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Pulsa diNura or Pulsa Denoura. (Aramaic: פולסא דנורא "lashes of fire") is a purportedly kabbalistic ceremony in which the angels of destruction are invoked to block heavenly forgiveness of the subject’s sins, causing all the curses named in the Bible to befall him resulting in his death. However, the Torah prohibits to pray that something bad should happen to someone else. Rather it offers the solution to pray that the bad in the person dies and he becomes a righteous person. The source for this modern ritual is not to be found in Kabbalah, but among the Hebrew magical manuals of antiquity, such as Sefer ha-Razim and Harba de-Moshe.


The origin of this phrase seems to come from the Babylonian Talmud, in tractate Hagigah 15a. This page contains an Aggadic section concerning the heresies of Elisha ben Abuya, an account is given of Elisha’s encounter with the angel Metatron and the subsequent erroneous course of action taken by Metatron. The seeming mistake of Metatron established him as being liable to receive a sentence of 60 Pulsei (pl. of ‘Pulsa’) D'nura: "אפקוהו למיטטרון ומחיוהו שיתין פולסי דנורא" "They took out Metatron and lashed him with 60 pulses of fire."

A pulsa d'nura is also mentioned once in the Zohar (section 3:263c, Raya Mehemna), one of the classic works of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). There it is described as a heavenly punishment against a person who does not fulfill their religious obligations. The phrase appears in a small number of other locations in the Talmud and Zohar, but not in the context of a mystical curse.

Some adherents of Kabbalah developed the idea of invoking a curse against a sinner, which they termed pulsa diNura.

According to Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok, from Yeshivat Benei N'vi'im, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the popular perception of the pulsa dinura as a curse is mistaken. He writes:

The Pulsa D’Nora has wrongfully been associated with a certain school of Kabbalah known as Kabbalah Ma'asit (practical). The Pulsa D'Nora is not a magical formula. Torah and Judaism have no connection to or tolerance of magic in any form. Therefore, the consideration of anything in holy Kabbalah, an integral part of [God's] Torah from Sinai to have any ties to magic is a spurious and offensive suggestion. The Pulsa D'Nora is actually not a "curse of death" as many mistakenly believe. No Rabbi or Kabbalist has the right or authority to curse another to death. In accordance to Torah Law, the only way a Jew is put to death is for violation of specific Biblical laws and then only after being tried and condemned by a kosher and authoritative Sanhedrin, the likes of which have not existed in Israel and among the Jewish people since the days of the Temple.

Recent usage

Accusations of the use of this curse by religious Jews against figures whom they find objectionable has been made often over the past 50 years and quoted in mostly Israeli media. As the saying goes in Israel "you have not made it in Israeli politics until you've been cursed by the Pulsa DiNura" Early in the 20th century, agitated Haredi Jews in Jerusalemmarker were accused by the media of having recited the curse against the linguist Eliezer Ben Yehuda. There have been unsubstantiated media reports of the curse being recited against archaeologists and authors. Prior to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, there have been rumors that the curse had been recited against him by right-wing extremists.

Avigdor Eskin, a member of the Gush Emunim (bloc of the faithful) claimed to have recited the following maledictions of the Pulsa diNura on the night of October 6, 1995: "Angels of destruction will hit him. He is damned wherever he goes. His soul will instantly leave his body... and he will not survive a month. Dark will be his path and God's angel will chase him. A disaster he has never experienced will befall him and all curses known in the Torah will apply to him. I deliver to you, the angels of wrath and ire, Yitzhak, the son of Rosa Rabin, that you may smother him and the specter of him, and cast him into hed, and dry up his wealth, and plague his thoughts, and scatter his mind that he may be steadily diminished until he reaches his death. Put to death the cursed Yitzhak. May he be damned, damned, damned!"Rabin was assassinated within the month.

In July 2005, the Israeli media, without citing sources reported that opponents of the Gaza pullout plan recited the Pulsa diNura in the old cemetery of Rosh Pinamarker, asking the "Angel of Death" to kill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Six months later Sharon suffered two strokes and is currently in a coma, fighting for his life. Of course, most analysts link this to his age, 77, and obesity.

Reportedly, ten rabbis and kabalists, including Yosef Dayan, instigated the same curse at the gravesite near Safed several months prior to the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

On November 7, 2006 the HaEdah HaCharedis said it was considering placing the curse on the organisers of the gay pride parade scheduled to march in Jerusalem on November 10, 2006. Israel Army Radio interviewed Rabbi Shmuel Papenheim who announced, “The Rabbinical Court has held a special session and discussed placing a ‘pulsa denura’ on those who have had a hand in organizing the march.” Papenheim, editor of the haredi religious umbrella organization’s weekly magazine, added that the rabbis were also considering placing the curse “against the policemen who beat hareidi Jews.”

See also


  1. Dennis, Geoffrey, The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism, (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007..)
  2. Eida Haredit Rabbinical Counsel Considers Curse on Parade Organizers, Israel National News, November 7, 2006.

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