It’s a Segula for Getting Married Part 1 of 3

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.

More tomorrow.

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32 thoughts on “It’s a Segula for Getting Married Part 1 of 3

  1. (these days it’s hard to tell them apart)

    This has always been the case. And the Hamsa has a long and interesting history as an Islamic totem before it was coopted by Jews.

    Basically, if it smells like assur d’oraisa idolatrous superstition, it probably is, even if the person marketing it is a Jew and calls it “kabbalistic.”

  2. Honestly, my hebrew isn’t good enought to get the exact meaning of Segula, but Ithink I get the gist of it – would that be like the plate shard I was handed at a wedding?
    Also – that corner thing is just plain odd – if not the corners, where shall the lefties sit?

  3. Asked my mom about the corner of the table. This doesn’t mean sitting in an end seat but actually sitting in the corner area, which is so uncomfortable that people who might be placed there disappear rather than sit there–they become “non-people.” Ridiculous of course.

    Of course these segulos are no more ridiculous than believing that if you go out in public without makeup you won’t get married or that a pony tail in public means you won’t get married and that wearing a black suit to a wedding is a segulah for getting married.

  4. My mom told me not to sit at the corner of the table, because at the person sitting at the corner of the table is harder to see. Basicaly you get less exposure. I didn’t hear anything about it being segulah based.

  5. I saw a good line recently (was it here?) from some gadol or other: “A good segula to getting married is going on a date.”

    A lot of this other stuff sounds like good advice gone awry: People who do things for other people are more favorably viewed (pouring water), people who sit in corners are less likely to engage in conversation, etc. Of course, if people are only doing these things as ‘segulos’ and have no interest in doing them because they think it makes sense, it’s rather self-defeating.

  6. I heard a good one about Amuka – A girl once davened there for so long that she got married – multiple times! – Heard from a tour guide who was trying to get us back to the bus on time 🙂

  7. People who want to get married by going to amuka should leave their siddur there with thier name and phone number on the inside.

  8. I saw a good line recently (was it here?) from some gadol or other: “A good segula to getting married is going on a date.”

    Attributed to R’ Yaackov Kaminetsky when asked for a segulah to get married, he replied “Dee beste segula is tzu zay’n maidlach.””

  9. I am slightly disillusioned with such now, after so many years of collecting/trying them. While there’s nothing to lose from them, hasn’t worked for me yet 😦

  10. maybe that’s why i’m not married yet; I always sat at the corner of the table at our shabbos meal! (I wanted to be in between my mother and father) I hope there’s some way to undo that.

  11. It is true that these superstitious segulos are a waste of time and money. But, I am not certain that the ones you mention–as well as most others–are actually asur. They don’t fall into the categories of makhshefah, lo tahkor ahar ha-atidut, or avodah zarah. Maybe just bal tashkhis–a waste of money.

  12. I also sit at the corner of the table; it is the best place for us hearing impaired folks.

    Wow….I had no idea of the curses I was bringing upon myself.

    Do you suppose an eyeball on a keychain would offset the corner sitting?

    Great post, as usual. 🙂

  13. Strange how your posts always hit home. At sheva brochas last night things got really crowded and they needed to put someone in the actual corner of the table. I noticed how the hostess avoided all the single girls and annointed me the corner person. I’ll tell you this much–it’s darned uncomfortable to have to sit with no room for your feet and not enough space to eat in.

  14. CG, the proper lav would be lo tinachashu – which includes things like believing that if a black cat crosses your path you’ll have bad luck (though in those days it was a deer). There is also a major discussion amongst the meforshim as to whether Eliezer (Avraham’s servant) actually violated this lav by setting up a sign for the girl to fulfill. If you believe he did not than you must say something to the effect that since getting water for the camels demonstrated her chessed there was some purpose to the sign he set up. Of course, even if there is no technical violation of any lav it’s clear that the proper segulos for anything are necessary hishtadlus and supplications to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

    B4S, I think the only other time I’ve ever seen the word ‘gewgaw’ in print is in one of Isaach Asimov’s Foundation novels (not that c’v I would suspect that you read anything outside of Hanoch Teller, that would be bad for shidduchim). Very impressive – but I would suggest not using it on a date…

  15. Rav Rudman from Michlalah asked, “girls, you know whats the greatest segulah for getting married?….keeping halacha”

  16. It must exist elsewhere, because I only just read Prelude to Foundation a few months ago, and I’ve known of gewgaw for years. 😀 But now I really need to keep my ID under wraps – people might know I’ve read sci-fi.

  17. This sitting at the corner of the table is garbage! It’s a goyish superstition that if a girl sits at the corner of a table she won’t get married for 7 years…

  18. Pingback: Segulos Revisited « Bad for Shidduchim

  19. I had heard the “not sitting at the corner of a table” thing in general (i.e., for all people all the time). When I asked my Rebbe/Rav about it (I was already married at the time) he assumed that it had to do with the danger of being pushed into the point/corner of the table when someone squeezed by.

