Action Report

The Times
London, December 23, 1999
Rabbis accused of faking exorcism


RABBIS in the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, which could have the casting vote in keeping Ehud Barak's coalition together over peace with Syria, were accused yesterday of faking the exorcism of a Jewish widow and selling videos of it for profit.

Thousands bought the video of Yehudit Sigauker, who was "possessed by the dybbuk" [demon] of her dead husband, and shook and spoke in his voice before his "doomed soul" was driven from her body by Rabbi David Bazri. The video sales raised funds for Shas's religious schools which amassed debts of £16 million this year. But Mrs Sigauker told Haaretz newspaper that she faked the whole event with the connivance of the rabbis and had been cheated by them of her share of the profits. Rabbi Bazri's son denied any faking and said the videos had brought many people back to religion. had brought many people back to religion.