Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Telling Mistake in a HaAretz Article

about pulsa denura. I first saw the article cited at PaleoJudaica. The pulsa denura ceremony, for those who believe in it, is a kabbalistic curse calling upon *God* (rather than people) to cause the untimely death of the recipient of the curse. It is NOT a halachic judgemeny, and it certainly is not a ruling allowing Jews to assassinate the person.

The article starts:
Woman held for sending pulsa denura to Shaul Mofaz
A Bat Yam woman known to have harassed media figures and politicians was also behind a letter that suggested a religious edict of execution against Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, police have discovered.
The letter implied that religious authorities had issued a pulsa denura, a ruling allowing Jews to assassinate Mofaz over his support of the disengagement plan. The ancient edict was revived by far-right religious Jews in the months prior to the November 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The article was thus written by someone who has no clue what a pulsa denura is, and the effect is to say that rabbis has issued an assasination edict (fatwa) and also did so in the case of Rabin. There is another concept of din rodef, which the author probably confused in his mind (or rather never distinguished) when writing the article.

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