The Riminov Method of Increasing Wealth – A Halachic Analysis

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By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

There are many segulos for increasing wealth.

The Chasam Sofer mentions a number of them (cited in a Sefer called Segulos HaSofer).  The Chasam Sofer recommends a very simple one – making minyan (p. 36). Also, do not eat until you have learned Torah that day (p.33). Need a constant flow of shefa – abundance? Learn Hilchos Shabbos in depth (p. 34) and daven in a Shul (p. 16). The best days to pursue Parnasah? Tuesdays and Wednesdays (p.35). Oh, and the Mitzvah of Sukkah prepares one for success in all food related ventures (p. 34).

THE TUESDAY PARSHAS B’SHALACH MINHAG

One of the most popular wealth building segulah is about to happen today. People will be reciting the parsha of the Mahn before the sun sets.  The latter day performance of this minhag is to recite on the Tuesday of Parshas B’Shalach and to do it twice in the verses and once in the Aramaic. Others argue on the performance of this custom and say that it SHOULD NOT BE RECITED AS A SEGULAH. But more on that later.

MAKING A PROPER EFFORT

Hopefully, all agree that aside from reciting the parsha of mahn – we should do hishtadlus – making an effort to become financially successful. All parnassah, wealth and income comes from Hashem. But there is a caveat.

Hashem told Adam HaRishon – “b’zeas apecha tochal lechem – by the sweat of your brow will you eat bread” – we must make an effort as well. And aside from ensuring that we have the means to make a parnassah – there are many things we can do to increase our financial stability. Shopping around, avoiding waste, saving through auto-deductions, are just a few things that can be done. There are many more.

But let’s get back to the segulah. Where does this Segulah come from? Is there truly anything to it? Is it of recent origin or does it date back for many centuries?

What is fascinating is that what is of recent origin is the Tuesday of Parshas b’Shalach aspect of it. The earlier sources recommended reciting it daily, and not just one day out of the year. Rabbeinu Bachya (Shmos 16:16) writes, “it is a tradition in the hand of the sages that whoever recites the parsha of the Mahn each day is assured that he will not lose out in this world of his mezonos.”  We thus see the early source of reciting the parsha, but we see no early mention of Tuesday.

THE TUESDAY OF BESHALACH MINHAG

So when exactly did the newer custom of reciting it on one particular Tuesday in the year arise? And who was it that promulgated the new twist on the Minhag? Some trace it to Rav Menachem Mendel of Riminov (1745-1815), one of the five main disciples of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lisensk. Others trace it to Rav Shalom of Stropkov (1855-1940) (See Yisroel V’Hazmanim, Rav Dovid Rossov p. 291). It is clear, however, that Rav Shalom was quoting the Riminover and did not make it up himself. The original Sefer of the Riminover is not easily accessible as only the first volume is readily extant.

ORIGINS

The Tashbatz (Siman 184) actually cites the daily reading of it and its effect in the name of the Yerushalmi, and add the words, “And I am the guarantor.” The Tur (in OC Siman 1:5) also cites this tradition in the name of the Yerushalmi in Brachos. The Mishna Brurah (1:13) also cites this source. The problem is that it is not to be found in our version nor in any manuscript of the Yerushalmi.

To add to the mystery, the Sefer HaManhig in hilchos Shabbos (44) cites the source as a Yerushalmi in Yuma. Yet it is not in our Yerushalmi Yuma either.

The traditional answer that is often given when Rishonim refer to Yerushalmis that have disappeared is that the term is used loosely by the Rishon and that Yerushalmi often included Midrashim that were edited in Eretz Yisroel. This won’t work here, because the Tur specifically refers to the Yerushalmi in Brachos. It must be then that the version of the Yerushalmi that the Tur had is lost.

WHY THE MAHN?

Why single out the miracle of the Mahn, more so than the other miracles we experienced? Rav Sadya Gaon in the introduction to his Emunos v’Deyos explains that the Mahn was a miracle that was of a daily occurrence. The other miracles were more transient.

Although not mentioned by Rav Sadya, even after the forty year sojourn in the desert, the Mahn played an important role. The container of the Mahn (Tzintzenes HaMahn)was placed alongside the Aron in both the Mishkan and the Beis HaMikdash until the days of Yoshiahu the King, one hundred years before the destruction of the First Beis HaMikdash. It served as a reminder then too.

NOT FOUND IN SIDDURIM

The Aruch HaShulchan points out that in his time, the Parshas HaMan was not found in the siddurim, if it ever was. He explains its absence in the siddur as stemming from the fact that the Parsha mentions a number of times the embarrassing detail that Klal Yisroel nagged and complained, and it would be improper to permanently place that in our Siddurim. Nowadays, many of the siddurim have printed it, notwithstanding the Aruch haShulchan’s ethos on the issue.

