Disclaimer: I did lots of linking to the glossary this week, as this post is pretty heavy on the Yiddish and Hebrew vocab. I usually make an effort to use English where possible, but this week’s subject matter didn’t really allow for that. I’ll try to make next week’s post more English-based.
Dating. Did you groan when you read that word? It probably depends on your experience, but it’s no secret that the period in life that includes dating can be fraught with anxiety, frustration and other complex emotions.
This could certainly be the case when a person has exhausted all the “conventional” routes, such as networking with shadchanim (and with non-shadchanim), signing up for online dating sites, going to singles events, staying in regular touch with friends and families to increase the chance of being kept in mind, keeping one’s dating resume (or profile or whatever) updated, and so on and so forth.
What happens when you’ve done everything you’re “supposed to do” and you’re still single? While there may be some comfort in the idea that everything happens at the right time, waiting for any length of time, just waiting, well, that can get exasperating (understatement? probably).
Enter segulos. These are basically a protective or benevolent charm or act based in Kabbalistic or Talmudic tradition. Now, I’m no expert on segulos, and I wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell you the difference between something which has a solid source in the Talmud or something that was made up by someone’s Alte-Bubby back in the shtetl based on some meshuggah superstition. However, most of these practices are indeed benevolent, and even if they don’t “do” anything, they wouldn’t hurt.
As one of my friends put it well, a segulah can be a way to open a person up and create a positivity and receptiveness. Through actions like davening and visiting holy places or people, a person can strengthen their bond with their Creator, which is an important and beneficial thing to do, marital status notwithstanding. After all, being married does not make a person happy, successful, or more connected to G-d. That’s up to each of us on our own, and it is not dependent on whatever life circumstances we may find surrounding us.
Doing segulos is a fairly well-known concept, and I would even say mainstream (except the last time I claimed something was mainstream, I got told, so I’m going to hold off on that pronouncement). For those who want an more in-depth look at dating and segulos, there’s a book called Splitting the Sea, which includes a list of segulos, and there are also sites like this one.
My personal experience with segulos includes davening at Amukah, as well as at kevarim of holy ancestors (Aishes Rabbi Akiva represent!). I have fond memories of being handed the havdala candle, and holding it at the height I wanted my potential husband to be. When I was dating my husband, I would try to remember exactly how tall he was so I could hold it that height. Additionally, I was a shomeret, held a kallah’s jewelry, drank from the kos shel bracha, and I’m sure I did other segulos that I don’t even remember.
I believe in the power of things we don’t understand and that we can’t see. Judaism teaches that a person’s deeds can have a physical impact on the world at large. I’ve seen and experienced the power of prayer (and I’m not the only one). It doesn’t seem too far a stretch to believe that doing something like davening at the Kotel or saying Shir HaShirim for forty days could have an effect which may defy explanation. Some people aren’t a fan of segulos, though, and in my opinion, it’s better to view a segulah as part of the hishtadlus a person goes through in order to find their spouse rather than a “miraculous cure,” so to speak.
Along that line of thinking, before I share the list of segulos, I would like to mention that my Rav at Neve said that the best segulah is to daven. I know that sometimes when I’m going through a challenging time, I don’t always remember to pray about it, and that’s silly, because that should always be the first thing I do. But I forget.
Here is the list that I obtained mainly through crowdsourcing on Facebook (thank you so much to everyone who contributed!!):
- make your own Kiddush
- holding or wearing a chosson or kallah‘s jewelry when she’s under the chuppah and drinking from the cup of wine that was used under the chuppah
- davening for someone else who needs the same thing you do – the source for this is found in the Gemara Bava Kama 92a, see also Rashi on Beraishis; 21:1. It’s stated that “one who solicits mercy for his fellow while he himself is in need of the same thing, [will be answered first]”.
