noun \ˈdi-bək\
plural dyb·bu·kim \ˌdi-b-ˈkēm\ also dybbuks

Definition of DYBBUK

:  a wandering soul believed in Jewish folklore to enter and control a living body until exorcised by a religious rite

Origin of DYBBUK

Yiddish dibek, from Late Hebrew dibbūq
First Known Use: circa 1903

Other Jewish Religion Terms

Talmud, Zion, challah, kosher, tabernacle, tetragrammaton, yarmulke


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Jewish folklore, a disembodied human spirit that must wander restlessly, burdened by former sins, until it inhabits the body of a living person. Belief in such spirits was common in eastern Europe in the 16th–17th century. Individuals thought to be possessed by a dybbuk were taken to a ba'al shem, who would carry out a rite of exorcism. The mystic Isaac ben Solomon Luria helped promote belief in dybbukim with his doctrine of the transmigration of souls. The folklorist S. Ansky depicted such a spirit in his classic Yiddish drama The Dybbuk (c. 1916).


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