  20. I like that one, Pinny. When I heard of the corner thing, I davka sat at the corner…and I did so last Shabbat, though I’m not sure what the outcome will be. 🙂

  21. 1. There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot and Hashem.

    If a person chooses to use intercession instead of praying directly to Hashem, this is completely Assur.

    If the leaders of Lubavitch/Chabad encouraged people to use the “Igrot” /(“Igros”) – including Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, tz”l – they were wrong. Using the Igrot is using intercession. Similarly the practices of

    (1) “reading out the Igrot request to a PICTURE of Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l” is direct Avodah Zarah. We are only allowed to pray to Hashem.

    (2) sending faxes to the Bet HaChaim should be stopped immediately.

    (3) Praying directly to the Tzaddik at the Bet HaChaim is wrong. It causes tremendous tsaar to the Neshamah of the Tzaddik in Shamayim.

    We pray only to Hashem – directly ourselves. NO mediator is permitted.

    These practices are abhorrent and against the Torah. They are assur and forbidden, and should all be stopped.

    If the tzaddik advised that people do this in his lifetime – he was wrong. And this must be corrected. Speedily.

    TESHUVAH to Hashem should be done speedily instead – by the whole of the Lubavitch organisation especially. The whole of the Lubavitch organisation is currently all refusing to do Teshuvah.

    Similarly in the case of Breslov, with those who go Uman to pray directly to the Tzaddik – instead of directly to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. “Intercession” and “mediation” is against the Torah.

    The Torah cannot be mixed with Avodah Zarah. This is twisting the Torah, and the Torah must remain straight.

  22. • There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot and Hashem.

    Hashem likes to hear the prayers, tefillot, from our OWN mouths. Even if all we know is how to recite the first 3 letters of the Aleph Bet: Aleph, Bet, Gimmel… Our very own tefillot TO HASHEM, are much more precious than anything else.

    By going to the Bet HaChaim (cemetery – incorrectly referred to as “the Ohel” by Lubavitch), and lighting a candle, praying, making a request, and then going home – such a person is “leaving it all to the tzaddik” who is not physically alive. You can’t leave it all “to him!”. This is completely Assur and forbidden.

    We too, can be tzaddikim – and be like the tzaddik. The tzaddik has already made all his tefillot to Hashem in his lifetime. And these are very precious to Hashem. The tzaddik has now passed on.

    Hashem is now waiting for US – to make our OWN tefillot to Him.

    We pray to Hashem – at all times. If a person is insisting on praying to one of the creations of Hashem, instead of directly to the King Himself, Hashem will say to us, “You are meant to pray to ME!”

    Remember that Hashem, our G-d, is a very “JEALOUS G-D” who demands “EXCLUSIVE WORSHIP.” (2nd Commandment of the Asseret Hadibrot.)

    What is your logic in going there?

    The Ashkenazi tradition has encouraged people to do this, and it is very wrong. Teshuvah to Hashem must be done quickly.

  23. The Jewish People is a “Holy People.” “Am Kadosh.”

    We are referred to as being Hashem’s special “Treasure.” We are a “Holy Nation,” and so holy, that we are to emulate the Cohanim, who are of a much higher stature than the rest of the Jewish People. One day, we will all be on the level of a “Kingdom of Priests.”

    Hashem has told us, “.…Ve’atem tiheyu li Mamlechet Kohanim ve’goi kadosh…” (Yitro, 19:5-6)

    “…And you shall be to Me, a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and a HOLY NATION….”

    The Benei Yisrael must follow the example of the true Cohanim. We should emulate the Cohanim in our daily lives. The Cohanim are not allowed to go into any cemetery (Jewish or not Jewish), as they cannot come into contact with ANY meitim whatsoever. We too, should emulate the Kohanim in our daily lives, and be pure like them.

    We too, should not be coming into contact with meitim where we can help it.
    Hashem has told us, “.…Ve’atem tiheyu li Mamlechet Kohanim ve’goi kadosh…” (Yitro, 19:5-6)

    “…And you shall be to Me, a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and a HOLY NATION….”
    A person’t tefillot, prayers, from the Kotel, or from his or her own house are truly delightful to Hashem. A person can also go to the Kotel to pray, and make the journey there, to pray to Hashem. Hashem’s Presence is always there.

  24. Why was the place of Moshe Rabeinu, the very greatest of all the Prophets, kept hidden from us? Precisely so that Moshe would c”v never be worshipped. So that people would never pray to Moshe, c”v, instead of directly to Hashem, themselves. The Torah states very clearly:

    “…velo yada ish et kevurato ad hayom hazeh” (Vezot Haberacha 34:6) “…and no man knows the place that he was buried even to this day.”

