That’s life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep away like it’s nothing. If you ask me I don’t think there are any such things as curses. I think there is only life. That’s enough.
One notorious apikoros named Hiwa al-Balkhi, writing in ninth-century Persia, offered two hundred awkward questions to the faithful. He drew upon himself the usual thunderous curses—'may his name be forgotten, may his bones be worn to nothing'—along with detailed refutations and denunciations by Abraham ibn Ezra and others. These exciting anathemas, of course, ensured that his worrying 'questions' would remain current for as long as the Orthodox commentaries would be read. In this way, rather as when Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that 'he may tarry,' Jewishness contrives irony at its own expense. If there is one characteristic of Jews that I admire, it is that irony is seldom if ever wasted on them.
For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, Let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying out for mercy, Let there be no surcease to his agony till he sink in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not. When at last he goeth to his final punishment, Let the flames of Hell consume him forever. [attributed to the Monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona, Spain]