May 28, 2018 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #1526967HaimyParticipant
We are cheapening Hashem’s mitzvos by selling them as a segula.
Tzedaka. Is a mitzvah containing numerous mitzvos assei dioraisoh as well as a lav of lo siametz es livovcha. This is all enumerated by the Chafetz Chaim in his sefer “ahavas chessed”.
You wouldn’t think of any of this by the tzedaka ads I see lately. Tzedaka has become the master segula for shidduchim, refuos, ashirus, children, the list is endless.
Chazak never call tzedaka a segula, they said it brings zechusim to a person, the more generous we are the greater the zechus.
Let’s remember there’s no greater act or zechus than us fulfilling a mitzvah in the Torah, after all we are the am segula.
If we forget about the mitzvah & focus only on the segula then we may be foregoing much of the zechus of tzedaka.May 28, 2018 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1527722☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
If advertising it as a mitzvah would raise more money than advertising it as a segulah, you could bet they would advertise it as a mitzvah.May 28, 2018 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #1527783
Weather you call it a “segulah”, a “mitzvah”, or whatever, it still comes across as offensive in many advertisements where the solicitation implies the more you give the bigger the “dividend”. If you’ve ever mistakenly tuned in to some religious informercial in the wee hours of the AM where they literally claim a specific percentage “return” on your donation or some miracle healing (aka “healing of one paralyzed leg for X dollars and both for Y dollars”) . Whether promising marriage, children, a job or recovery from illness in return for donations is offensive to many yidden where it would seem that davening with real kavanah would have equal if not greater returns).May 29, 2018 6:54 am at 6:54 am #1527830
I would go further and call it a form of avodah zara.
AZ is partly an attempt to get things easily without the effort Hashem wants from us in tefilla/tshuva etc.May 29, 2018 11:21 am at 11:21 am #1528018Reb EliezerParticipant
Tzedaka is a mitzva. To give to Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in case you lost something is a segula.May 29, 2018 11:22 am at 11:22 am #1528066
I believe it was Rabbi Frand who said, had they been called the 10 segulos instead of the 10 dibros, people would be more excited about them.May 29, 2018 11:22 am at 11:22 am #1528067
“We are cheapening Hashem’s mitzvos by selling them as a segula.”
We are also cheapening the chashivus of gedolim by reducing them to mere marketing props and tools.May 29, 2018 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #1528099MilhouseParticipant
Both the Tanach and the gemoroh explicitly endorse giving tzedokoh in the hope of a reward. Calling it “avoda zara” is outright apikorsus.
If it seems to you like a theological problem then the problem is with your religion, which is clearly not the religion of the Torah, so you need to examine your own hashkofos and abandon those that contradict the Torah. Specifically, the hashkofoh that has a problem with segulos is Protestantism. It is a European creation that infected Xianity, and through the Haskolah it reached into Yiddishkeit too, particularly in Litta.
Edited to fix tags – use strong and /strongMay 29, 2018 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #1528097
PY makes a great point with respect to the large number of solicitations for funds in return for segulahs, barachos, special davening etc. which picture a gadol or gadolim as “sponsoring” the effort and promising their personal intercession on behalf of donors, specifically mentioning them in their tefillos at some special time or makom kodesh. In reality, a large percentage of these have been shown to be scams, where the Rav has not personally given informed consent to the solicitation where is name/image is used and in some cases, the Rav’s gabboim have approved the use of the rav’s name/image in return for some “consideration”. Really important to do your diligence before making such contributions. I’m assuming there is such diligence on ads running here on YWN and the other major websites but even those should be scrutinized .May 29, 2018 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #1528157
“Both the Tanach and the gemoroh explicitly endorse giving tzedokoh in the hope of a reward”
True, however, there is no mention that a particular gadol must daven on behalf of a donor of a particular amount, donated at a specific time and date. Tzedaka, is tzedaka is tzedaka, and the rewards promised by hashem will come, no matter how many glossy page ads promote or dont promote the receiving organization or receipient.May 29, 2018 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #1528165Takes2-2tangoParticipant
Employment is a segula for parnasana,sholom bayis and health among other things.May 29, 2018 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #1528168
There is no inyan of NOT giving to any tzedakah that links such giving to some segulah….its both the proliferation of such solicitations over the internet and in posters on utility poles, leaflets left in shuls and batei medrahsim etc. AND the questionable use of the names/images of gadolim that are the problems. Calling such skepticism and invocations of need for diligence apikorsus is a mindless claim. Caveat emptor, even with respect to segulos. When you read about some mekubal flying over from EY and marketing segulos and taking appointments in advance for a 5 minute audience (guaranteed by your Visa card) put your hand on your wallet and block the sender on your email.May 29, 2018 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1528170RedlegParticipant
To me, this issue becomes a Brisker question. Is zdakah a din in the gavra or in the chefttza? If the mitzva is on the gavra then fine, I give my donation! If the mossad or the meshulach are crooked or are con men, that’s on their heads. If, on the other hand, the cheftza of zedaka is the mitzva, then I, as an apitropos of Hegdesh, must take due diligence to assure that the donation is to a person or organization that is on the up and up.
I agree with APY that is is extremely distasteful and disrespectful to feature Gedolei Yisroel as shills for this or that organization.
Note to Milhouse: Some citations would lend verisimilitude to your blanket statement.May 29, 2018 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #1528182☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
To me, this issue becomes a Brisker question. Is zdakah a din in the gavra or in the chefttza? If the mitzva is on the gavra then fine, I give my donation! If the mossad or the meshulach are crooked or are con men, that’s on their heads.