    If people are praying to a tzaddik, who is finite – and of far lesser stature than Moshe Rabeinu – instead of to Hashem – who is Infinite – that is avodah zarah.

    If people wish to go to the Kivrei Tzaddikim to pray to Hashem from there, that is their choice. Far better, is to encourage people to go instead to the most holy place in the world – the Kotel. Hashem’s Presence is always there.

    The Kotel is where people should be going to pray to Hashem. Not the Bet HaChaim.

  25. If people want to pray to anyone else, and make requests of any being other than Hakadosh Baruch Hu, they might as well join Christianity.

    When Moshe Rabeinu prayed, he prayed to Hashem. He did not pray to any Malachim or any celestial beings. These are all the creations of Hashem.

    We are not allowed to pray to the creations of Hashem.

    Similarly, with regard to the Selichot, and the Neilah prayer for Yom Kippur in the Ashkenazi tradition – they include direct Tefillot and requests to Malachim.

    The Malachim are the creations of Hashem.

    We are not allowed to pray to any Malachim.

    This is completely assur and causes very great damage and harm. I emphasise that this is something very grave which needs to be rectified as well – speedily.

    The Selichot and the Neilah Tefillah for Yom Kippur should be amended speedily to remove all prayers and requests to Malachim.

  26. The false argument used by Lubavitch to permit intercession on a person’s behalf, is the act of Calev ben Yefuneh praying at the Cave of Machpelah in Chevron. He prayed for success in his mission of “spying out” the Land, Eretz Yisrael.

    No one can use this as a precedent for asking the Tzaddikim – and specifically, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn tz”l – who are no longer alive physically on earth, to pray on a person’s behalf. This causes them tremendous suffering in Shamayim.
    This is twisting the Torah, and the Torah cannot ever be twisted.

    The reason Calev’s act cannot be used as a precedent, is that NO ONE, can be compared to the supreme Kedusha of the Avot, of Avraham, Yitzchak ve’Yaakov Avinu.

    We pray the Amidah 3 times a day, and we always recall the great merit of the Avot in the very first Beracha. What can be greater than that when we pray to Hashem?

    This does need to be corrected very quickly, to be in line with the Torah.

    – When people need help, why doesn’t Lubavitch teach people to look inside the Torah, which is Eternal and Infinite – instead of letters written to other people by Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l during his lifetime?

    Why doesn’t Lubavitch choose the very greatest of all prophets, Moshe Rabbeinu?

  27. Moshe Rabeinu is the greatest of all prophets, and no other prophet was equal to him.

    “Zichru Torat Moshe Avdi” we are told in Malachi (3:22)

    There simply is no comparison between Moshe Rabbeinu and Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l, although Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l was a Tzaddik and a very righteous and good man.

    Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest of all prophets, and we do not even pray in the name of Moshe. Neither do we pray in the name of David Hamelech, whose descendent is the Mashiach.

    However, in the very first Beracha of the Amidah, the silent prayer to Hashem containing our requests, we recall the merit of the Avot: “…..Elokei Avraham, Elokei Yitzhak Velokei Yaakov….” “….The G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzhak and the G-d of Yaakov…”
    The beracha is concluded with “Magen Avraham”.

    In summary:

    (1) We pray to Hashem – at all times.

    (2) There should be NO mediator between Hashem and a person’s tefillot – otherwise this is Assur.

    Therefore the practice of using the “Igrot” /(“Igros”) for “requests” and “guidance” should be stopped. Similarly the practices of sending faxes to the Bet HaChaim, and praying to the tzaddik at the Bet HaChaim instead of directly to Hashem ourselves – should be stopped immediately. They are abhorrent and against the Torah.

    The reason for this is that these practices use intercession. And the use of a “mediator” or someone to “intercede on a person’s behalf” to Hashem, is assur.

    Teshuvah to Hashem must be done – very speedily.

  28. Pingback: It’s a Segula for Getting Married, part 3 | Bad for Shidduchim

  29. Pingback: It’s a Segula for Getting Married, part 2 | Bad for Shidduchim

  30. Pingback: Monday Revisit: Segulos | Bad for Shidduchim

  31. Wanted: VERY ZAFTIG yiddisha Maidel for Shidduch … No Kvetching on how bad your Mazal is …This older gentleman is looking for a kallah … forget all the segulas Just write to me at david_aharon@yahoo.ca One lucky woman will be happy she did. Age revealed later to the one who replies directly.

  32. I had neither studied in nor gone to Israel before I was married.

    People questioned, “Don’t you want to go to Amuka? It is supposed to be a sekula to get married.”

    I responded, “As long as my future wife goes to Amuka, I’m OK.”

    She did, and I am, B”H.

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