A century ago, S. Ansky breathed new life into a shtetl folktale. His play, The Dybbuk, still captures creative minds.
Scene from The Dybbuk, 1937.
Alok Tewari (as the Rabbi) and Paula McGonagle (as Leah) in Betrothed, 2007.
In the early 1900’s, Russian ethnographer S. Ansky ventured into shtetl territory, armed with a wax cylinder recording device and camera, to document a fading, if still vibrant, world. There he discovered the tale of the dybbuk, a wandering soul who can possess the body of a living being.
Ansky went on to write a play about the dybbuk, and that play has since undergone numerous reinterpretations, becoming a legend in its own right.
Arts reporter Eric Molinsky speaks to playwrights Tony Kushner and Rachel Dickstein, as well as historians Gabriella Safran and Joel Berkowitz, about why this play continues to captivate directors, playwrights, and audiences.
Photo from Betrothed: Rachel Dickstein.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.