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