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I have been told that there are Pirushim on the Torah who speak of werewolves.

Can anyone locate them?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The (rarely-seen) commentary of Rabbeinu Ephraim ben Shimshon on the Torah states that Benjamin was a werewolf; the fear that he would die should he leave his father Jacob is that he would turn back into a werewolf and be killed in self-defense by some person. Make of it what you will. Hat tip to Yitzhak of Bein Din L'Din. (See link for more.)

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I wonder (a little facetiously) how Rabbeinu Ephraim would explain the berachos of the other shevatim. Would he say that Yissachar had long ears, or Dan a forked tongue, etc.? (Also, this gives a whole new meaning to Shifra and Puah's argument to Pharaoh, כי חיות הנה!) –  Alex Feb 1 '11 at 20:03
I don't see it at hebrewbooks.org/20294. –  msh210 Feb 3 '11 at 0:18
@msh210: looks like you want this version of the sefer: books.google.com/books/about/… –  Menachem Aug 15 '11 at 3:15
@msh210: Natan Slifkin posted a pdf of the relevant pages from the Rabbeinu Ephraim here: rationalistjudaism.com/2011/12/was-eisav-vampire.html --- direct link to pdf - zootorah.com/RationalistJudaism/RabbeinuEphraimWerewolves.pdf –  Menachem Jan 20 '12 at 4:05

Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid talks about a werewolf and another type of being.

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There is a Christian belief that at the end of Nevuchadnetzar's life he turned into a werewolf, however I have never seen any Jewish Perush saying so.

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Depends on how you interpret what happened to him in Daniel ch. 4, I guess. He definitely became animal-like for "seven periods" (years?); but does that mean that he actually turned into an animal, or that he had a human body but the mentality of an animal (sort of like a feral child)? –  Alex Feb 1 '11 at 15:04
My understanding of a werewolf is that it also changes back into a human. That would not match Nevuchadnetzar who became animal like and stayed animal like. –  Gershon Gold Feb 1 '11 at 17:03
...until the seven periods were up; then he recovered his human nature. –  Alex Feb 1 '11 at 19:59
however not constantly changing –  Gershon Gold Feb 1 '11 at 20:25
Meam Loez where? –  Gershon Gold Feb 2 '11 at 0:18

Besides the reference to Rabbi Slifkin's general post on werewolves here is a more recent post of his were he continues the discussion - http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2011/12/was-rachel-imeinu-killed-by-werewolf.html. He also references a good post by the seforim blog (see note 9) which continues the discussion

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An ironic seforim blog entry to post, don't you think @Alex? –  Double AA May 13 '12 at 20:43

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