Why segulos don’t work
We hear about them.
Going to Israel? Make sure to daven at Amuka, and go get a bracha from x, y, and z, in order or it won’t work, oh and get a red string by a specific person on the steps down to the kosel, and and don’t forget to go to some obscure grave of a human who died about 400 years ago, that you’ve never heard of till today.
“Why?” I ask.
“It’s a segulah” they say.
Wikipedia defines a segula as “a protective or benevolent charm or ritual”.
Last time I checked, kishuf (magic) was assur…right? Isn’t that why people say reading Harry Potter is prohibited? (Chas V’shalom you should even know what Harry Potter is, because I totally don’t because I’m in shidduchim, so if you ask me I’ve never heard of it in life.)
Every day there’s something new and even more ridiculous than the idea there was yesterday.
See my point?
Yes, you hear stories of how much this works, you read articles in local magazines with headlines like “She just wasn’t get married…and then she donated to _____” or “They had been waiting so long and now they have twins! You can see yeshuos too!” and you ask yourself: Is this real? Does donating to this place actually solve real problems?
Well, it may or it may not. We don’t really know what that mitzvah is that will tip the scale towards are favor and make Hashem say “Yes, now I can give you _____”. Although many people may claim to fulfill your dreams or give you the salvation you are waiting for, that’s not exactly how life works.
Then why do these people advertise these types of things? How do they have a market for this? Because people want to believe that they will do one simple action and just receive whatever they want. People don’t want to work hard, they don’t want to change things inside themselves, they don’t want to really do anything different in their life, but they want Hashem to change their life. Sounds funny if you ask me.
As they say, “If you don’t change anything. nothing will change”.
If you think about this seriously, this is the most logical conclusion. If you don’t do much different, you can’t expect changes to happen.
People so dearly cling to their lives and to their comfort zone so much that they will even convince themselves that are creating change and they may even seem like they are doing hard work from the outside, when in reality, they aren’t. Take for the example the segula of going to the Kosel, to daven, for 40 days in a row. People say it’s a segula for literally anything. Ok, shkoach. People say lots of things, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily true or worth doing. But, this a pretty popular segula, as far as I know, and I think that’s because it makes you feel like you are doing hard work, when you really don’t have to. (But you do).
Let me explain, one can go to the kosel and daven there every day for 40 days in a row. One can wake up at 5AM in order to get there in the morning, and still manage to get to work on time. One can muster all their strength and fight their yezter hara to sleep in, spend hours on a bus, hours davening and touching those stones without changing anything inside themselves.
If Hashem says no to something, how do you show him that this is something worth giving to you? By showing Hashem you are a person worthy of receiving his guidance, help, love, and gifts. By come closer to Hashem, or working on our inner selves, we can change ourselves and become a different person, one who is zoche to receive the salvation we seek, from whatever it is that we may want.
So I think we need to ask ourselves, before we run to donate to the next kollel, or go to a certain tzadik for a bracha, what can we do to be zoche to Hashem’s good and kindness? What can we do to improve ourselves?
Instead of starting to say 20 perakim of tehilim every day, why don’t you first make sure you are on top of your brachos, davening, and kavana in those areas?
Before you run to donate to Learning Non-stop Kollel or Upkeep of famous Kever, why don’t you make sure you are giving the proper maa’ser that you’re supposed to give, or you are paying back your debts, or workers on time? Do you owe anyone anything? Are you giving enough to your friends, family, and community that may need to money more? (Also, you can donate maaser to these places too, but according to the halacha, you are first obligated to give it to family, friends, and your community)
Can we just make sure we are keeping to all of our current commitments in the best way possible before we take on something new and exciting?
The greatest segula for whatever you need is to take a look inside, see what work needs to be done, and get going!
It may not sound as exciting or prestigious as other segulos, but trust me, this one works.
Let me know you thoughts…..in the comment section below.
I love hearing from my readers!
– Hadas Bat-el