Segula Salesmen

To all such people, and everyone touting their own brand of segula or prayer by 40 kollel chassidim at the kever of a Tanah who was single until he was 64 and promised to personally walk down the aisle anyone who said Nishmas 40 times in 40 days at his kever—-

You. Repel. Me.

There are truckloads of reasons I’m still single. Just ask any of my relatives, or any of the shadchanim I’ve ever visited. Even my friends could probably name a few reasons, although they won’t, because friends can be unfriended.

But oh, wouldn’t it be tempting to believe that they’re all wrong—that the only thing standing between me and Prince Charming under a white canopy and a blue sky is 40 ba’alei teshuva saying the entire Tehillim 40 times in 40 days at the kevarim of 40 obscure Amora’im?

Oh please. That’s ridiculous. I know it’s ridiculous. You know it’s ridiculous. We all know it’s ridiculous.

Except the people in the glossy brochure. Chana* (*Name changed to protect her identity and her children’s shidduch chances), the 36-year-old who surely didn’t just happen to meet her man 2 years after writing off a check to this segula. And Dovid* (*name changed to prevent shame from falling on his family and yeshiva for producing such an alte bucher), who got married at the ripe old age of 28 — he seems to believe it works.  And Nechama* (*name changed so you can’t look her up and ask if she’s real), who was childless for years until she dropped a penny in the right pushka finally — she realizes the power of selective charity giving.

All these happy people with their happy stories. Deliverance!* (*Small processing fee may apply.)

All the things the  shadchanim want me to fix—those are difficult, if not downright impossible. I might still be working on them in a few years from now. But the segula? That’s easy. Quick and relatively painless. What’s a few dollars in the grand scheme of things? Besides, it’s going to a good cause: upkeep of a long-dead man’s gravestone and the printing of more glossy brochures. It’s tax and ma’aser deductible. Also, look at all these men with “Rav” in front of their name and “Shlita” after who signed the bottom.  I don’t know who they are, but surely they wouldn’t mislead me?

And, really, it’s only money… What can it hurt to try?

You can’t kill an idea. Not once it’s made a home in someone’s head.

So, pathetic, hopeful singles send you their money, and a small percentage even get engaged after. And you print them up in your next glossy brochure and distribute it to entrap more desperate hopefuls.

But who is compiling the brochure of failures? Where is the glossy book of people* (*names changed to protect them from the judgment that, really, they’re so traif even 40 holy men and a holy ghost can’t save them from themselves) who sent in their check and never got the implied (though not promised, as recommended by the lawyers) deliverance? Where are their stories?

An industry 0f parasites. A national epidemic of tapeworms.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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