Bennett receives death curse over non-Haredi policies

Jewish Home leader calls in cops over missive warning that ‘Pulsa Dinura’ ritual has invoked divine retribution against him

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Naftali Bennett at a party meeting on March 18, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett at a party meeting on March 18, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett has received a letter warning him that anonymous antagonists performed a mystical ritual to curse him and his family for policies that infuriate the ultra-Orthodox community.

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 letter 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.”

Although the missive was not signed it referred to ultra-Orthodox rabbis and their anger at Bennett.

“It is better not to mess with Torah sages,” the note warned. “Just one tear of theirs is enough to paralyze you for life. [You are] one who caused grief to the ultra-Orthodox and rose to prominence, but in the end you will be like Sharon.”

Bennett’s bureau reported the incident to the police for investigation.

By joining the government, Bennet’s Jewish Home party gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enough of a majority to form a government without ultra-Orthodox parties, a development not seen in Israel for decades.

Activists performing a "Pulsa Dinura" against Yitzhak Rabin shortly before his death in 1995. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Activists performing a “Pulsa Dinura” against Yitzhak Rabin shortly before he was assassinated in 1995. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Jewish Home party only agreed to join the coalition on condition of the implementation of a universal draft. Much of the ultra-Orthodox community shuns army service, preferring for its young men instead to spend years in religious study.

The Pulsa Dinura ritual has a shadowy past in Jewish mysticism and Israeli politics. A group of right-wing extremists performed the ritual against prime minister Yitzhak Rabin barely a month before he was assassinated, and another group claimed to have done the same six months before Sharon’s collapse.

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