Vassar College Digital Library
Dybbuks (spirits of the dead who possess the bodies of the living) and Lilith (the first wife of Adam turned child-killing night demon) are monsters who have existed in Jewish folklore, religious writings, and entertainment media for hundreds of years. Because both of these monsters are generally represented as women, tracking their many iterations can offer insight into the gendered anxieties – and attempts at liberation – present in Ashkenazi Jewish cultures throughout time. This project attempts to trace the symbolic meanings of dybbuks and Lilith in the Jewish narrative tradition, and includes two pieces of visual art where I present my own interpretation of these monstrous figures.
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