- This may or may not be a chair that some people sit in
- crouch behind a door and eat the egg from the Seder plate
- sitting in the kallah’s chair after she walks away to the chuppah
- drinking the wine or challah from the wedding that the couple made a brachah on,
- getting a piece of the broken plate from tennaim
- being a shomeret
- asking a kallah to daven for you
- saying Shir HaShirim (typically for forty days)
- lighting candles every night
- shiluach ha-kan
- setting the table for Shabbos on Thursday night
- davening at Amukah
- going to the kever of a tzaddik
- reading Perek Shira for forty days
- reading Tehillim for forty days
- giving tzedakka
- giving tzedakka to help someone pay for their wedding
- getting a blessing from a holy Rabbi or Rebbitzin (specifically mentioned were the Koidenover Rebbe and the Biala Rebbe)
- getting a blessing from a holy person
- trying to take on an extra mitzvah
- use a chicken wing on the seder plate. Hide in the house afterwards, if the kallah finds it, it’s a sign she’ll fly out of the nest
- take a bowl of couscous and empty it onto the schach of the sukkah so that it falls into the sukkah
- saying Az Yashir at chatzot on the 7th day of Pesach
- going into therapy and working out your issues
- Rebbetzin Kanievsky a”h said that learning 2 halachos of Shmiras Halashon a day can really help.
- being b’simcha
- pouring water for other people
- holding the havdala candle
Know a segulah that’s not listed here? Leave it in a comment! Think segulos are silly? Share your opinion (nicely) in a comment! And if you’re married, don’t forget to keep your single friends in mind regularly and network with people on their behalf.
24 thoughts on “A Segulah to Get Married”
Definitely a full time job….and even with 3 kids in Shidduchim I never heard of some of them :)
I was also surprised at how many were brought to my attention! I’m sure there’s more out there as well.
I have never heard of them, I had heard the word, before. But what it was I didn’t know. Thanks for the education!!! Loved it!
My pleasure! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I firmly believe in things like that. When I was a child I found them completely natural, I revived the feeling some time during my grown-up life. So interesting that there’s a Jewish version!
(I couldn’t quite figure out if this is only about “successful” dating. Is it also used for other aims?)
I’d love to hear of some of the things you do, Marla! Segulos are used for a number of things, like having children, success in business, long life. I’m sure other things too, but that’s what comes to mind off the top of my head.
I love this. Especially how you didn’t leave out therapy!
Therapy is such a wonderful thing! I’m glad it’s gaining some traction in the frum world.
I was surprised how many of these I actually thought were NORMAL customs. Haha. Like holding the havdalah candle. We always did that as kids. Anyway —- I recently was told that being discreet and private (within reason) during the shidduch process is a segulah. The Source is the chazal about the schechina shining on that which is hidden from the eye. (Something like that!)
Very nice addition, Miriam! Absolutely. I think that especially in this day and age of sharing practically everything with everyone, being b’tznius is even more powerful.
Heard of most of these- some of them made me giggle, I shall not life- (coucous through the S’chach?!) Either way- also a believer first and foremost in davening but truly believe that there is power to these customs. I must second OmaorBubby’s comment- I always shared my experiences with my close friends while dating- I finally decided after a rather painful dating experience that I would not be telling anyone about future dates until it gets serious- the next guy was the one and boy did people get a shock (we ended up deciding to get engaged after 3 weeks :) Thanks for the enjoyable read!
There is definitely power to the customs. The complicated part, for me, is knowing which ones are customs and which ones are just kind of made-up things. Thanks for sharing your story – I agree that keeping things quiet, while definitely challenging, especially someone who likes to share (!), can be a tremendous source of bracha.
I davened at Amuka during the early weeks of when I was dating my husband (and did plenty of things in the years before, including drinking sheva brachot wine, being a shomeret, and eating challah from the chatan and kallah’s table at friends’ weddings). As far as what Amuka did or did not do, I can’t say whether it was the location that worked for us, but I do remember that tefillah and feeling the power of the moment. Along those lines, I think Rav Moshe Feinstein said the best segulah for marriage is to date. :)
I feel the same way about davening at kevarim; there’s a potency there. I experienced a very powerful hashgacha moment at kever Aishes Rabbi Akiva: I was in the middle of a shidduch which was turning out to be complicated, and I davened for clarity. While I was davening, I got a voicemail from a Rebbetzin I was very close to, informing me that the original shadchan was going abroad for a couple weeks and that she was taking over. With her involved, I was able to see that the guy was not my bashert. I still get chills thinking about it!
