The Jerusalem Post

Ukrainian oligarch: I placed Jewish death curse on Putin

‘Pulsa Denura’ ritual has previously been directed against at least three Israeli politician­s

- • By TZVI JOFFRE Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA contribute­d to this report.

ukrainian jewish oligarch hennady Korban has performed the Pulsa Denura “death curse” against russian president Vladimir putin, he said Friday.

“pulsa denura is a complex, difficult procedure,” Korban said in an interview with ukrainian radio nV. “I am not a person who strictly observes rituals, although I am a believer. But I think that this fast somehow also influenced the fact that so far, [the central ukrainian city of] dnipro has not been hit. I want to knock on wood. I don’t want to jinx it, god forbid. neverthele­ss, it is so.”

“By the way, maybe this is irrational logic, but very often dictators such as putin, hitler and stalin are very irrational in this regard and believe in many magical, mystical things,” he said. “after all, we know from various chronicles that there were some shamans, astrologer­s and nontraditi­onal healers under these people. therefore, these people are very inclined to believe and are afraid of some mystical things.”

Korban said what he did was a “warning.” “I warned putin,” he said. “let him think and draw his own conclusion­s. In other words, pulsa denura is not just a procedure that you can start whenever you want. this is a procedure when you have to warn the enemy or person whom you want to subject to this procedure officially, so that he knows that such a procedure is being started against him.”

the businessma­n had warned that he would conduct the curse in mid-july, writing on his Facebook page, “putin, if you hit dnipro again, you will get a pulsa denura in response!”

Korban is a past business associate of oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, a former politician and a mining magnate who is famously belligeren­t. a member of the board of trustees of the jewish community of dnipro, he has spent millions on ukrainian jewry’s institutio­ns and causes, as well as significan­t sums on beefing up ukraine’s military capabiliti­es against russia. his sister Victoria lives in Israel, and their parents are said to be Israeli citizens. Korban is believed to hold Israeli citizenshi­p. his ukrainian citizenshi­p has been revoked.

Korban was arrested in 2016 in connection with a $150,000 bribe that police said he had given to a judge. the investigat­ion into his actions, which Korban has compared to an antisemiti­c blood libel, is ongoing.

the oligarch, who is also head of the territoria­l defense in dnipropetr­ovsk oblast, had his ukrainian citizenshi­p stripped from him in july, with the official reason reportedly being that he held foreign citizenshi­p. a petition calling for his citizenshi­p to be restored has been signed by more than 10,000 people.

the pulsa denura ritual is attributed by some to the kabbalisti­c text the Zohar or other jewish mystical works, although multiple studies have found that the first instance of the curse ever being mentioned or used seems to be in the 20th century.

although the aramaic term pulsa denura does appear in the Zohar and other works, it is almost always used in a metaphoric­al sense to describe either education, protection or punishment, according to a paper titled “pulsa denura: the innovation of modern magic and ritual” by Zion Zohar, a professor of religious studies.

the ritual is usually described as involving having at least 10 mystics gather at midnight after having fasted for three days straight. the mystics light black candles, blow a shofar and intone the curse before blowing out the candles.

multiple versions of the text of the curse exist. the ritualisti­c actions often accompanyi­ng the curse resemble the actions often conducted in a herem (excommunic­ation) ritual.

In the past, the pulsa denura curse was used by Israeli activists against former prime ministers yitzhak rabin, naftali Bennett and ariel sharon.

 ?? (Serhii Nuzhnenko/Pacific Press/LightRocke­t via Getty Images) ?? HENNADY KORBAN attends a hearing in his corruption trial in Kyiv in 2016.
(Serhii Nuzhnenko/Pacific Press/LightRocke­t via Getty Images) HENNADY KORBAN attends a hearing in his corruption trial in Kyiv in 2016.

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