Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

Mazziks—The Low-Level Demons I Knew Nothing About

For years I sensed their presence but I didn’t know their names.

So who knew?

Not me.

I’m no student of the Jewish occult.

Nobody ever told me about these low-level demons.

Who knew that low-level demons were a thing?

Not me.

Did Rabbi Goodman ever discuss mazziks in Hebrew school?

I doubt it.

For if he had the whole class would have sat up at attention, loving a religion that believed in invisible beings.

No one ever warned me, “They’re like guerilla fighters, hiding out of sight—behind trees and boulders and furniture—waiting to ambush the innocent.”

No one ever said, “Don’t ignore them. They hate being ignored.”

No one ever told me, “Be careful when you open or close doors, for if you enter their space, they’ll pounce, leap and jump on you like an abandoned puppy.”

They’ll make you itch and scratch incessantly—your ankles, your head and your face.

You’ll scratch until blood surfaces on your ankles.

And you’ll think, “I’ve been bitten by a blood-sucking insect.”

And you’ll be mistaken.

For a mazzik hiding under your desk has just touched you with one of their slimy fingers.

And if you’re like me, you make plenty of mistakes.

And mazziks love people that make mistakes.

They’re easy prey.

So of course in my daily life, these invisible demons hound the hell out of me.

I try to stay out of their way, out of their space, praying they’ll ignore me.

But ya know, I can endure minor annoyances.

And since I have learned of their existence, I’ve been able to live with them.

These low-level demons are almost tolerable. We coexist.

What choice do I have?

None.

We share the same haunted abode.

But every once in a while, my mazziks turn into royal pain in the butts.

Like when I’m ill and cooking some chicken broth, my mazziks toss in two additional ingredients—chills and fevers.

And as I plan on recovering and recuperating, my mazziks laugh at my agony.

But I thank G-d, they’re not dybbuks or golems.

Those guys are real trouble makers—dangerous ghosts or disembodied souls or monsters made out of clay.

While mazziks exist just to make your life a little more unpleasant, a little more intolerable and a little more cumbersome.

So when you scratch your whiskers or any other region of your body—think about your mazziks.

When you misplace your keys or any others significant possessions—think about your mazziks.

Or when life hands you a bowl, or a basket, or a bushel of lemons,

listen to my advice:

Don’t blame your problems on yourself.

You’re not at fault.

Just blame it on those low-level demons—the mazziks.

Why?

Because mazziks love when you think or talk about them and they hate being ignored.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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