Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Wait…There Are Jewish Death Curses?

Naftali Bennett just received one

Print Email

I’ll freely admit there are a lot of things I am ignorant of, but one thing I am stunned to be learning just now is that there are mystical Jewish curses. This comes up because Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett just received a letter claiming that one had been put upon him for his policies that are less than popular among the ultra-Orthodox set.

The message arrived at Bennett’s office on Wednesday and declared that the senders invoked a “Pulsa Dinura,” or “lashes of fire,” against him to bring about his early demise.

“You will die you., The Pulsa Dinura has been done to you,” the letters read. It promised that Bennett would end his days like former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006.

“Already, you will have no peace at home,” the letter continued. “A bitter life awaits you. From this day your life is ruined.”

I know this is frightening and morbid and all of that, but I’ve gotta say, this sort of sounds like a passive-aggressive fatwa to me. Some very light research on the topic reveals that it is purportedly a kabbalistic curse that comes around every so often:

“As the saying goes in Israel ‘you have not made it in Israeli politics until you’ve been cursed by the Pulsa DiNura.’”

I will save you a trip down an internet wormhole with this video, which shows some fanatics setting the curse upon Ariel Sharon for withdrawing from Gaza. It’s beyond ridiculous. There’s some spooky music, some weird color filtering, and some subtitles to help you understand what’s going on. What I’m not ignorant of is that this contravenes what we all know to be a Jewish principle embedded in the Torah: Never wish harm upon another.

Bennett receives death curse over non-Haredi policies [ToI]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Wait…There Are Jewish Death Curses?

Naftali Bennett just received one

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel