Monday, January 10, 2011

Not going there, literally :(

This information that I received via e-mail explains why I'll be skipping Tehillim (Psalms) Group tomorrow:


Tuesday Parshat(s) B'Shalach, is a Segulah [can't find a good link--an action that brings good luck?] for Parnossah [a livelihood]. [Ah, here's a segulah link. Not sure I like it, but . . .]

Please go to this link for the Teffilah (prayer)

May we all experience much Parnossah and Hatzlocha [luck]

Watch for Parshat(s) Mishpatim-Now designated Parhat(s) Parnossah. Get involved.

More information to follow!

Srulie Rosner

[ ¶ ]

As I said here,

There seems to be a minhag/custom among some folks to read the whole section twice, either both times in Hebrew or once in Hebrew and once in the Targum Onkelos Aramaic translation, as if segulot--as much a form of superstitious belief and/or behavior as throwing salt over one's shoulder, in my opinion--aren't bad enough when performed once.” (DovBear agrees. Complete with sarcasm.)

[ ¶ ]

(Question: What on earth is happening to the Orthodox Union, that they’re suddenly so gung-ho on such a superstition-based practice?)

[ ¶ ]

The only good thing I ever got from participating in a recitation of Parshat HaMan is that I learned this:

[ ¶ ]

“Some non-Ashkenazim refrain from saying HaShem's name when reading the biblical passage of Parshat HaMan, saying "Amunai (my faith?)" instead of the Ashkenazi version, "Adoshem." I like that version much better, if for no other reason than that it rhymes with the original and would sound much better when one is singing sacred songs.”

[ ¶ ]

[ ¶ ]

Wed., Jan. 12, 2011 update: E. Fink shares a different perspective.

[ ¶ ]

Thurs., Jan. 13, 2011 update: Here's an oldie but goodie from ADDeRabbi.


Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

I forget, does that also mean it's "Eat my Challah, choke on my house key" week?

Mon Jan 10, 07:44:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous Moses said...

they’re suddenly so gung-ho on such a superstition-based practice?

it's centuries old, not some new thing, and it has its basis in more than superstion. learn something instead of being such a cynic about things you have no clue about

Tue Jan 11, 12:09:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

A hamsa is also "centuries old," but that doesn't make it any less a superstition-based object.

As DovBear said, "I don't think anyone believes apple-dipping is a spell, guaranteed to do something. (If anyone thinks that he's an idiot.) Many people, on the other hand, are perfectly convinced that reciting the magic psukim [verses], on the magic day, is a guarantee, and that the rote recitation of words leaves God with no choice but to shower us with undeserved and unearned blessing. This view of how the world works is an absurd and dangerous distortion of Judaism, one that makes a mockery of the promise that we will be recognized as an am navon v'chacham [an understanding and wise people?], and instead reduces us to something much like Indians performing a rain dance."

When we pray, we *ask* G-d for something. When we recite or perform a segulah, we try to *force* G-d to do something. I want nothing to do with segulot, and I can't understand why an organization that prides itself on being modern and believing in the importance of both religious and secular education would promote such a practice.

Tue Jan 11, 01:20:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous Moses said...

You need to do some learning before you make those comments.
There is an entire world of supernatural things that are as legitimate as those you find acceptable. Segulos, amulets, demons, kabbala, all of it is true and we are required to buy it as much as we are required to buy the 5 books of Moses.
Relying on it as not the same as believeing it. We dont rely on these things because it takes away our obligation of hishtadlus. But it's more than just "it can't hurt", too.
Which organization are you referring to as being proud of being modern? No Torah based organization that I'm aware of is in line with what you think is so modern that it negates an entire world of belief in things holy beyond what we simpleton humans can understand. Sometimes there is a crossover between the natural and supernatural. What do you think Kabbala is all about? It's full of magical things, incantations, blessings, curses, etc that are all as valid as Sinai.

Tue Jan 11, 01:35:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Segulos, amulets, demons, kabbala, all of it is true and we are required to buy it as much as we are required to buy the 5 books of Moses."

Moses, I don't believe that you're correct.

I'm afraid we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Neither of us is likely to convince the other of the correctness of his/her point of view. Therefore, with due respect, I don't think there's much point in us continuing this conversation.

Tue Jan 11, 01:43:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous Moses said...

I say we are required to because it is part of Torah SheBaal Peh. What is your reason to say we are not?

Tue Jan 11, 02:42:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous rivkayael said...

Moses: citations? The Rambam was against superstition.

Shira I think that Moses is a troll.

Tue Jan 11, 03:38:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"The Rambam was against superstition."

RivkaYael, thanks for that information.

I agree that Moses is probably a troll, which is why I've been ignoring him, and will continue to do so, ever since I commented that there wasn't much point in continuing the conversation.

For the record, I did *not* go to Tehillim Group today, and I have no intention of reciting Parshat HaMan.

Tue Jan 11, 04:35:00 PM 2011  
Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...


We have learned from ibn Zimra that one does not correct a Torah text to conform to a reading in the Zohar. One can hardly suggest that they are on par.

That being said, it should also be noted that the Zohar, like the talmud, contains many opinions that it ultimately refutes.

But most importantly, The Zohar, and most other Kabbalistic works are aggadic in nature, and we do not derive halakhah, from aggadah.

The best example may be that Yosef Karo, though a noted Kabbalist, did not rely on Kabbalah for his Halachic rulings in the Shulchan Aruch.

I should also note that the comment of yours to which I am responding, and the ad-hominem attack on our hostess with which it concludes is behavior that even amoratzim could look down on. To borrow a phrase from ibn Ezra, in your attempt to show how high you are on the rungs of wisdom, you have uncovered your nakedness before the altar.

Tue Jan 11, 06:58:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Okay, now that I've deleted all of the troll's insults, we can get back to having a *civil* conversation.

"we do not derive halakhah, from aggadah.

The best example may be that Yosef Karo, though a noted Kabbalist, did not rely on Kabbalah for his Halachic rulings in the Shulchan Aruch."

Well put, Reform BT (and thanks for your support).

Tue Jan 11, 09:44:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous jdub said...

without accepting the premise of anything Moses said (Moses the troll, not Moshe Rabbenu), and counter to Reform BT, I would note that both the Shulchan Arukh and (much later) the Mishne Brura frequently cite to Kabbalah and the Zohar for support in halakhic decision making.

Not saying you need to buy the superstitious stuff or even the kabbalistic stuff, but you are probably underestimating the degree to which kabbala infuses normative halachic practice.

Wed Jan 12, 03:31:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

That's possible, JDub. Thanks for the information.

Wed Jan 12, 04:05:00 PM 2011  
Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

FYI, this post kind of inspired a d'var on Yitro that I delivered yesterday to much acclaim at my Conservative Shul. It's up at my Blog.

Sun Jan 23, 01:24:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Nice post. I like. I'm glad to have helped inspire some new thinking.

Sun Jan 23, 02:31:00 PM 2011  

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