Israel, Zion and Jewish Roots

Q: I am very interested in the Jewish exorcism ritual of the Ba'al Shem Tov. Thanks and God be with you!

A: Judaism views dibbukim as those negative forces in the spiritual realm which attach themselves to the soul. It is our belief that the world is fast approaching its ultimate redemption. This dictates that all people work together toward recognizing the Divine program handed down by G-d to Moses in the Torah, the essential foundation of all religion. Just as Jews have their own responsibility in fulfilling that program, non-Jews have theirs as well-expressed through the seven Noachide laws.

Raising one's awareness of his spiritual mission in life is the surest guarantee against the incursion of negative forces into his psyche, as such forces can only enter where there is a vacuum in this regard. Every act of exorcism should be aimed at revealing the hidden spiritual identity and mission whose concealment leaves one vulnerable to opposing identities.

The great innovation of the Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, in this regard lies in his belief that it is possible to drive out negative forces without directly engaging them in battle. Rather, they can be forced out by simply introducing one to his true identity and purpose, and by training him in the performance of constructive deeds which have a positive impact upon Creation. The influence that such deeds have upon his own soul serves to rid him of the void where dibbukim take hold. The above approach is the one most relevant to our times, and is derived directly from the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov.

May we soon merit the day when the spirit of impurity will be eradicated from the face of the earth, and the waters of Divine knowledge cover all like the waters of the sea.

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