Segula (Kabbalah)

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For the Israeli moshav, see Sgula.

A segula (Hebrew: סגולה‎, pl. סגולות, segulot, "remedy" or "protection"[1]) is protective or benevolent charm or ritual in Kabbalistic and Talmudic tradition.[2][3]

Etymology[edit]

The word segula appears in the Hebrew Bible in Exodus 19:5 and Deuteronomy 7:6, where God refers to the Jewish nation as His segula (treasure). The root of this word, segol, is the name of a Hebrew vowel-point represented by three dots. According to the Ohr Hachaim, a segula is "a charm that supersedes logic".[4]

List of segulot[edit]

Following is a list of popular segulot.

Fertility and childbirth[edit]

  • Distributing chai rotel (about 54 liters[5]) of drink at the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron, Israel on Lag BaOmer is considered a propitious remedy for infertility, as well as for helping a person find his mate or recover from serious illness[6]
  • Acting as kvatterin for a baby boy at his brit milah is a segula for childless couples to have children of their own[7]
  • Eating an etrog or etrog jam facilitates an easy childbirth[8]
  • Drinking from the waters of Ein Sataf in Israel prevents a breech birth[9]
  • Wearing a ruby helps prevent miscarriage and eases birth. Ingesting ground up rubies enhances the chance of pregnancy.[10]

Protection from harm[edit]

Wearing a red string
  • Wearing a red string cut from a longer length that has been wound around Rachel's Tomb is an ancient tradition that protects the wearer from danger[11][12]
  • Giving tzedaka (charity) money to a traveler to donate when he arrives at his destination helps protect the traveler from harm[13]
  • Concentrating on the phrase Ein Od Milvado (Hebrew: אין עוד מלבדו‎, "There is none but Him [God]"[14]) shields a person from danger[15]

Other[edit]

  • Praying at the grave of Rabbi Yonatan ben Uziel in Amuka, Israel is considered propitious for finding one’s mate within the coming year[16]
  • Praying at the Western Wall for 40 consecutive days is considered a segula for finding one’s mate[17][18]
  • Holding the jewelry of a bride while she is escorted to her chuppah is a segula for finding one’s own mate[19]
  • Placing a pigeon on a person’s navel is efficacious for curing jaundice[2][20]
  • Giving tzedaka in the merit of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes is a segula for finding a lost object[21]
  • Buying a new knife for Rosh Hashanah is a propitious remedy for livelihood[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Afilalo, Raphael (2006). Kabbalah Glossary: Clarification of terms and concepts of the Kabbalah. Kabbalah Editions. p. 251. ISBN 292324107X. 
  2. ^ a b Rosner, Fred; Bleich, J. David; Brayer, Menachem M. (2000). Jewish Bioethics. KTAV Publishing House. p. 59. ISBN 0881256625. 
  3. ^ Finkelstein, Baruch; Finkelstein, Michal (2005). The Third Key: A Jewish couple's guide to fertility. Feldheim Publishers. p. 124. ISBN 1583303901. 
  4. ^ Chrysler, HaRav Eliezer. "Parshas Yisro: A Treasured Nation". shemayisrael.com. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Lebovits, Moishe Dovid. "Lag BaOmer" 3 (16). Halachically Speaking. p. 6. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Lev, Barukh ben David (2003). There Is No Such Thing As Coincidence: And other stories of Divine Providence 2. Feldheim Publishers. pp. 45–46. ISBN 1583306153. 
  7. ^ Finman, Rabbi Herschel (2012). "What is the Function of the Kvatter?". Chabad.org. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Weisberg, Chana (2004). Expecting Miracles: Finding meaning and spirituality in pregnancy through Judaism. Urim Publications. p. 134. ISBN 9657108519. 
  9. ^ Alpert, Yair (26 January 2010). "Rav Fischer’s Segulah Miraculously Works By Not Working – Saves Life of Baby". matzav.com. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher, commentary to Parshas Tetzaveh (Shmos 28:15) notes "...Reuven's stone was the ruby, a red stone, red like blood, and its Segulah is that any woman that carries [or wears] it will never miscarry a child. It is also said that it is beneficial for a woman who has a hard time giving birth [to have this stone].If this stone is ground up and added to food or drink [of a woman] it is extremely beneficial to help her become pregnant..."
  11. ^ Tannenbaum, Rabbi Gershon (10 February 2012). "The Red Strings of Kever Rochel". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Rossoff, Dovid (October 1997). "Tomb of Rachel". The Jewish Magazine. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Epstein, Donneal (2000). Halachos for the Traveler. Feldheim Publishers. p. 4. ISBN 1583304398. 
  14. ^ "Devarim 4:35". Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Goldberger, Rabbi Moshe. "Learn the Secret: Discovering Hashem's constant presence in our lives". Targum Press. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Mystical Power of Amuka". Hamodia. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Kiel, Dvora (2007). When the Time is Right: Manifestations of Divine Providence in everyday life. Feldheim Publishers. p. 486. ISBN 9657371295. 
  18. ^ "Origin of the 40 Days". westernwallprayers.org. 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "It’s a Segulah". Jewish Treats. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Rosner et al. (2000), pp. 59–62.
  21. ^ Lev (2003), p. 81.
  22. ^ Danzinger, Rabbi Eliezer (2012). "Purchasing a New Knife for Rosh Hashanah". Chabad.org. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 

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