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Ariel Sharon Death Curse

In July last year, Ariel Sharon was targetted with an ancient Kabbalistic death curse – the “pulsa denura” or “lash of fire” – by religious extremists angry at his plans to pull out of the Gaza strip. Recent developments might suggest that it was at least a partial success.

The Israeli PM Yitshak Rabin was also hit with such a curse, a month before he was assassinated in 1995.

Religions around the world have a long history of curses aimed at opponents. Therese Taylor describes a recent use of Kabbalism against the Israeli Prime Minister.

In July 2005, Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, was targeted by Jewish extremists with an ancient Kabbalistic death curse. This curse is known in the Aramaic language as a “pulsa denura” or “lash of fire”, and was motivated by opposition to the policy of withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza. This action against Sharon showed the combination of politics and religious extremism at the heart of the current Middle East crisis.

The curse also demonstrated how religious rituals can make symbols of hatred and past acts of violence to a believer. It recalled the Rabin assassination, and took place at the gravesite of a Zionist executed for an attempted assassination in the 1930s. Real history and the ineffable world of the supernatural were conjured up together.

The pulsa denura, like most curses, is understood to be dangerous to the person who casts it as well as the person at whom it is aimed. “We believe in God,” said Michael Ben-Horin, a settler in the Golan Heights who helped organise the rite. “I put myself in judgment before God. Either Sharon will die or I will.” At the time of writing, both are still alive.

The ceremony took place at midnight on the eve of the Sabbath, performed by a Kabbalist who led 20 men in prayer. One participant described it: “It was done in a beautiful cemetery with a thick forest around it, under a Full Moon. We performed it near the graveside of Shlomo Ben Yosef…”

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