Komish Bat Machlafta
A Fake Biography of a Real Woman
By: Dorit Kedar
Once upon a time, at the beginning of the 5th century, Komish Bat Machlafta was born. She had the nerve to rush out of her mother's womb as a female. On top of that, 6 fingers adorned her palms. The anomaly of multiple thumbs forecast her future as a sorceress.
The fake biography of the real Komish begins at the age of nine. During this time she discovers her sexuality and the essence of the human kind. The reader accompanies Komish during her forced marriage at the age of eleven, through her escape to a monastery in the desert and eventually to her flamboyant life in the prostitutes’ alley in Jerusalem.
Komish’s story, which is written in a Talmudic language woven into a unique rhythm, is divided into 3 life stages:
1. Pre-adolescence - Komish discovers her inner secret world and the difficulties of the external world. Step by step her complex relationship with her family is exposed, as well as her connection to a sorceress neighbor and her liaison to Joseff the dwarf.
2. Forced marriage and escape – Komish is forced to marry a released slave who abuses her. She runs away to the desert, there she discovers the monastic world as well as a cosmos resonant with magic and witchcraft. Her death wishes transform into plans for a colorful future.
3. Sorcery - Komish transforms herself into a high-class sorceress. She
encounters Rabbis and their Talmudic Midrash, Roman officers and their unstable commands and one big love.
There are 3 sources for Komishes fifth century initiation story: Talmudic stories and legends, Romans legislation against the Jews, and magic texts from incantation bowls.
Book launch party:
Eli Eshed: "Komish bat Machlafta – Confession of a Sorceress" NRG:
Rona Gershon: "The literary supplement – a radio interview: