Friday, January 29, 2010

Special Opportunity for Contributors to Kupat Ha-Ir

Guest Post by Rabbi Dovid Landesman

I am generally opposed to giving Tezdaka based on Segulos.

For those who don’t know what a Segulah is, let me try and explain. It is a specific act designed to produce a desired goal via Heavenly intervention. The act is often unrelated to the actual goal but has somehow been deemed effective in acheiving it. Segulos were once very common only among certain Chasidim but have become much more mainstream in recent years.

The most recent example of this was via Kupat Ha-Ir whose fundraising needs are greater than ever. They keep coming out with new segulahs all the time. Full color flyers extolling the succeses of various people who have used this Segula are distributed all over the country.

If I recall correctly, the Segula went something like this: 10 certifiable Talmidei Chachamim would say the entire Sefer Tehilim at the Kotel for 40 days straight. It could be for any purpose such as prayer to cure a serious illness. All for a pre determined fee (donation to Kupat Ha-Ir).

In my view such fund raisers border on cruelty and ought to be abolished. In a world that holds bans so dearly, it is puzzling that this kind of thing is allowed to go on.

Or maybe not. Avreichim in Bnei Brak need money now more than ever. This fund raising tactic works. Why hinder it? There is nothing wrong with selling Segulos for money. Is there? If it doesn’t work, well that is God’s will. We can’t question it. Besides - what’s the harm in trying? Especially since they need the money so badly!

Be that as it may - there is a new Segulah in town – just in time for Tu B’Shvat. Finally – a Segulah that I can really sink my teeth into.

It was sent to me by Rabbi Dovid Landesman. I urge people to send me the fee and I will put it in my own Kupah – (which is in my Ir) and see to it that it gets put to good use. (I have a lot of unpaid bills.)

Please hurry. Tu B’Shvat is tommorrow and it must be postmarked no later than sunset of this date (5:01 pm CST) for the Segula to work.

The Segulah - originally in Hebrew - is translated by Rabbi Landesman and follows.

On Tu b’Shvat, the New Year for Trees, the day that is a segulah for salvation, a minyan of talmidei chachamim will pray in ten zoos throughout the Holy Land. They will recite perek Shirah with each animal and bird separately, each animal with the appropriate verse, word by word, thirteen times [the gematria of the Hebrew letters zayin and vav – zoo] with great intent.

This act is known as a proven and oft used segulah as is explained in the holy sefarim. The powers of the holy animals are well known – especially on Shabbos Shirah, and especially this year when Tu b’Shvat and Shabbos Shirah coincide, when the kedushah of Shabbos is co-joined with the kedushah of the day. It is well known that the holy rabbi, R. Ber of Chondalinsk” zt’ l, may his merits protect us, was wont to say: “The pure chirping of a bird is preferable to all Torah and prayer that are not pure.”

Once the monies are given [to the Kupah], the talmidei chachamim will have the following kavanos:

Lion [Hebrew aryeh] which in gematria equals gevurah [strength] – to sweeten the heavenly gevuros – that are contained within the secret of the sweetness of the fruit … and this is especially effective in the tikkun of the sins of gilui arayos.

Giraffe – [Hebrew gimmel, resh, peh, heh] – a tikkun for the 288 [resh, peh, heh] sparks – they will also have kavanah for the name giraffe with the addition of a yud [between the gimmel and resh] which in gematria equals the word rachamim – mercy.

Hippopotamuses [Hebrew hippipotamim]- 276 [heh, peh,yud, peh, vav, tes, mem, yud, mem] in gematria to bring tikkun to the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge [tov vera - vera in gematria is 276] that is part of the mystical meaning of the New year for Trees.

Fox [Hebrew shu’al] which is alluded to in the last letters of the passuk: b’poel kapov nokesh resha [lamed, vav, shin,ayin] – which is equivalent to the gematria of metzora, which is a tikkun of the fox of the sitra achra who emerges from the Holy of Holies.

When they depart from the zoos, the talmidei chachamim will reflect on the secret of the words v’chol b’hemtom which is equivalent to the gematria of [the name] Mordechai Gross and the words ani imachem b’keri.

Each talmid chacham will be in his selected spot already on erev Shabbos so that we not, chas veshalom, come to violate the Shabbos and they will only select animals who are shomer Shabbos under the supervision of the Committee for Shmiras Shabbos. The animals will also only be those who do not surf, Heaven forbid, in forbidden places, according to the instructions of the Rabbinical Committee Regarding Communications and the Internet.

All of these [arrangements] are in co-operation with the Committee for the Holy Places. [The announcements] are printed on paper [produced] without any fear of chilul Shabbos or requiring genizah or that is [produce] of the seventh year, without relying on the heter mechirah, produce of non-Jews or wigs [made of hair] offered to idols.

After the prayers and recital of the pesukim, a public seudah of fruit will be held as is the custom of Jews in the Holy Halls [of the chassidim] with thirty special fruits brought from distant islands, remnants of those saved from the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti which is located on the bottom half of the globe.

Contribute thirteen times fifteen [tes, vav] at one of the known sites and fill out the attached form.