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Dybbuk

A dybbuk is in Jewish Demonology, an evil spirit or doomed soul that possesses a person’s body and soul, speaking through the person’s mouth and causing such torment and anguish that another personality appears to manifest itself. The term dybbuk (also spelled dibbuk) was coined in the 17th century from the language of German and Polish Jews. It is an abbreviation of two phrases: dibbuk me-ru’ah (a cleavage of an evil spirit) and dibbuk min ha-hizonim (dibbuk from the Demonic side of man). Prior to the 17th century, the dybbuk was one of many evil spirits call ibbur.

In early folklore, dybbukim were thought only to inhabit the bodies of sick persons. Possessive evil spirits are referred to in the Old Testament. For example, Samuel I describes the possession of Saul and the way David exorcized the spirit by playing the harp. In the book of Tobit the archangel Raphael instructs Tobit in ways of Exorcism. In the rabbinical literature of the first century, exorcisms called for the ashes of a red heifer, or the roots of certain herbs, to be burned under the victim, who was then surrounded with water. Other methods included incantations in the name of King Solomon, repetition of the Divine Name of God, reading from Psalms, and wearing herbal Amulets.

By the 16th century, the concept of possessive evil spirits changed. Many Jews believed the spirits were transmigrated souls that could not enter a new body because of their past sins and so were forced to possess the body of a living sinner. The spirits were motivated to possess a body because they were tormented by other evil spirits if they did not. Some thought the dybbukim were the souls of people who were not properly buried and, therefore, became Demons.

The Kabbalah contains rituals for exorcizing a dybbuk; many are still in use in modern times. The exorcism must be performed by a ba’al shem, a miracle-working rabbi. Depending on how the exorcism is done, the dybbuk either is redeemed or is cast into Hell. It usually exits the body of its victim through the small toe, which shows a small, bloody hole as the point of departure.

FURTHER READING :
– Winkler, Gershom. Dybbuk. New York: Judaica Press, 1982.

The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley -a leading expert on the paranormal – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.

According to Jewish tradition, some souls are so wicked or have committed such grievous sins that, after death, not only can’t they enter Paradise, even Hell doesn’t want them. There’s no place for them. Instead evil angels refuse to allow these souls to rest, lashing them with fiery whips and driving them endlessly all over Earth. Jewish cosmology understands this punishment to be worse than Hell. Sometimes, however, the souls manage to escape from the avenging angels, at least for a little while.

When they escape, they attempt to hide by jumping into the nearest object or living being.

Dybbuks will enter sheep, horses, or dogs, but as human souls, it’s not a comfortable fit. Dybbuk possession may also be too much for the animal, which may die shortly thereafter, either of “natural” causes or as a result of frenzied behavior intended to drive out the invader. The Dybbuk is then left exposed unless it can quickly find another host. The ideal host for a Dybbuk is another human being.

Dybbuk possession is uniformly negative. There is no such thing as positive or benevolent Dybbuk possession. Essentially a Dybbuk is a restless, frightened, frustrated soul who may genuinely have been guilty of terrible things while alive and now takes possession and advantage of a living person. The person may be a complete stranger, simply the most convenient possible host. There are legends of Dybbuks hidden in horses jumping into the stable boy in the same way that someone upgrades their seat on an airplane.

Dybbuks are already dead. There’s little that can be done to punish them. There’s nothing you can do that’s worse than those avenging angels. The crucial part of exorcism is protecting and saving the Dybbuk’s living host. Exorcism is a sensitive balance of coercion and negotiation. Certain magical passages or biblical verses may force the Dybbuk to leave, but it’s crucial that the Dybbuk be cooperative or else the host may be harmed, possibly fatally.

The word Dybbuk derives from a Hebrew root word meaning “to cleave to” or “to stick to.” That’s exactly what a Dybbuk does: it attaches itself to another being and refuses to leave. Dybbuks can be exorcised, usually by shamanic rabbis who may be able to negotiate better afterlife terms for the Dybbuk, either shortening their stay with their pursuing angels or arranging for the expiation of crimes and sins so that the Dybbuk can enter Paradise. Dybbuk exorcism must not be done by amateurs, because if done incorrectly the host can be harmed or killed. The Dybbuk is usually forced to leave the body from beneath the nail on the big toe, as that is where departure will cause the least damage to the host.

The Dybbuk is the most widely produced play in Jewish theatrical history, translated and performed in English, French, German, Polish, Japanese, Swedish, and many other languages. It serves as source material for two operas. The 1937 Yiddish movie version is available on DVD.

Some Dybbuks attempt to live silently within their hosts; their presence may remain undetected for a long time. The host simply sometimes behaves erratically or differently, but this Dybbuk tries very hard to stay secret and silent. Other Dybbuks assert their presence: speaking through the mouths of their hosts. The host may suddenly betray knowledge that they previously lacked. They may suddenly be fluent in languages previously unknown. Someone else’s voice may emerge from the host’s mouth. Some Dybbuks are arrogant, making demands, convinced that they can’t be forced to leave. The most powerful may resist several exorcists. More than one attempt may be required to make them leave.

