New York – Claim: Israeli Rabbi Put Death Curse on Obstfeld

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    A friend of the Obstfeld family told Haaretz on Sunday that Obstfeld, 55, was murdered as the result of a conflict with an Israeli rabbi who had cast a 'pulsa denura' death curse on Obstfeld.New York – The mysterious death of an Orthodox Jewish millionaire on June 9 in New York has sparked a whirlwind of rumors, even though the medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

    Solomon (Shlomo) Obstfeld fell to his death from the 19th floor of his posh Manhattan apartment, and while New York police have yet to close the case, Obstfeld’s family members and close friends believe he was murdered and have hired a private investigator to look into his death.

    A friend of the Obstfeld family told Haaretz on Sunday that Obstfeld, 55, was murdered as the result of a conflict with an Israeli rabbi who had cast a “pulsa denura” death curse on Obstfeld.

    According to the police investigation, no ladder or chair was found near the spot from which Obstfeld plunged to his death, a fact that bolsters the family’s belief that he was murdered.

    At this point, however, it does not appear that police are taking the family’s suspicions seriously.

    Many in New York’s Jewish community are wondering whether a devout Orthodox father of five would take his own life.

    “Suicide is not a common act by an Orthodox person – it is forbidden in Judaism,” a friend of the Obstfeld family told Haaretz. “He was a very happy and successful man, who contributed to the community. There were no signs that he suffered from depression. On the contrary, he did not leave a note, will, letter or any other sign of suicide. If he had committed suicide, he certainly would have left something behind.”

    According to his associates, Obstfeld had several regular business chats in the hours before his death, including a long telephone conversation with a business colleague and had recently three luxury apartments up for sale for a combined 6.5 million dollars.

    A person close to Obstfeld said he had complained of an Israel rabbi living in the United States to whom he had rented an apartment at a below-market price. The rabbi allegedly did not pay the rent over a long period of time and this led to a serious feud between him and Obstfeld.

    After Obstfeld evicted the rabbi, the rabbi allegedly told friends that he had cast a “pulsa dinura” death curse on Obstfeld.

    A friend of Obstfeld claimed that the rabbi returned to Israel around the time of Obstfeld’s death.

    “We spoke with Obstfeld a lot recently, and despite the fact that the rent dispute disturbed him, he did not seem depressed and it did not seem like he had problems,” Obstfeld’s friend said. “He had many plans, he was young, he had a good family and good business. I have no doubt that these men [the rabbi and his associates] were behind this and I could be next in line, because they have no inhibitions.”

    The New York Daily News reported that Obstfeld was connected with former Israeli prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert and also had ties with Austrian businessman Martin Schlaff, who attended Obstfeld’s funeral.

    Israeli police suspect Schlaff of having bribed Sharon and want to question him.

    It has also been reported that Olmert visited Obstfeld’s office two weeks before Obstfeld’s death.

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    92 COMMENTS

    1. The Rabbi was not names in this article, if anybody has the name please post. Boro Park residence should be aware not to rent him. Nobody wants a death wish, from a non-paying tenant.

      • The is no such thing in yiddeshkeit as a “death wish” and this goiyeshe vodoo stuff that seems to be proliferating lately has taken on new legitimacy as the economy worsens, peopled are stressed, and there are broigas everywhere between secular and chareidi and even intramural fights between different chassidus. There are reports of angry members of one kehillah putting a pulsa denoora on the gadolim of other kehillas or even on gadoiley yisrolel who they blame for their tzoros. Moishiach is not likely to show up in such an environment of sinas chinam within klal yisroel.

    2. It is very weird that someone would kill someone for being evicted for any reason, it just doesn’t make sense. Also, a Rabbi who lives in someones apartment for a long time without paying rent is unable to kill someone with a “pulsa”, that’s bs.

      • Exactly! I have no doubt that its this so called rabbi & his gabaim who want to gain publicity & bulster his image so other naive people might fall for him, and they are the ones who are spreading this nonsense. Mr. Pulsa Rabbi, how’s life treating you? no new victims lately? it seems that there is no new business lately..

      • I hail from Missouri . You need to convince me . Mir nisht dir nisht , a young healthy successful businessman is found dead ,from unnatural cause-s and the whole tragedy is being stonewalled by all. What gives ?

