Wednesday, July 27, 2005

THE PULSA DE-NURA CURSE CEREMONY is in the news. The AP article "Israeli soldiers practice removing settlers from homes three weeks before Gaza pullout" ends with this:
On Tuesday, well-known Jewish extremist Michael Ben Chorin said he and about 20 others carried out an ancient curse ceremony called "pulsa denura," calling death down upon Sharon, author of the pullout plan. The mystical ceremony was conducted in a cemetery in Israel's north, he said.

"We called on angels of destruction to kill Sharon as soon as possible," he told Israel Radio.

Such a ceremony preceded the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a fanatical opponent of concessions to the Palestinians. The assassin was influenced by hard-line rabbis and extreme religious pronouncements.

The mainstream settlers council, Israel's chief rabbi and pro-peace groups condemned Ben Chorin and the ceremony.

And well they should. It's been speculated that carrying out this ceremony may count as incitement to murder. See first link above.

UPDATE: Something Jewish has more details in "Sharon's kabbalistic curse." It seems that the cursers have chosen their words carefully to try to avoid charges of incitement. But there's also this quote from WorldNetDaily:
Dayan told WND he is not inciting anyone to assassinate Sharon.

"We are talking to angels and spirits, not people," he said. "If someone takes the law into his own hand and kills Sharon, it's not my problem."

I wouldn't be so sure about that. The Jerusalem Post has the following:
Charges could be filed for pulsa denura

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz weighed Tuesday night whether or not to issue criminal charges against far-right disengagement protesters enacted a pulsa denura (Aramaic for "lashes of fire") death curse against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in an effort to thwart the disengagement plan.


(Bad link to last article now fixed.)

UPDATE (28 July): Some additional details in an article today in
Several years before Rabin's death, the pulsa denura curse was invoked against archaeologist Yigal Shiloh, who was accused by ultra-orthodox activists of desecrating ancient Jewish graves while excavating in Jerusalem. When Shiloh died not long afterwards, the activists claimed credit. But the curse has also been directed over the years at other prominent people without ill effect.

Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek was the target of such a ceremony more than 25 years ago but he is still alive at 94.

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