Concurrent to the European witch panic, Central and Eastern European Jewish communitieshad a Dybbuk panic. Most Dybbuks are male, but their victims were almost uniformly young women. Exorcists are also almost uniformly male, which makes for some interesting sexual dynamics in a sexually conservative society.

Dybbuks assumed a romantic air in the twentieth century in the wake of the hit Yiddish play The Dybbuk written by S. Anski (1863–1920), the pen name of folklorist Solomon Rappaport.

Anski’s Dybbuk is a romantic tragedy: its Dybbuk is a young, poor scholar who only wishes to be with the girl he loves and had hoped to marry. It changed forever the way Dybbuks were envisioned.

See also: Erinyes; Ghost; Ibur; and the Glossary entry for Possession

From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

dybbuk In Jewish folklore, an evil spirit or doomed soul that possesses a person body and soul, speaking through the person’s mouth and causing such torment and anguish that another personality appears to manifest itself. Such evil spirits have existed in Judaism since the earliest times, but they were called evil ibbur (spirits) until the 17th century. At that time, the term “dybbuk” (also spelled dibbuk) was coined from the lan guage of German and Polish Jews. It is an abbreviation of two phrases: dibbuk me-ru’ah (“a cleavage of an evil spirit”), and dibbuk min ha-hizonim (“dibbuk from the Demonic side” of man).

In early folklore, dybbukim were thought only to inhabit the bodies of sick persons. Possessive evil spirits appear in the Old Testament, in Samuel I, which describes the possession of Saul and how David exorcised the spirit by playing the harp. In the Book of Tobit, the angel Raphael instructs Tobit in the ways of ExorcismS. In the rabbinical literature of the first century, exorcisms called for the ashes of a red heifer, or the roots of certain herbs, burned under the victim, who was then surrounded with water. Other methods included incantations in the name of Solomon, repetition of the Divine Name, reading from Psalms, and the wearing of herbal amulets.

By the 16th century, the concept of possessive evil spirits changed. Many Jews believed the spirits were transmigrated souls that could not enter a new body because of their past sins, and so were forced to possess the body of a living sinner. The spirits were motivated to possess a body because they were tormented by other evil spirits if they did not. Some thought the dybbukim were the souls of people who were not properly buried, and thus became Demons.

The Kabbalah, a body of medieval esoteric and mystical writings of Judaism, contains many procedures and instructions for exorcising a dybbuk, which are still employed in modern times. The exorcism must be performed by a ba’al shem, a miracle-working rabbi. Depending on how the exorcism is done, the dybbuk either is redeemed or is cast into hell. It usually exits the body of its victim through the small toe, which shows a small, bloody hole as the point of departure.

FURTHER READING : Scholem, Gershom. Kabbalah. New York: New American Library, 1974.

Taken from :The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written byRosemary Ellen Guiley– Paperback – September 1, 2007

dybbuk In Jewish Demonology, an evil spirit or a doomed soul that possesses a person body and soul, speaking through the person’s mouth and causing such torment and anguish that another personality appears to manifest itself. The term dybbuk (also spelled dibbuk) was coined in the 17th century from the language of German and Polish Jews. It is an abbreviation of two phrases: dibbuk me-ru’ah (“a cleavage of an evil spirit”), and dibbuk min ha-hizonim (“dibbuk from the Demonic side” of man). Prior to the 17th century, the dybbuk was one of many evil spirits that were called ibbur. In early folklore, dybbukim were thought only to inhabit the bodies of sick persons. Possessive evil spirits are referenced in the Old Testament. For example, Samuel I describes the possession of Saul and how David exorcized the spirit by playing the harp. In the Book of Tobit, the archangel Raphael instructs Tobit in ways of exorcisms. In the rabbinical literature of the first century, exorcisms called for the ashes of a red heifer, or the roots of certain herbs, that were burned under the victim, who was then surrounded with water. Other methods included incantations in the name of Solomon, repetition of the Divine Name of God (see names), reading from Psalms, and the wearing of herbal amulet s. By the 16th century, the concept of possessive evil spirits changed. Many Jews believed that the spirits were transmigrated souls that could not enter a new body because of their past sins and so were forced to possess the body of a living sinner. The spirits were motivated to possess a body because they would be tormented by other evil spirits if they did not. Some thought the dybbukim were the souls of people who were not properly buried and thus became Demons. The kabbalah contains rituals for exorcizing a dybbuk; many are still in use in modern times. The exorcism must be performed by a ba’al shem, a miracle-working rabbi. Depending on how the exorcism is done, the dybbuk either is redeemed or is cast into hell. It usually exits the body of its victim through the small toe, which shows a small, bloody hole as the point of departure.

Taken from :The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written byRosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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This post was last modified on : Jun 21, 2019 @ 16:19

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