Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Here in Jerusalem, the big story of the past week has been a gay pride parade scheduled for Friday and the opposition to it by ultra-Orthodox around the country. Some Haredi have even been rioting, and bystanders have been injured. Now, however, the ante is being upped:
"Earlier Tuesday, the supreme court of the ultra-Orthodox Eida Haredit mulled the possibility of issuing a pulsa danura - a halakhic measure widely viewed as a death curse - on the organizers of the planned Gay Pride Parade and against 'police who beat ultra-Orthodox Jews' protesting against the parade.

"'The Rabbical Court has held a special session and discussed placing a pulsa danura on those who have a hand in organizing the march,' Rabbi Shmuel Papenheim, editor of the Eida Haredit's weekly magazine 'Ha'eidah' told Army Radio on Tuesday.

"The curse could also be cast 'against the policemen who beat ultra-Orthodox Jews,' Papenheim added.

"Pulsa denura - or 'whip of fire' in Aramaic - is a curse with origins in Kabbalistic mysticism. It first came to light in Israel when far-right rabbis pronounced the curse on then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin during the turbulent period that preceded his 1995 assassination.

"The ceremony, which is supposed to cause the death of the subject within a year, calls upon the angels of destruction to refrain from forgiving the subject his sins, to kill him and to call down all the curses named in the Bible.

"Religious far-rightists also pronounced the curse against Ariel Sharon in the run-up to the summer, 2005, disengagement from Gaza."


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