Tag Archives: tehillim

Discussion point

A friend was out today, talking with another woman. The other woman happens to be a long time BT (returnee to Judaism). They were talking about Tehillim (Psalms) groups. A bunch of women (or men) will get together to recite Tehillim for specific people, and in the zchut (merit) of their prayers, this person will hopefully be healed, get pregnant, have a positive change in life circumstance- whatever it is that is being prayed for.

So this BT was saying that she will NEVER attend one such group, because as a BT and not having been exposed to Hebrew from a young age, her Hebrew reading is slow and halting. If other women hear her read, she said, it would ruin her children’s shidduch (marriage) chances.

What do you think?

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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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The Power of Prayer



Last week on Thursday we left Montreal for Monsey just for the weekend. Having started the whole immigration process we were told that it was quite possible we would NOT be permitted to enter the United States. Once a name is in the system, I guess they are concerned about us moving down illegally and living there without being given the USA immigration seal of approval. (It’s the people that do it illegally that could ruin it for the honest folk).


I was advised to bring proof that I have a life to come back to in Montreal, and hopefully that would help in allowing us into the country for a few days. So – how do you prove you have a life to come back to?


I prepared well. I found the copy of my lease – however, my lease was written specifically for the first year that we lived in the apartment. The way it works here is that your lease is automatically renewed annually UNLESS you give notice. Therefore, in order to prove I still have a lease, I asked my lovely landlady to give me a signed letter stating how long I had been a tenant, and when my lease is up, and that I had the option to renew. I had bills with me that had just been received in the mail – proving I live where I say I do. I had a letter from my attorney. I had a letter of permission to take the kids and bring them back from their other parent. I had a letter from Mr. CarMan allowing me the use of his vehicle and when I had to have it back by. I had proof of upcoming appointments for me and the kids here in Montreal. I made myself nuts getting all of this information together, but I wanted to be as prepared as I could be.


I had explained the situation to the boys and told them that I had done my Hishtadlut (due diligence) and now it was up to G-d. I also told them that while we were driving to the border I needed them to say Tehillim – psalms, in order to boost our chances of being allowed into the States. I also repeated border etiquette. Do not speak unless spoken to. Do not volunteer any information other than that which is asked of you. Do not lie. Look the agent who speaks to you in the eye – take off your sunglasses in order to do this. Do not joke with the agent.


We grabbed a bite to eat before we left. We got into the car and I said Psalm 91 aloud. A friend had told me that it was a good one to say – the Hebrew letters for 91 spell out the word “tzei” – which means “go out”. I had the boys then open their Tehillim and say all the psalms for Thursday (each day has a group of psalms to be said for it) as I drove towards the border. My oldest also said the Tefillat Haderech – the prayer for safe travel.


45 minutes later we were at the border and my stomach was in a knot, my hands and legs were shaking. I gave the kids and myself a pep talk. “It’s all in Hashem’s hands. Whatever He decides is what’s best for us”. I gave it into His capable hands and I had to trust it would all be for the best. The kids were still praying as we got to the Border Guard’s Booth.


There were four open lines and all booths were empty. We picked one and when I drove up I saw there were THREE guards there as opposed to the usual ONE. Gulp. This didn’t bode well. I had the passports ready and had easy access to all the other papers I had with me. I handed over the passports and held my breath. It soon became obvious to us that this particular guard was a trainee as his superiors in the booth with him were telling him what to ask, or what they would have asked. He had wanted to ask me why I was travelling alone with my kids – and where their dad was etc, but he obviously had no experience asking that. I helped him out. I told him we were divorced and that I was the custodial parent. I gave him the permission letter. He was being fed questions all the while. He scanned through the passports. No beeps or alarms went off.


He proceeded to ask me all the standard questions – am I bringing in $10,000 in cash (I wish), any drugs or firearms, any articles for resale….., and after 3 minutes that seemed like 30 he returned our travel documents and waved us through. No awkward questions, no making me sit in a back room while they grilled my kids (yes I had imagined 100 different scenarios) – he waved us through.


We drove for 30 seconds then I let out a HUGE whoop of joy followed by a tremendous release of tears. The kids were so excited and thrilled. I had one of them immediately text the KoD to tell him we made it, and then we called one of my Montreal Mommies (Lucky me, I have a few!!) to say we made it into the States safely.


I told the kids, and I firmly believe I am right, that their prayers helped us get through. I know that every time until we get the visas there is going to be a chance that we are turned back – but I am prepared for it. Maybe the computer didn’t pick us up yet, or maybe they saw that I come and go often and can be trusted not to stay illegally. I don’t even want to know the why. I am just accepting it and am thankful to G-d.


G-d was definitely watching over us that day as He is everyday. I am glad He didn’t test me, though, by having us turned back. I wonder how I would have done.


Tehillim List

I know that closer to the time I won’t remember to ask, so I am asking now. They say that a bride and groom have a closer connection to G-d on their wedding day, so when the chattan and kallah say tehillim for specific people, I guess it’s more of a direct line.


So if you wish to have us daven for you on our special day please let us know your Hebrew name and your mothers Hebrew name, and whether it is for shidduchim, children,  health, general well being, parnassah etc.


You can comment here with your info, email me at hadassahsabo at gmail dot com, I am also on twitter and facebook under my name – you can DM me, @ me, FB message me…..and I say I am not a technogeek………

Peaceful Coexistence

I don’t pretend I am the most religious of people. I live my life my way and let others live theirs, and hope we can all live in harmony together on this earth. I try to make the most of my travelling time to work these days – as soon as I get a seat I whip out my Sefer Tehillim (Book of Psalms) and use the time to get a little bit of prayer in.  This is more or less the only structured prayers that I do every day, other than brachot and praying to G-d to help me find a parking spot or to hold my tongue.


The other day I sat down on the train, pulled out the tehillim and immersed myself. In my peripheral vision I saw a gentleman sit down near me and take out a little book and he seemed to be moving his lips in silent prayer like me. I looked up expecting to find another Jew. I was wrong. This man was reading the Koran or some other book written in Arabic. He was as intent on the words of his holy book as was I. There was a moment or two where I felt uncomfortable, but it passed. He was just as entitled to pray as I was, and you know what, the fact that two people in the subway car were praying – I am sure it made all the other travelers feel safe!


I always felt a little self conscious sitting there with my tehillim, but somehow seeing someone from another religion acting in a similar fashion helped me to get over that.


Life can teach us lessons when we least expect it.