Segula R’ Chaim Palagi and sheker

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    I received an e-mail quoting the segulah of R’ Chaim Palagi to separate 91 prerutos etc. In the translation, they threw in a line “which is 104 dollars”. Huh? Since when is 104 prerutos $104 and there is nothing about $104 in the text. I think most poskim would agree that a preuta today is about a quarter and certainly less than a dollar. Why do tzedaka organizations see it fit to raise money through lying?


    A prutah is half of a piece of barley’s amount of silver

    Reb Eliezer

    I noticed it and gave them $1.04 + .33 (for processing) = 1.37 per week.



    Avi K

    It’s not a lie. It’s a segula for the organization. The same with the “kabbalistic knife” some organization once advertised.


    It is a lie to intentionally falsely translate a quote from a safer by adding in words that are not there.

    This is what they sent
    The great Mekubal, Rav Chaim Palagi zt”l, wrote in his sefer,
    “To donate on Erev Shavuos 91 prutos, and to complete twice ‘ben’, which is 104 dollars & this is a great segula for zera shel kayama and for all yeshuos,”

    Adding in the words “which is 104 dollars” and “and for all yeshuos” is a bold-faced lie.

    It is even more deceptive than the tzedaka organizations that sent out solicitation after the petira of R’ Chaim Kanievsky ZT”L asking for people to donate lezecher nishmas R’ Chaim to an organization that he had nothing to with. At least in that situation they did not say “R’ Chaim ZT”L loved our organization and if he were alive would say to donate”. They were just trying to capitalize on a tragedy. Very bad taste but not outright sheker.


    For the sake of people being able to judge for themselves, I’ll quote the loshon of Rav Chaim Palagi zatza”l here:

    מועד לכל חי סימן ח’ אות ו:
    ערב שבועות יפריש צ”ש פרוטות וישלים עד שיעור שני פעמים ב”ן, ויתנם לתלמיד חכם עני ועניו, והיוא תיקון לעון אדם הראשון ועון העגל ולפגם הברית והוא סגולה לחשוכי בנים ומקרב הגאולה

    Erev Shavuos separate 91 prutos and complete the quantity until 2 times “ben” (son) [which is 104], and give them to a poor and modest talmid chacham. This is a tikum of Adam HaRishon, Chet haegel, pgam habris (immorality), and it’s a segular for those who are struggling to have children, and to bring the geulah.

    In halacha 7, he goes on to praise two people who gave significant quantities of money towards talmidei chachomim erev Shavuous, and then he writes that he’s mentioning this in order that other people should imitate them.
    He mentions that he wrote in a different sefer about the obligation to support the learners of Torah on Shavuos even more than other chagim.

    It’s very possible that the tzedaka who sent you the email wrote “and for all yeshuos” instead of listing all of the amazing things rav Palagi actually says.

    If according to him, this can bring the geulah, help women who are struggling to have children, fix up the “pgam habris”, atone for chet haegel and for that of Adam Harishon… it’s not such a stretch to say that it will help for any yeshua!

    regarding the $104-
    he definitely says that you should start with 91 perutos and them complete up to 104. The numbers are definitely correct.

    It seems like the OP is simply bothered that the tzedaka switched to dollars instead of perutos.

    But in light of the concept which he explains- how it’s important to give lots of tzedakah on this day- perhaps they are understanding that “perutos” means the smallest used currency?

    Here in Israel, all of the tzedakos are collecting 104NIS- not aguros.

    It seems funny to assume that Rav Palagi meant “peruta” in the gemara sense, since who uses that nowadays (except in dinim based on the gemara terms, like pidyon maaser sheini etc.)?

    We also find that by the machzit hashekel, it’s brought down to use 3 halfs of the local currency.
    So there is some precedent to say that the “peruta” mentioned by Rav Palagi really means the smallest based currency.

    (cents are not really the currency; it’s a percentage of a dollar. likewise Agurot are mere percentages of the shekel).

    Even if you disagree with this interpretation of Rav Palagi’s writings, I don’t think that justifies calling it a “bald-face lie.”


    A segulah for parnasah on erev Shavuos: in the remaining 15 hours, send out 104 resumes. After yom tov is over, you might have 104 job offers. Please let us know whether this worked or not.


    Ok maybe “bold face lie” is too harsh but is is sheker. I do like gefilte fish’s translation much better than they way the tzedakah organizations translate it. I am more bothered by falsifying the translation than by the conclusion by which they arrived. It would be a lot different if they would add something to the effect of ” We asked Rabbi So and so how to fulfill this segulah today and he said it can be fulfilled by….”

    In terms of the conclusions, I also disagree.

    A) R Chaim Palagi spelled out which yeshuos it works for. He didn’t say kids going OTD, shalom bayis, parnosa etc. He gave a specific list

    B) A preutah has a legal definition. If you give a woman a peruta and ask her to marry you, you are married. Give her half a peruta you are not. We can speculate what R. Chaim meant but to throw around definitions with impunity and adding words to a sefer that are not there is not right.

    Let’s face it. The only reason that tzedakah organization dug up this segulah which no one knew about 30 years ago is that they like the idea of asking for $104. If we translate a preuta as a quarter they would not be publicizing it.


    > poor and modest talmid chacham

    do organizations mention the level of modesty of their talmidei chachamim?

    specifying currency is important as I was taught some years ago: when a gabbai in Israel paused in his misheberach asking for a specific value after Torah reading, I replied “meah” presuming a local currency, but my accent “confused” him and he repeated “meah dollarim”. This was at times when full tank of gas was less than $100 … I could have saved 10% by using Canadian dollarim.


    Did we get the knee-jerk reaction to hearing the word Segula, yet? Y’know that the Satmar Rebbe said …

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