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Herbst, I. (1952). Notes on the “Berit” in Two Dreams…. Am. Imago, 9(2):165-172.

(1952). American Imago, 9(2):165-172

Notes on the “Berit” in Two Dreams…

Irwin Herbst


The dreamer was a patient named Abraham, 26 years old, Jewish, and a housepainter by occupation. Prior to the berit which stimulated these dreams, he had frequently expressed the desire to marry R, a girl with whom he had had a close relationship for several years. In his analysis, R appeared as the half-satisfying, half-disappointing mother.

Dream material subsequent to the analyst's cautioning him about taking such a step before the termination of his analysis portrayed the analyst as a denying and punishing father. The patient then attended the berit of David, new-born son of R's brother, and brought in this dream. Upon awakening, he had to urinate.

“I am painting an apartment. Another man whom I think of as Bernard Baruch is in charge of the work. This man is priming the walls of the entryway with shellac but he is applying it so heavily that it runs in tears down the wall. I feel contemptuous of his work but he smugly continues. I begin to work on the living room but find I don't have enough dropcloths to cover the maroon rug on the floor. I wonder what to do, how to start.”

As background to the dream, the patient reported that during the weekend of the berit, he and R had had “very good sex.” At the ceremony, they were the “kvattas” (godparents).

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