To discuss issues relevant to the large and growing world of young Frum families and singles who are fully engaged in the Olam HaTorah and Olam HaZeh. You take your career, learning, family (or dating) and play seriously (not necessarily in that order.) You are nervous about the anti-intellectual trends that you see in your community while being proud of being part of the Torah renaissance in our generation.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mishpacha Magazine and Segulas, Round II

Based on all this talk regarding Segullas - I have the following question to ask. The Gemara is bothered by the story in the Chumash regarding the golden snake that Moshe made during a plauge. The posuk said that when the Benai Yisroel looked at the snake that Moshe raised aloft on a staff, they where cured from the plauge. The Gemara asks:"Does the (golden) snake give life or take life?" The Gemara answers, that by looking at the snake raised high on the staff, the Jews turned their eyes towards Heaven and prayed to Hashem and where thus saved. What is the Gemara's kasha? Maybe the Golden Snake was a Segullah? What better Segullah than a Segullah direct from Moshe Rabeinu?


  • At 12/06/2005 11:47 AM, Blogger CM said…

    Its an interesting question. However, I am sure if you learn through the talmud there were practices that they learned from the torah and used them to accomplish their goals. for example, Berachos 5b. R Chama says if you turn your bed in a certain direction you will have a son. This sounds like a segula to me.

    Also there are segulas that are based on the promises of righteous individuals. for example, Breslov has a tradition that its rebbe, rebbe Nachman will be an advocate for you upstairs if you visit his grave. The mice example might be another( if he actually said it.) This type of segula seems similar to a bracha or zechus avot. Puting tzedaka with meir bal hanes.Do you consider these quackery and shtusim.

    I understand the people who hawk holy water for money today are fakes , but most gedolim did recognized great mekubalim like the baba sali and did not call them quacks.

    My main point is you must define what you believe a segula actually is. And if it based on a torah source then does it gain legitimac?. If the answer to last question is yes then all that needs to ascertained is the source of their opinions. Once that is provided it is longer shtusim.

  • At 12/06/2005 11:46 PM, Blogger J said…

    1. I don't know what Rav Chama meant by his statement, but I can assure you what he DIDN'T mean: that turning your bed in a certain direction is a segullah for having a son. (My Rebbe, Rav Yakov Weinberg zt'l would always say;'its very important to know what the peshat is NOT - more important than knowing what the peshat is') Like all such statements there is either a 'drush' understanding or a 'remez'.

    2. to answer your final question, I don't believe in any segullas, except what the Torah says is a segulla: "VeHaya Im Shamoa el Mitzvosai asher anochi metzavecha Hayom...." Do mitzvos - that is the only segullah. All else is plain and simple superstition - regardless of which Gadol believed in it. And I have the Rambam as the firm foundation on which to stand on this issue.

    I refer you back to my favorite Amuka story in the previous post, the first post on this subject.

    Kol Tov... and good luck with the mice!


  • At 12/19/2005 10:02 PM, Blogger CM said…

    After reading this article I now see your point of view.

  • At 12/19/2005 11:10 PM, Blogger J said…

    Pretty wild! Nebach.
    But I did a google search and found only one other 'makor' to back up the claims in the news article that you posted - from a personal first hand account on a blog. BARBARA'S TCHATZKAHS: 07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
    Before believing it, I would want to see some more verificaton on this story.

  • At 1/01/2006 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The only true segulot are in: Sefer Pele Yoetz, Perek Segulah.

  • At 1/02/2006 1:36 PM, Blogger J said…

    How do u come up with this rule?

  • At 3/14/2007 8:51 PM, Blogger Barbara said…

    Thank you for the link to my blog. I had totally forgotten I posted about that 18 months ago!!

    Interesting subject.

  • At 3/15/2007 4:17 PM, Blogger J said…

    The Internet never forgives and never forgets :) I am glad that you enjoyed the discussion.


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