In Kabbalah and European Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is a malicious and possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person who committed a serious transgression while they were alive. The dybbuk attaches itself to the body of a living person who faces the same obstacles as they when they were alive.According to belief, there are good as well as bad dybbuks. The good ones act as spirit guides to help the person through their life’s trials, while the bad ones inflict the same pain and suffering on their “host” as they experienced in life. In some cases, they attach themselves to objects.During September of 2001, I attended an estate sale in PortlandOregon.
The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103.
grand-daughter of the woman told me that her grandmother had been born
in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until
she was sent to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was
the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents,
brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all
killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and
somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the
war. I was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed here in
Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when
she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer
trunk, and a sewing box.
I purchased thewine
cabinet, along with the sewing box and some other furniture at the
estate sale. After the sale, I was approached by the woman’s
granddaughter who said, I see you got the dibbuk box. She was referring
to the wine cabinet. I asked her what a dibbuk box was, and she told me
that when she was growing up, her grandmother always kept the wine
cabinet in her sewing room. It was always shut, and set in a place that
was out of reach. The grandmother always called it the dibbuk box. When
the girl asked her grandmother what was inside, her grandmother spit
three times through her fingers said, a dibbuk, and keselim. The
grandmother went on to tell the girl that the wine cabinet was never,
ever, to be opened.
The above excerpt is from
the story of The Dybbuk Box, a fascinating story about an old wine box
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