Did I never post about shidduch-segulos? I guess I always assumed I had because it’s such an obvious subject. I collected a whole bunch for The Shidduch Game (hey, why bother with anonymity at this point?), so here goes a little controversy to start the week:
Daven at Amuka: Once upon a time, R’ Yonosan ben Uziel promised to move heaven and earth to help the person who came to daven at his grave. This might have had something to do with the fact that his grave is in an astoundingly inaccessible location (one wonders how they got him there in the first place), and once upon a time you had to move heaven and earth just to get there.
Now, with buses leaving a minimum of four times a day, Amuka has all the bustle of the Ashdod Central Bus Station, but is slightly more commercial. Instead of electronics, jeans, and “I love Israel” gewgaws, the merchants do a brisk trade in the paraphernalia of superstition and kabala (these days it’s hard to tell them apart). After all, if you’re having shidduch trouble, it might be because of an ayin hara, and in that case, nothing will remedy your situation like a ceramic eyeball on a chain, or perhaps a hamsa on your door.
Pour water for people: I think this one was made up by a very lazy high school girl who wanted to capitalize on the shidduch panic that begins as early as high school, what with teachers assuring their students that they better start praying now, because it takes an awful lot of prayer to earn a marriage.
Students start saying the Tefilla LiBen Zivug as early as 9th grade, so surely it can’t hurt to pour some water, or even orange juice or soda, on the off chance that it might work? There is a mild correlation to water drawing and marriage, if you want to count Rivka, Rochel, and Tziporah meeting their spouses at the well, and Rivka pouring water to earn her husband, but how that translates into emptying the pitcher on behalf of everyone at the Shobbos table I’m not entirely sure.
Don’t sit at corners: I never heard of this one until I started looking for segulos, but everyone assures me, “Oh yeah, that’s an old one.” Presumably it’s so old and well-known that nobody needs to talk about it anymore, so nobody in the younger generation will hear about it, and then someone will find out about it, start an awareness initiative, and so it will cycle on.
Anyway, this one states that young, unmatched women (and men?) should not sit at the corner of the table, or they might stay single forever. I have no idea what the source for this is, and unless someone can come up with one, it qualifies as pure superstition, and is therefore 100% assur to have the slightest bit of faith in.
Segulos is one of those places where we get so frum that we get frai: people are so worried about displaying lack of (non-mandatory) faith in the deep specialness of the something-or-another that they teeter on the brink of the bona fide issur of believing in superstition, mentioned in the same passuk as magic and idol worship.