And lol for Rav Feinstein’s advice!
Wow, Rivki! Above & beyond all hopes. What’s particularly great is so many of the responders have shared how connecting with Hashem through these segulos has brought about what they are praying so fervently for and reminds ME that I must just persevere. By maintaining my focus on davening, and solidifying that with actions off your list, I will be ensuring Hashem reads my intention loud and clear. I felt really emotional reading this post, perhaps because it is so close to home :-) but also because its a reminder that almost everyone married has gone through what I’m going through now and that getting married does, indeed, happen. As an aside, two Shabbatot ago I was staying at my Rabbi and the Havdalah candle was a beautifully thick painted pillar. Their daughter, also looking for a shidduch and holding the Havdalah candle, turned to me and said “it’s not just the height!”. So there is humour in the situation!
I’m so glad it was helpful! Dating can be such a difficult stage of life, I’m so happy to be able to give chizzuk. :)
I just thought of another segulah. The kever of reb elimelech of lizensk. It’s in Poland and people go there around the time of his yahrzeit to daven for a shidduch (among other things). Supposedly it really worked for some people I know well. :).
Then there are Kemeyas (a charm on a necklace) for women to wear to ward off the ayin Horah. But I’m not sure I believe so much in that. My great grandfather used to say (according to my father) that better not to even think about negative things like ayin Horah. (Which is a whole other topic than segulos). Think positive and it will be positive.
May there be many wonderful shidduchim coming to fruition soon!
Thanks for the additions! and Amen!
I just heard of another one – to be given a piece of the glass/plate broken under the Chuppah, the smaller the piece the sooner you’ll meet your Bashert. And this Sunday I am first in line for a sip of Kiddush wine from a Shidduch L’Chaim.
Thanks for sharing, Joanne! I hope you enjoyed the simcha.
I personally am not into segulos as a way to get Hashem to give you what you need or want. People want whatever they want instantly, without having to put in the effort of changing-which can be really hard. This world doesn’t work like a vending machine-where you put in a coin, make a selection and out comes the bag of chips. :-) We are here to work, to work on ourselves to become better people. It may be faster and simpler to say certain prayers at specific times, and yes, I’m not saying they don’t help, but we can’t put our faith into a system of segulos alone and expect things to turn out the way we’d like them to.
I do believe that there are great rabbis who have the power to bless and I do believe that there are times that doing some of the things mentioned above can help but when you get to some suggestions that sound laughable (like hiding the chicken wing from the seder plate and if the girl finds it that’s a sign she will fly the nest), I find it almost hard to laugh because people actually do it and rely on it to “work”!
The one thing I have heard that can bring about a salvation is when someone is ma’avir al midosav, when they don’t answer back after being publicly humiliated. At that moment, they have the power to bless others. Since they went against their nature and held back from doing something that was so hard for them, Hashem may mirror that action and bring about a yeshuah-going against “nature”.
I wrote about segulos on my blog here: http://inspirationalinformation.blogspot.com/2013/10/kabballos-and-segulos.html
Thank you for this, Devorah, and for the link to your post. I have heard/read many amazing stories of being ma’avir al midosav. The older I get, the more I realize how difficult it would be to not respond to insult.
Thank you :) Yup, it’s hard…but the reward is great!
This is a comment on the idea that doing a segula “can’t hurt”, even if it’s based on someone’s bubby’s superstition. Important clarification: superstition is an aveira in the Torah – there is no other power than Hashem. A segula should be verified to have real sources, and even then, we don’t do things “to get Hashem to do what you want”. We work on improving ourselves and strengthening our emunah and bitachon, almost like making ourselves into a new person and then daven that Hashem grant us our requests so we can serve Him better.
May Hashem grant us all only besorot tovot!