    3. who ever believes in these kinds of “bubbe meinses”. come, I have a bridge to sell you.
      This is a big loss for the Obstfeld family and for the community.
      “min hashomayim tenachameihu”

    4. From WIKI, Recent use of Pulsa diNura:
      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 Pina, 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, 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.”

    5. A “Pulsa Di Nura” is not a death curse nor is it voodoo as our Torah prohibits “magic” and “witchcraft” , its a petition to HaShem to enact divine justice. Without getting into all of the Kabbalistic aspects of it, you are asking HaShem to judge another person with the intent that they become better. And whoever is brazen enough to petition HaShem for a “Pulsa Di Nura” had better be full of Yiras Shomayim, because HaShem will also judge the person who is enacting the “Pulsa”. Too many people seem to be playing with this lately.

      • Great… Now we turn Yiddishkeit into Harry Potter. This is so silly and anyone who practices this is a “Min” See Rambam Hilchos Avodah Zarah!

        • My friend this has nothing to do with Avodah Zara. It is briefly mentioned in the Talmud Bavli tract. Hagigah 15a and in the Zohar 3:263c. The actual formula though, is passed down orally.The Pulsa Di Nura involves the invocation of Holy Names as revealed through the Zohar to petition HaShem for justice and is only used as a last resort when all other methods fail. It is not Harry Potter and definetly not something to be taken lightly. Personally I think too many people are misuing this.

          • No, it is NOT mentioned in either of those places. You need to do more than scan for a word; you need to be able to translate and understand too.

        • In my experience, the people who are the first to cry “min” etc, and cite such Rambams are actually the worst heretics the Jewish people have – far worse than the run-of-the-mill non-believer. The latter knows nothing and believes little. The former knows a little and believes nothing, particularly when it comes to the existence of a spiritual realm. This type (and it is a definable category) of person are barely able to stomach the more ‘spiritual’ stories of chazal (but are more comfortable when they are glossed over) because they happened ‘a long time ago’ (like evolution…) but their hackles raise immediately when anyone suggests that such things could happen in this day and age.

      • I dont get it. You say that it is meant for the person to become better. Is death how one becomes better? What is the source for this Pulsa DiNura?

        • It has nothing to do with death we as mere mortals have no authority to invoke or even wish for the death of another, like I have said earlier it’s a last ditch effort plea to HaShem for someone who is extremely wicked to change the error of their ways. Unfortunately some people misuse Kabbalah and therein lies the danger. People tend to think of the Pulsa Di Nura as Kabbalah Ma’asit (magic) and it is not, for anyone to think so is completly shekker. Some sources for the Pulsa Di Nura is Talmud Bavli, Hagigah 15a and the Zohar 3: 263c.

      • They can play with it as much as they want, it is a game like any other game. Fun, maybe, but ultimately nonsense and worthless. Too bad they take it seriously, you have to feel sorry for them.

    6. I understand ur opinion that pulsa denira should not be used. But ur opinion that there is no such thing in judaism is plain ignorance. Gedoiley hoachronim are nistapek if someone does a pulsa denura if he has a din roitzeach or not. But u know there is no such thing!?

        • It’s sad that every article about him mentions his millions of dollars as that is what he was all about. No mention of his chesed and tzedakka and massim tovim. Only the fact that he had loads of money.

          I want an article telling me where he davened, if he finished shas ever, was a baal midos, these are the types of things we should be writing about the deceased

    7. Does anyone know what the success rate of a “pulsa denura” is? I mean, are they 50% successful in rubbing out someone? Does it mostly depend on who the sorcerer is? Does it only work on fellow Yidden or can you bump off anyone or anything?

    8. Say I want to bet on the long-shot Mighty Irish to show at Belmont and do a “pulsa denura” on all the other horses. I would donate 10% of my winnings to tzedaka. Is it doable?

    9. This is how it usually works, you make that “scary pulsa thing”, then you contact a hitman with your target, the hitman will then ask, is there a pulsa in place? if the answer is yes, the hitman will then ask for some kind of envelope to be delivered, once an envelope is delivered the hitman will then say, consider it done. But if a pulsa has not been made the hitman will say, leave me alone.. so to conclude the main thing is the Pulsa, if you got that you’re in business… now due to advice from my attorney I’m not really interested at the moment in selling the GWB, what I am looking for, is to hire a well organized individual to manage the place, excellent pay for the right person, no prior experience in managing toll booths necessary, willing to train, must be familiar with tying bundles with rubber bands..

