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The Dybbuk, S. Ansky (1914)

Chill me, thrill me, fulfill me

by
Rachel Shukert
September 17, 2013

Most of the books we were given about being a good Jewish girl were focused on, well, exactly that: Be nice to your grandparents, especially if they were born in Europe and probably suffered things from which you shouldn’t know; knead challah; go to synagogue services uncomplainingly and appropriately dressed; marry a nice Jewish boy, and don’t expect too much attention. But The Dybbuk, for all its supernatural moralizing, was something very different: a punk-rock ode to the destructive, erotic pleasures of female disobedience, a kind of Old World version of one of Freud’s more sophisticated case studies on the nature of hysteria. And for the young Jewish actress who had just maybe aged out of playing Anne Frank, what a part! Bizarro-Tzeitel.

Rachel Shukert, a Tablet Magazine columnist on pop culture, is the author of the memoirs Have You No Shame? and Everything Is Going To Be Great. Starstruck, the first in a series of three novels, is new from Random House. Her Twitter feed is @rachelshukert.

Rachel Shukert is the author of the memoirs Have You No Shame? and Everything Is Going To Be Great,and the novel Starstruck. She is the creator of the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club, and a writer on such series as GLOW and Supergirl. Her Twitter feed is @rachelshukert.

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