Segulot

 
Egross
 
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Egross
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16 February 2013 17:17
 

There is this bizarre concept in Judaism of a “segulah” (or the plural form is “segulot”)

It is a symbol, a sign of significance, or so it might have once met. You can probably Google it. But in doing so you will come up with weird stuff as well.

I read a wierd advertisement in our local paper (attached) of a great segula! Now, keep in mind this is not an exception. We see these all over the place, and Rabbis not only accept such things, but often encourage them. We even have Segula stores in town! (For $3 usa you can buy a trinket with a rabbinical blessing guarenteed to bring you great income - sold by a guy in a run-down shack.)

First, an Etrog is a citrine that Jews use during the holiday of sukkot. They (the citrines, not the Jews) have extremely thick skins (ok, maybe both do!), and it looks sort of like a lemon, and an etrog doesn’t have that much juice. The etrog needs to be used for 8 days a year to shake with 3 other species (a long palm branch, hadassah, and willow) and wave around during the synagoge service like a floppy sword. (another story)

Anyhow, a ripe Etrog just before the holliday (in Israel) runs about $15-$25 USA. I have seen some people in the USA pay over $100.

The Chabad Jews (a weird cult) have a tradition that Moses, while in the desert, dug a tunnel to Italy and got an Etrog from there, then went back to the desert and showed the Jews the right kind to use. Therefore, Chabadniks will prefer the Italian ones, which are now grown in Israel and appear like a belt was tied in the middle and has a more “hourglass” shape than the normal lemon-shaped ones.

Now, for some reason the etrog has been given a symbol of childbirth. Therefore, you have such traditions of a woman biting off the little projection (pytom) which is where the flower of the plant grew but whithered away, to have children, many children, easy children, and easy birth of children. It looks more like biting off a tiny penis, which I would think might represent the opposite, but what do I know?

Now, because of that symbolic effect, the juice of these things (loaded with pesticides), is in high demand by con artists (or true believers looking for a high profit) to sell to the ignorant, to promise an easy birth, and seperate the people from their cash. Remember, the religious leadership either beleives in this stuff or refuses to ever talk against it, which is the same thing as endorsing it.

In the advertisement (attached), for just 12 payments of 40 shekels a month (about $13.30 USA), you can get a bit of etrog sauce/jam which is certainted to give you an easy birth. Not only that, but these etrogs were used last Sukkot (the 8-day holiday where you shake them) by great scholars, and these are the premium ones that you will want! So order now, 24 hour availability, and not only that “The wife of Rabbi Kanifsky (may she rest in peace) proclaimed that this will bring about many salvations.”

Only $159.60 for a spoon full of jam. You cannot aford NOT to order today!

Hey, of prayer can tell god what to do, why not some contaminated jelly?

[ Edited: 16 February 2013 17:25 by Egross]
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GAD
 
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GAD
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17 February 2013 18:19
 

The things I never new. Too funny!

 
 
Egross
 
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Egross
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17 February 2013 20:00
 

Here is a bunch of them that they sell in front of a beat up shack. Only 10 shekels (about $2.30) each. It comes with a picture of a famous Rabbi (usually dead), a blessing he once made, a nick-nack that you can wear around your neck or keep in your pocket.

The funny on is the upper right corner for peace in the home. You pay 10 shekels and your wife will no longer yell at you…unless she finds out you wasted 10 shekels on this thing! The next one over to the left with a key on it is for increased income. Hopefully it will increase more than 10 shekels. I have no idea why a key is a symbol of income, but the Saturday after Passover there is a tradition to make bread (challah) in the shape of a key for that same reason. Nobody knows why.

The next one over shaped like a shield is to protect a soilder from harm. If it doesn’t work, he can return it.

But I think you get the idea. It’s no different than 4 leaf clovers and rabbits foot (as a kid in the USA, I had a real one dyed green with a chain dangling from the stump for my keys. Only cost me 50 cents. Obviously it wasn’t lucky for the rabbit, nor was it for me!

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GAD
 
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17 February 2013 20:41
 
Egross - 17 February 2013 07:00 PM

Here is a bunch of them that they sell in front of a beat up shack. Only 10 shekels (about $2.30) each. It comes with a picture of a famous Rabbi (usually dead), a blessing he once made, a nick-nack that you can wear around your neck or keep in your pocket.

The funny on is the upper right corner for peace in the home. You pay 10 shekels and your wife will no longer yell at you…unless she finds out you wasted 10 shekels on this thing! The next one over to the left with a key on it is for increased income. Hopefully it will increase more than 10 shekels. I have no idea why a key is a symbol of income, but the Saturday after Passover there is a tradition to make bread (challah) in the shape of a key for that same reason. Nobody knows why.

The next one over shaped like a shield is to protect a soilder from harm. If it doesn’t work, he can return it.

But I think you get the idea. It’s no different than 4 leaf clovers and rabbits foot (as a kid in the USA, I had a real one dyed green with a chain dangling from the stump for my keys. Only cost me 50 cents. Obviously it wasn’t lucky for the rabbit, nor was it for me!

Yeah I get the point. Do those work for non Jews?

 
 
Egross
 
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Egross
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18 February 2013 04:02
 

lol - I think they equally don’t work for anyone!

 
 
GAD
 
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18 February 2013 04:57
 
Egross - 18 February 2013 03:02 AM

lol - I think they equally don’t work for anyone!

Point!

 
 
MARTIN_UK
 
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18 February 2013 05:15
 
Egross - 17 February 2013 07:00 PM

.. I have no idea why a key is a symbol of income, but the Saturday after Passover there is a tradition to make bread (challah) in the shape of a key for that same reason. Nobody knows why.
...

...“the key on the challah is a form of prayer to God to open up the gates of livelihood (allegedly). This practice has been criticized for its origins as a non-Jewish custom.”

Not sure what makes it “non-Jewish”, but google can’t be wrong…  wink

 
Egross
 
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Egross
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18 February 2013 05:43
 

There are a lot of non-Jewish theology and customs that have crept in. The idea of a heaven (not to be confused with the world to come at the end of days) seems to have been appropriated from the Christians, as well as a hell/gihennom (albeit for a short time, but then it became eternal as well). The tradition of confessing your sins over a chicken and waving it over the sinners head and then killing the chicken and giving the chicken to the poor to eat comes from a gypsy (possibly christian) idea of “sin eating” from the middle ages. The sitting forward in a synagogue like they do in a church changed from sitting around the walls as it originally was (“U” shapped). The belief that the flesh atones for the sin, and so while, at one time Jews used to beat themselves with sticks and fist-shaped stones during the “tachanun” prayer, because people used to break bones and tear flesh, that practice was replaced with smacking your fist into yor chest. The really devout make a giant “Bang” sound each time they hit themselves in the chest during their public mumbled confession.

Oy!

As far as the “key” symbol, I have been told that it relates to opening the gates of heaven, and your prayers for sustenance will be answered. (Yes, the acquiring of this reference comes from a non-Jewish theology as well, so the use of a key would be non-Jewish.) I have also heard lots of other reasons, such as a symbol for opening the “locked” womb (a Jewish husband whose wife is pregnant and near birth is often given the honor of opening the doors of the cupboard that holds the Torah, so just as the doors open, so should her womb and give an easy birth). Another Segula!

[ Edited: 18 February 2013 05:46 by Egross]