    10. Having spent two years learning in Eretz Yisroel during the early 60’s, I attended a
      Pulsa D’nura.Without going in all the details, I found out several months after that the
      person (who was cursed) was instrumental in establishing the FIRST mixed swimming pool in Yirushaliem. He died in a very terrible way.This curse works, certainly if it effects the Tzibur.

    11. I don’t know Rabbi Papenheim but I am sure he is fine erlicher yid. My question is my mother died in Chelmno[gas vans], my father in Ghetto Lodz , my brother in Auschwitz and my uncle and my cousin in Auschwitz and others of my family in Izbica and Maly Trostinec and millions others. Why was not used this “pulsa denura” against Eichmann, Mengele, Heydrich and Himmler and of course Hitler. Bin Laden threatens Western democracies. It could relieve the CIA of its mission. Funny it is being used against Yidden but not against sone yisroel. New form of Yiddishkeit. a shame no one told me about the pulsa denura while I was in Buchenwald

    12. Shtiot!!!!! He may have threatened with a maluki but dont think he can actually make him fly over a 9 ft gate and make him fall to his death!! He was murdered!! The question is by whom? If it truly was a simple suicide why wouldnt the NYPD close the case?

    13. Whoever knew Shloimy personally knows that he would never have committed suicide. He loved life and family too much for that. Who murdered him? Will we ever know the truth?

    14. Interesting that no one who knows some real facts doesn’t talk . What’s up with the hit squad they saw on his block ? What’s up with the security he had hired two days before he died and that they were supposedly in the building while this happened?

    15. All this talk about heeby jeeby voodoo like Pulsa Dnura is distracting from the real issue. Why did this man kill himself. Obviously he had some kind of Mental Health issue. It is a shame that Mental illness and depression, and desperation, carry such a stigma in our community that people avoid getting help when they need it. It is also a shame that as a community we do not make sure that Mental Health services are readilly available and accessible on a 24 hour basis for our own. Perhaps if Mr Obstfeld would have had someone to reach out to, he could have been convinced to hold off and seek treatment. It is a disservice to everyone to pretend that he had a heart attack or was murdered. Just because he looked happy on the outside does not mean that he was not suffering greatly on the inside. In the frum world, it is not acceptable to suffer from depresson or sadness – you are told to learn Shaar Habitachon or the like. We need to embrace the notion that mental illness must not be stigmatized and we should all encourage one another to seek treatment when needed. Being depressed does not mean you lack Emuna or Bitachon.

        • I guess he was just so happy that he jumped for joy. In fact there are happy people jumping off roofs every day. The unhappy people just mope while the happy people leap in jubilation. The medical examiner is obviously lying and you are right, he must have been murdered. Obviously I am writing toung in cheek. The truth is there are probably a lot of suicides in the frum community that get covered up as auto accidents, heart attacks, aneurisms, and so on. The stigma is so great that families are humiliated to admit the truth. The stigma also contributes to the problem because those with an issue will be very reluctant to go for help out of embarrasment. It is time we all accepted modern medical science which tells us that anxiety and depression are just as much a physical illness as a broken arm or leg. Just like there is nothing to be embarrased about in seeking treatment for a fractured limb, so to there should be no stigma or embarrasment attatched to seeking treatment for a broken heart or neuro-chemical imbalance. It is our shared responsibility and the responsibility of our leaders to change our atitude towards mental illness and help prevent such tragedies in future.

      • You sound like an idiot. You Have no idea who this man was. How dare you make assumptions? do u have any idea who he was? How dare you make an assumption “Obviously he had some kind of Mental Health issue”.

        Having mental health issues are not a stain on a persons character however diagnosing people you have never met is.

        Go and get help yourself.

        • I never said it was a stain on a persons character. I do think however that our community unfairly amd unjustly views a mental health issue as a character stain or flaw. Would you allow your daughter to make a shidduch with someone who had a mental health issue? Or if your child had a mental health issue would you be open and up front about it in the shidduch process? Unfortunately the answer in most cases is dishonesty. Case in point – the guy in Eretz Yisroel who went berserk and killed his daughter. The guys family did not reveal to his second wife that he had an issue requiring medication. Had she known that maybe that tragedy would have been prevented. Maybe we ought to stop the lying and stop pretending that everyone is or needs to be perfect. Maybe as Dr. King said we ought to judge people by the content of their character and not the externalities like the color of their skin. Maybe if we adapted that credo a lot of our social problems would be avoided. While I am on that subject, the same goes for the Emmanuel school controversy. A wall between Sephardi and Ashkenazi children? Come On! ZU Torah? Genuk Shoin with the lies!

