The Matzav Shmooze: Dybbuks


thedybbuk1937Dear Editor,

I really don’t know if I believe in dybbuks or not. Where is “dybbuk” mentioned in the Torah? It is hard to differentiate between what is a “dybbuk,” mental illness or a hoax (or even somebody trying to get attention by pretending to have a “dybbuk”).

To the Western World, even amongst some frum people, they don’t seem to believe in “dybbuks” as much as mental illness and I would like to know if there have been any substantial proof of curing a “dybbuk.”

Does a “dybbuk” inhabit a generally normal Yid and then he or she suddenly acts “different” and in an insane or dangerous manner?

Are we even allowed in Yiddishkeit to believe in “Dybbuk removal”? I know we are not allowed to believe in “psychics,” etc., because 99.9% are fake and the other come from the Sitra Achra – the tumah and kelipos.

Please excuse my questions, as I am a ba’alas teshuvah and was brought up very “American.” But if you can give me a solid answer, I am willing to listen.

Thank you very much.

Rochel Bat Esther

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  1. R’ Elchonan Wasserman told over the story of the Chofetz Chaim dealing with a dybbuk.

    We are allowed to believe in dybbuk removal, but only when it is done properly. It is a kabbalistic process, and most people have no idea how to do it. It must also be determined whether it is a real dybbuk (which is extremely rare) or a hoax. Competent Rabbonim must be consulted, as a dybbuk is a spiritual issue, not a physical one – it’s not something a doctor can fix!

    You said, “I know we are not allowed to believe in “psychics,” etc., because 99.9% are fake and the other come from the Sitra Achra – the tumah and kelipos.” Yes, 99.9% of them are fake, so we shouldn’t believe in them. For the 0.1% that comes from tumah, we can believe they exist – we just shouldn’t utilize them, because they come from tumah, and we don’t want to expose ourselves to that. Nothing good can come from it.

    So, to summarize: yes, dybbuks do exist, but they are extremely rare. A competent Rav must be consulted to determine if it is real or not.

  2. I think you should ditch your “American” habit of asking such a question on a website visited by people who wouldn’t have an reliable answer. Instead go back to the Rabbi(s) who you relied on when during journey back to the truth, I am sure you’ll be alot more satisfied.

  3. Rochel,

    I could tell you from experience, your asking the wrong people.
    However, there have been incidents in the times of Reb Elchonon Wasserman, not too long ago as well as by the Baal Hatanya in the 18th Century.

    For a source in Torah, off the top off hand I cant think of one but if I do find Ill post it here as well.

  4. While I am not knowledgeable in Dibukim…I do know that there is definitely a concept like that in Kabbalah. I believe it happened in the past, like the past generations as there are stories of Gedolim who dealt with that. In essence what happens, is a neshama that has a hard time being accepted to either Gan Eden or Gehenom since it is so wicked or cuz it has done s/t really terrible…must come to this world to find people who can attone for it sins! so this neshama finds a person, and sort of acts as parasite where it nestles and speaks through that person.
    Now does that mean that it is possible for it to happen now adays? I don’t know…so far all the ones that “came up” this generation have been hoaxes proven by rabbanim who assessed the situation and the person’s mental being.

    Regarding the person who was possessed by dibuk…they don’t act dangerous…they usually can’t even move as the external neshama paralyzes them to my understanding…

  5. the last verified dybuk story was with the Chofetz Chaim

    the concept appears nowhere in Tanach or Talmud – only in Kabbalah sources, and even there it is rarely discussed

  6. the concept is not in the Zohar either – it doesnt appear in writing until the kisvei arizal – but we do believe it is true today

  7. Don’t worry about it. Believing in dybbuks is not required of a Yid. The whole topic of kabbalah is very controversial, since originally it was considered that only a few specially learned people could understand it. Only in the last two hundred years have “regular” people been concerned with kabbalah, and we now r’l even have “cults” built around it.

    Concentrate on keeping the mitzvos, davening, and treating your fellow humans as the Torah prescribes, and you will have no reason to worry.

  8. Rabbi Dovid Batzri allegedly banished a Dibuk a few year ago. I have a video of the process showing the minyan of kabbalist , blowing of the Shofar, the woman who was possessed by her deceased husband abd his voice emenating from here without her moving her lips, and her convulsing while the dibuk was banished, and the commanding the dibuk to leave. Fascinating…

  9. OK matzav, you win. Movies are very bad and you should never look at the silver screen. When I made my above comment that they should make a Dybbuk Movie, I was a pagan fool. Thank you for your clarification. I will no longer house a DVD player in my house and I think I am going to shoot my record player too. Thanks very much.

  10. There was a story a few years ago about a gentile boy around age 6-8 who had intricate knowledge of battles in the pacific from a viewpoint of the flyer on the USA side. He knew at a very early age intricate details about the planes and even had some other memories of perhaps name. It could have been a dybbyk from a flyer in that era that was shot down. There was actually a correlation to a specific flyer and pilot who was indeed shot down. Perhaps a dybbuk? The story was on national news a few times and likely you can google it to find the details.

  11. #9 So the Chofetz Chaim,R’ Elchonan Wasserman,several respected other witnessess(including a deceased teacher of mine)
    were what?

  12. # 9 is correct what is certain all recent stories were found to be hoaxes in Israel brazil etc…about the much touted case of the C C it is not confirmed in fact I heard that it may have been staged to relieve that person of hallucinations if you hear it from rav elchonon himself you could believe it otherwise it is another goyish concept that had crept up into jewish forklore like chamsa etc… tomim tihye im H elo’ as a footnote no one wrote about the golem until the 20th century isn t that odd (English frankinstein a jewish name to boot unfortunately anyone can print anything they want

  13. “the concept appears nowhere in Tanach or Talmud”

    If you’re referring to such and similar beings-it’s all over the place

    If referring to only insertion into another’s body-indeed

  14. However
    “Believing in dybbuks is not required of a Yid”
    is correct

    R’ Elchonan Wasserman used to repeat it once EVERY year .
    He also said ,after that experience,he lost merit

    Since now how could just believe.. HE SAW

  15. #14, I saw that too. That’s a different circumstance. A dybbuk posesses a person and besically puts them in a trance while the spirit speaks with a different voice – like a person within a person. The boy was being showcased as a previously existing soul which knew prior facts. That’s reincarnation and another story altogether.