So if it’s a din in the gavra, can I go to a fancy restaurant and be mekayem the mitzvah of tzedaka?May 29, 2018 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #1528471midwesternerParticipant
“Weather you call it a “segulah”, a “mitzvah”, or whatever, it still comes across as offensive in many advertisements where the solicitation implies the more you give the bigger the “dividend”. ”
There is no question that the more you give, the bigger the dividend. Otherwise everyone would give pennies.
“Both the Tanach and the gemoroh explicitly endorse giving tzedokoh in the hope of a reward. Calling it “avoda zara” is outright apikorsus.”
Not every thing that is wrong is apikorsus. Calling everything apikorsus is not only incorrect; it cheapens the label for when it is appropriate.May 29, 2018 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #1528509
The “reward” you mention. I believe you are referring to the rambam that promises no one loses by giving tzedakah. IOW The reward is parnasah
Not a shidduch. Not a refuah shelema. Though I’m sure the zchus of the mitzvah always helps.
My point was that the guarantees implied in multiple circulars and the pursuit of segulos is borderline AZ
If you would like to prove me wrong feel free to tryMay 29, 2018 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1528515
I agree . I take the sy syms approach of being an educated consumer. The vast majority of my tzedakah goes to private individuals and institutions that I have vetted based on several criteria.May 29, 2018 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1528514
I corresponded with an American gadol
He had written something in a sefer that implied you should give to every tzedakah
I wrote my objection, and told him that I have a problem with the seeming false advertising of numerous tzedokos
I also discussed tzedakos that hold bbq fundraisers during the nine weeks and that I don’t give to these tzedakos
He wrote back that he personally gives to very few of the solicitations that come to his door
But suggested that I should always give to someone who knocks on my doorMay 29, 2018 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1528538AidelBParticipant
I was taught that Meiser is halocha and that tzedoka is a mitzvah. We all MUST give meiser and tzedoka is what we give in addition to this. I give my 10% to the organisations here where I live in Australia and anything else I give (the money before Shabbos, Chachnosas Kalla etc) is my Tzedoka.May 29, 2018 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1528533HaimyParticipant
Reward for doing mitzvos is not a segula, Chazal never permitted us to do mitzvos as a segula. We do mitzvos because Hashem commanded us to do them & it’s true that by some mitzvos we are promised a reward in this world.
Imagine telling a king that your fulfilling his will as a charm to get rich, would it go over well?
Call it a zechus, don’t call Toras Hashem’s a segula.May 29, 2018 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #1528524Midwest2Participant
Reading this thread makes me very optimistic that we are finally catching on to the below-the-radar assimilation that’s plaguing us. This whole segulah-for-whatever is straight out of Marketing101 and a simple extension of the secular idea that you can “buy” happiness. Or in this case, a specific result. Davening is the real segulah, as are chesed and giving tzedakah l’shem shomayim. If you give tzedakah in return for a specific result, you are not performing a mitzvah, you are making a purchase. Perhaps publicizing that there is a particular family is in need of a lot of help is all right, but putting their faces and life stories on the internet is demeaning and an invasion of privacy. Chazal say that when you give tzedakah you must be careful not to embarrass the recipient. Putting a young lady’s face on the internet is certainly not respecting her privacy, nor is exploiting the tears of an orphaned child. We should be prepared to help without any promises of reward in Olam HaZeh.May 30, 2018 12:52 am at 12:52 am #1528555
Rav Reisman is a big misnagid on segulos
One story he tells is of a yid sent to a rebbe (perhaps someone else who heard this can remind me of which one) to ask for a segulah for a shidduch
He was told to learn mesechtas kiddushin
Our religion is not about easy fixes. That’s AZ
It’s about building a shtark relationship with HashemMay 30, 2018 12:52 am at 12:52 am #1528557Out of townerParticipant
Not a segula. But the Possuk says Uvchanuni na b’zos. Chazal darshan that this in one place where one is permitted to ‘test’ Hashem. Aser T’aser – Aser bishvil shetis’asher.May 30, 2018 9:56 am at 9:56 am #1528686Reb EliezerParticipant
When it comes to tzedakah the mitzva is not the giving but making sure that the recipient should have. The Melaoh Horaim says that in this case, when the purpose is the mitzva and not the action, his intentions don’t matter as long as the person needing it has.June 3, 2018 9:26 am at 9:26 am #1531388
Someone who knows my identity and saw this discussion last week just sent me an audio from Rav Reismans july 4 hakel on mishley.
He starts off the shiur by discussing these tzedakah “segulah” ads
He first starts by stating that many of these ads are straight out sheker and therefore the tzedakah is guilty of theft (he told a story of someone borrowing money to get a promised segulah)
But after saying that he feels the gedolim need to make a macha, he says “I want to stay out of the politics and instead discuss why people are so dumb that they actually believe these promises” (His words, not mine. feel free to find the cd and listen)June 3, 2018 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1531563Midwest2Participant
The shandeh is that they force these poor people to tell their life stories, and make videos and post them online. It’s embarrassing people b’tzibur. It’s forbidden to embarrass a person even with the intention of doing them good, and like R’ Reisman, I have serious doubts about the reality of some of the ads, and exactly how much of the money actually goes to the people portrayed as in need.
And the idea of, “You’re guaranteed the segulah if you just give us the money,” is outright kefirah. HKBH makes the cheshbonos, not us human beings.
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