          • Firstly this thread is not at all about mental health problems. You brought it up. Why? Second: Your case in point just goes to show your ignorance – of that it is a case in point. The parents took the advice of the most universally-respected authorities (and there aren’t too many of them) and followed it to the letter. The opinion of the doctors – and that was what the rabbinical authorities based their ruling on – was that provided he continues to take his medication, he will be OK. The problem is, he stopped. The second wife has her own problems, and that’s why they were matched up. Please refrain from using ‘cases in point’ of personal tragedies about which you clearly know nothing. Perhaps rather speak about yourself and save friends and family the heartache of hearing their loved ones discussed like a corpse in an anatomy class.

      • “ “All this talk about heeby jeeby voodoo like Pulsa Dnura is distracting from the real issue. Why did this man kill himself. Obviously he had some kind of Mental Health issue. It is a shame that Mental illness and depression, and desperation, carry such a stigma in our community that people avoid getting help when they need it. It is also a shame that as a community we do not make sure that Mental Health services are readilly available and accessible on a 24 hour basis for our own.””

        I think you should practice what you preach GET MENTAL HELP for yourself, idiot

    16. heeby jeeby pulsa powers… where are these magic-rabbis when you need them? Maybe they’ll be at the meeting for Rubashkin tonight…. 15th and 45th…

    17. this one stinks. does not make sense that he killed himself. way too much going against that theory.
      that said, he was laying down with a lot of dogs and I fear that he got fleas. too sad for words for his family.

    18. Pulsa denura:
      The Jerusalem Report magazine reported that a fellow cursed Yitzchak Rabin with a P.D. It arrived in my home two days AFTER Rabin was assassinated, too late for the magazine to withdraw it from circulation. In their article they were laughing their heads off about this crackpot who thought that because he said so, Rabin would be dead within a month. I kept that copy – I think that some day I will be able to sell it on EBay for at least a thousand.

    19. The Tzadik was defiantly murdered you have to be insane to believe that he committed suicide, but for some nice boropark people its not a problem to smear somebody even if he is not alive,att; jealous people att; wanna bees att; big shots that like to play like they know everything, stop seeking happiness by burying other people it won’t work for too long & it will come back to haunt you.But in the meantime make the gossip enjoyable so that when you’ll be in other mouths it should be enjoyable as well..

    20. No Tzadik would ever curse a fellow Jew. Besides using his own powers to bring the person to do Teshuva, he might be Mispallel to the Al-mighty to help bring the person back to the correct path. But to curse someone – let alone a fellow Yid – impossible. A Tzadik is saturated with Ahavas Yisroel. If he curses, then he wasn’t a Tzadik to begin with, so why should we fear such a curse?

      A request to the Al-mighty to do justice might be received. Here, the person requesting justice is one who didn’t follow the Al-mighty’s precepts himself, he stole from his landlord. He used the landlords assets to his benefit, and then didn’t pay for it. Why should his request to have his benefactor punished carry more weight than than the reward for his benefactors kindness to him, in allowing him to stay rent free in the first place!

    21. Rich or poor. Denura or not. Life is a story of survival. Mental or physical injury internal or caused by others is inevitable…Question is ….how do we cope (and I for one do not care what others think of me…i have my own guidance system)…

    22. whoever anonymous is thats standing for mr O. has to be a family member. Is it possible that you didnt know your own. maybe it was the money thats so blinding. now that thats gone..did you really know him and what he was involved with or if he was weak enough to jump..search your soles….its time for moshiach..Hashem is only interested in your chasodim ..life is checks and balances..you have to pay the piper for the people you wrong in life and those you think you can step on..hashem knows the pain you cause others and it will not go unpunished…WAKE UP

    23. I saw and spoke to shlomo the day before. he was kidding around like always .
      Was up in his apartment once and there is no way anybody less then 8 feet tall can go over the wall. Suicide is impossible. What happened i don’t have any idea .

      But the man was literally having a ball 2 days before he died.
      In addition , he had a few yeshivos/colletors that he was busy donating and doing chesed.

    24. RICH MAN – NOW POOR FAMILY
      but hashem just loves him so much he wants him much closer to him,
      והמקום ינחם אתכם מכל צער – ותצליני היום וכל יום מכל מיני מרעין בישין

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