Daily Archives: November 15, 2009

Superstitions or Segulahs

A segulah is an action that is reputed to bring about a change in one’s fortunes. Or if you like, a superstition. But in this context it’s about doing something to effect positive change. Here are some I have collected from various sources. I am not saying that these do or don’t work – it’s been a very interesting subject to research. Please feel free to add more in the comments and I will update the list. Thanks to all who replied to my facebook and twitter requests for segulahs.

For finding a mate:

  • Drink the wine that bride and groom drank at wedding / sheva brachot
  • Saying Perek Shira for 40 days
  • If you are female and a kiddush wasn’t made to celebrate your birth, make that kiddush now
  • Hold the bride’s jewelry while she is under chuppah
  • Say shir hashirim (song of Solomon) in it’s entirety daily for 40 days
  • Don’t sit at the corner of a table
  • A single woman should buy a tallit for her future not-yet-met chattan
  • I have also heard a single man should buy a wig or diamond ring for his future kallah
  • Keeping a part of the broken plate from an engagement
  • Visiting Amukah in Israel and davening there at the grave of Rabbi Yonatan ben Uziel
  • Opening the door for Eliyahu Hanavi by the Pesach seder
  • Pour water for people sitting at your table
  • Recite all of Tehillim (Psalms) on Purim night
  • Daven at the Kotel for 40 consecutive nights

For getting pregnant:

  • Being Kvatter (godparent, or the one who carries the baby in) at a Bris
  • Going into a mikvah after a women who is in her 9th month of pregnancy
  • Eating a cake baked by a woman in labour
  • Getting bracha from sandek (one who holds the baby during circumcision) at bris
  • Getting a bracha from someone who was insulted and didn’t answer back
  • Swallowing the foreskin cut off at a bris

For parnassah (livelihood):

  • If a bird poops on you it’s good for parnassah
  • Schlissel Challah – baking a key into a challah the first Shabbat after Pesach.
  • Reb Mendel M’Riminov said that saying Parshas Hamon on Tuesday Parshat B’Shalach, is a Segulah for Parnasah. Click HERE for the complete text of Parshas Hamon
  • When you wash for Netilat Yadaim, fill the cup to the top and allow it to overflow. Do the same with Kiddush and Havdalla. This is a segulah that your livelihood should brim over in abundance
  • When you daven Ashrei, say the bracha of “poteach et yadecha” with extra kavana
  • Many have the minhag of dipping their fingers in the Havdalah wine/grape juice and putting it in their pockets, symbolizing extra Parnassa (touching their heads for a little extra sechel as well)

For Refuah (healing)

  • Maran HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt’l, the mashgiach of Ponevezh Yeshiva, was accustomed to tell others that a wonderful segulah for refuah is saying the bracha of asher yatzar word by word, out loud, with full kavannah (intent) and concentration
  • If a person has warts, take the Havdallah wine and put it on, and the wart will go away
  • Before taking a medicine say “May it be for a refu’ah sheleimah by the zechus of Avrohom, Yitzchok, Yaakov, Soroh, Rivka, Rochel, and Leah”

Miscellaneous or combination of above:

  • Segulah Challah – 40 women take challah with a bracha for the same Shabbat
  • Pregnant women who want a good looking baby should only look at beautiful people.
  • If you do psicha (opening the ark) for tfillas geshem (prayer for rain) you’ll have a financially successful year
  • For an easy childbirth a woman should go to mikvah in the 9th month.
  • If a person can’t have children, boil Aravos and drink it, same for migraines
  • Davening for certain people when kneading challah
  • eating etrog jelly brings brocha (blessing) to the home, also good segulah to eat it for an easy labour
  • If your baby is breech, check your seforim–likely there is one upside down. Change it, and baby will turn
  • Wear a red string around the wrist to keep the evil eye away

There are some more interesting ones posted over here on the Jewish Side.

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Milk and bread…

glass_of_milk_and_bread_largeOne of my sons was makpid (particular) on Chalav Yisrael – that is milk that has been supervised by a rabbi through the whole milking, pasteurizing and bottling process. At the time that he decided to take it on, I wanted to encourage him in it. It sounded like he had thought through the whole advantage /  disadvantage thing. What could it hurt?

This week I had an epiphany. Having to go searching for milk at 7 am on a Sunday morning, let alone Chalav Yisrael milk, was totally an exercise in futility. There is nothing non-kosher about Chalav Stam (non-supervised milk). There is legislation in place that prevents the milk companies from adding non-kosher additives to the milk. The child has moved out of the ultra-holy phase he was going thru and I am sick of paying thru the nose for milk that spoils before its sell by date.

By my reckoning we will save about $25 a month with the amount of milk that we drink. I wonder how this Chalav Yisrael thing started anyway…

And while we are on the subject of supervised vs non-supervised, up in Montreal most of the OJs I know all buy bread from the kosher bakery. Hardly anyone buys Pas Akum – bread baked by a non-Jew. There are plenty of breads that have the hechsher (Kosher certification) but are not Pas Yisrael, have not been baked by a Jew. In Monsey it doesn’t seem to be as big a deal in the houses I have been to. What’s up with that??

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