas torah said not to use the internet?
    what a stirah miney u bey

  18. When Rav SHternbuch SHlit”a said it is a case of mental illness, I believe that he was not talking about the guy from Brazil but about everyone who continues to carry on about this maiseh!

  19. To: From the REAL ezras noshim bochur climber

    The real bochur climber does not have internet and could not have written on this site because he doesn’t even know English.

  20. My dear friends and brothers the Yezter hara is inside all of us and could be compared to a dybuk since nobody in this generation can honestly say they saw a dybuk unless they were present at the same dybuk that the holy Chafetz Chaim dealt with. May MOSHIACH TZIDKEINU COME SOON AND FREE US FROM THIS DARK AND TERRIBLE GOLUS AND ALL OUR SUFFERING. AMEN

  21. Amazing. You think in the times of the Chofetz Chaim, with that dybbuk story, that this was instantly being dissected all over the world by the layest of laypeople?

  22. after The chofetz Chaim s dybbuk. It was said that no dybbuk would appear for 100 years. Since it was 1909 and the Skype exorsism ess still in 2009 it all come togther.

    Dybbuk or no dybbuk how did a mental patient get on a flight from brazil to tel aviv ?was he ever medically evaluated?

  23. It could be a case of schyzophrenia, the guy needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. How come this wasn’t done before he left Brazil?

  24. These comments are funnier then the story!! After a longgggggggg day there is nothing more that i like to do then read the comments on the wacky stories!!! thanks for giving me a good laugh!!

  25. If you hear a strange unfamiliar voice emerging from a person without his lips moving, speaking languages this person never knew,confessing to sins he has comitted, you don’t have to be the Chofetz chaim yo know you have a Dybuk on your hands. Getting him to speak and dealing with him needs a Chofetz Chaim.

  26. I heard from a bachur that just asked Harav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit”a about what the Chafetz Chaim said, and he answered that what he said was a klall and sometimes there is a yotzei min haklall. I also saw in the sefer from R’ Yaakov Kaminetzky (Emes L’yaakov, end of this weeks parsha(Va’era)), that a dibbuk is a koach of tumah and that what the Chofetz Chaim said was that it is achron min hoachronim… and that it comes zeh leumas zeh, so if there is a time that there is a lot of kedushah in the world the tumah wants to counter… (Keep up the Torah, Avodah, u’Gmilas Chasadim)!
    Also see the Lev Eliyahu in the first volume, hakdama, (somewhere between pgs 56-86 dont recall which one it was).

  27. That being said, none of that happened. I saw no strange unfamiliar voice emerging from him without his lips moving or him speaking languages he never knew.

  28. DOGO Ill take what Rav Shternbuch says over your opinion any day. The last Dybbuk about 10 years ago was a fraud an act. This one is mental illness. There are many illnesses that could make someone seem like they have a dybbuk.
    You are dreaming if you think we have more Kedusha than previous generations. The Chofetz Chaim and his Talmidim are far more Kadosh than thkis whole Dor put together!

  29. Dibbuk true or not,due to the fact that this issue has been dealt with Tzaddikim, it was “bashert” for me to hear this story and give me the opportunity of “hisoreros techuva”. Nothing is for naught. I had to hear this story not by coincidence, but because it had to serve as a reminder that I am only in the corridor before entering the “olam haemes”. For everybody else, it’s all a CHOICE of how you want to see it.


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