Segulot and Yeshuot
by Dovid Landesman
Many of us, based on personal conversations as well as perusal of various blogs, seem to share discomfort when confronted with yet another advertising campaign by Kuppat ha-Ir and its fellow travelers. It has become a rarity to see pictures of R. Aron Leib, R Elyashiv or R. Chaim Kanievsky unattached to promises of health, wealth, zivugim and/or children et. al Various deals are offered for prayers at a potpourri of holy sites in Israel and abroad, all suggesting that yeshuah is but a phone call and credit card payment away.
At the beginning of last week a flyer appeared in my mailbox soliciting funds for the provision of supplies to those who were travelling to Miron for Lag ba-Omer. In a departure from the practice of similar solicitations offering bounty for those providing chai rotel of inebriating liquids, this request was for money to purchase shoko and a lachmaniah [a bag of chocolate milk and a roll] – I assume for the children who would be attending the hilula. Incidentally, but this would be grounds for a separate posting, many people claim that Rebbi Shimnon bar Yochai leaves Miron on Lag ba-Omer because he cannot stand the scene.
However, an e-mail that I received yesterday leads me to believe that not all is lost and there still are a number of sane individuals in the asylum. The e-mail quotes a rav [identity unknown to me] who offers a list of time tested segulot straight from the pages of the Torah, Talmud and rishonim. As a public service, I have translated them and cited the sources. I would be grateful to readers who would add their own submissions in the comments section.
1. Segulah for recovery from illness – go to a doctor [Berachot 60a, Bava Kamma 46b)
2. Segulah for longevity – lead a healthy lifestyle (Rambam, De’ot 4:20)
3. Segulah for marriage – look for a suitable wife (Kiddushin 2b)
4. Segulah for shalom bayit – love and forebearance (Sanhedrin 7a, Bava Metzia 59a)
5. Segulah for children – prayer to Hashem (Shmuel I 1)
6. Segulah for yir’at Shamayim – learning (Avot 2:5)
7. Segulah for spirituality – learning and mitzvah observance (Megillah 6b)
8. Segulah for kavanna in prayer – take it seriously (Berachot 5:1)
9. Segulah for pure faith – don’t believe in segulot (Devarim 18:13)
I would add the following two:
10. Segulah for honest paranasa – learn a profession (Kiddushin 30a)
11. Segulah to prevent drowning – learn how to swim (ibid.)
[Editor’s note: I would add one more.
12. Segulah for absolutely anything at all – Daven! (Source: G-d. See Yeshaya 65:24, and Nefesh HaChaim on it, if you don’t get the message from the pasuk)
Maybe we should open this up to readers.]
Rabbi Dovid Landesman resides in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he comments on the foibles of living in Israel. His latest book – FOOD FOR THOUGHT – NO HECHSHER REQUIRED – is available at Jewish bookstores or on Amazon.com