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Friday, September 01, 2006

Segeulas Shmegeulas

Cross-posted at DovBear

About a month ago my t'fillin went AWOL. It disappeared one day after shachris. I either left it in shul, dropped it walking home, or it vanished into an alternate dimension in my house.

Now, I don't believe in segeulas. Never have, never will. But when my t'fillin had been gone for a few days, I figured it wouldn't hurt to drop some money into the R' Meir Ba'al Hanes pushka. I don't believe it's a segeulah to find missing things, but a little tzdaka never hurt.

My t'filin remained missing.

That Shabbos we had guest who heard my plight. A few days later she calls to say she gave some money to RMBH.

My t'fillin remain missing.

My aunt gives some money to RMBH, and hands me some t'filliah that I'm supposed to say three times while giving money to RMBH.

I didn't say it.

My t'fillin remained missing.

A few days ago my mother wrote out a check to RMBH.

My t'fillin were found about 30 minutes ago.

They were exactly were they were supposed to be, but completely covered by some stuff and thus hidden. My brother just happened to need something from that cabinet.

So now everyone's telling me "See!" Segeulas work!

My response- was there some sort of dollar amount that was needed to be donated before the seguela to work? Why did it take a month? And besides, turns out, my t'fillin weren't really "lost". Can something be lost if it's right in the same place where you left it? It's not as if no one was ever going to look in that cabinet again. It just took some time.


I think that the likeliest explanation is that Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes stole the tefillin and was waiting until you payed a certain ransom until it was found.


Personally, I find this segulah somewhat problematic, in its similarity to devotion to Saint Anthony of Padua. See here:

As to the not really lost issue, this is in fact part of the whole incantantion people say, quoting Midrash Rabba:

"אמר רבי בנימין הכל בחזקת סומין עד שהקב"ה מאיר את עיניהם מן הכא וַיִּפְקַח אֱלהִים אֶת עֵינֶיהָ ... וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתְּמַלֵּא אֶת הַחֵמֶת

That is, it was always there but we need Hashem to open our eyes. Seems the same with your tefillin.
Believe what you want but after I put some tzedakah into the pushka and said the words you are supposed to say I found my earring in a restaurants garbage from the night before that was like finding a needle in a haystack.

I believe.
Yes of course we RMBH takes everyones stuff....:) Perhaps you needed a tikun of some sort the stress you felt could be considered a tikun that coupled with tezdakah could have been the magic pill if you will.

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