HOW IT WORKS

How does it work? Many of the meforshim explain that it serves to entrench within our minds that our parnassah, our sustenance – comes only from Hashem. It seems that the daily recital of the parsha of Mahn helps us eradicate within our minds and thoughts. The Mishna Brurah writes that it is not enough to merely say it. It’s message must be fully imbibed within us.

Others write that the principle behind how it works lies in the fact that reciting it will build up our Bitachon in Hashem (Minchas Asher, for example). While some would explain that these are both two sides of the same coin, it seems to this author that they are in fact two separable concepts.

CALMING ANXIETIES

There seems to be a third method, taking a less mystical approach. The reading of the Parsha serves to calm a person’s anxieties about struggling for Parnasah, and thus helps him focus better through the understanding that all is from Hashem. This seems to be the understanding of the Tzemach Tzeddek (Parshas HaMan, Shin 5644 referenced in index page 100).

The Shaivet Mussar (Chapter 40) cites in the name of the Mekuballim that it should be recited, as mentioned earlier, shnayim mikra v’echad Targum – twice in the Hebrew and once in the Aramaic of Unkelus. The Noheg Tzon Yoseph (Siman 34), however, quotes the Shnayim Mikrah detail as having been first written by Rabbeinu Tam in his Sefer HaYashar. The Shla’s father in his Yesh Nochlin also writes this. From the Shla’s father, however, this is merely the ideal method to do so. From the Noheg Tzon Yoseph it seems that it will not be effective at all if not done shnayim Mikrah Echad Targum.

THE VARIANT BLESSING

What is also interesting is, thus far, our sources indicate that a person will simply not lose out or suffer a loss of Mezonos. In the Midrash Talpios (section on Havdallah) , however, it writes that the entire Parshas HaMahn is mesugal for success and wealth. The nature of the blessing is ratcheted up a bit.

WHEN SHOULD IT BE SAID?

Both the Be’er Heitev and the Mishna Brurah indicate that it should be recited in the morning before the Korbanos are recited before Shacharis. The Otzros Chaim, however, cites the Rekanti in the name of the Zohar that it should be said after Shacharis, athough he does not actually source it. The most likely reference, however, is to the Zohar in Parshas Pinchas (226) dparnasa lo chazi l’mishal elah basar tzlusah – that requesting for one’s parnassah is only viable after praying. Since the rulings of the standard halachic Poskim generally outweigh the rulings of the mekuballim, it would seem that it would be preferable to follow the Mishna Brurah, but, as always, each person should consult his own Rav or Posaik, of course.

OTHER MINHAGIM

The Mishmeres Shalom (14:2), a Sefer written in Yiddish, states that Rav Pinchas Mikoritz cited the minhag and also added that one should further say the thirteen ikkarim of the Rambam each morning too.

IF ONE’S MINHAG IS NOT TO SAY IT

Most people, of course, do not have the minhag to say it on this day, and some remain firm in this Minhag. Rav Ovadiah also writes that this is not their minhag. There is a fascinating Rabbeinu Yonah in his Shaarei Teshuva (3:17) where he writes that it is a Torah Mitzvah to remember the falling of the Mahn. That being the case, it doesn’t hurt to recite it if it will help us focus on this Mitzvah.

A CAVEAT FOR EVERYONE

Rav Shmuel Hominer in his Chumash Eved HaMelech (Shmos page 42) brings out a fascinating and yet obvious point. When reciting the Parshas HaMahn one should take care NOT TO RECITE IT AS A SEGULAH. Why? So that he will not be serving Hashem al menas lekabel pras – on condition of receiving reward. Let’s not forget the yesodos of Yiddishkeit,the fundamentals of our serving Hashem – as found in Pirkei Avos.

The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

 




6 COMMENTS

  1. The way this is done is morally skewed. Someone who comes late to davening and doesn’t give tzedakah, but is zealous [otherwise – does not get a segulah?]

  2. Guaranteed? I think not.

    Does R’ Mendel or the Tashbatz offer a refund to all those who said it last year and did not make enough to pay their bills? If it’s bashert because it was paskened on Rosh Hashonah that you will earn enough money this year, this segulah will 100% work. If it isn’t bashert, and was paskened on Rosh Hashonah that you will be an Ani this year (Mi Y’eoni Umi YisAsheir) then this Segulah will absolutely not work.

    Come to think of it, you could ask the same about Aseir Bishvil SheTisasheir. How can giving Maaser change what was allocated on Rosh Hashonah? Maybe it means for the NEXT year you will be allocated more money? Also note the the Chofetz Chaim in sefer Ahavas Chesed mentions that even if a person might potentially be due some extra money because of giving maaser, Aveiros can prevent him from receiving it. That really throws a wrench into every single segulah ever promised, even if the mekor is from the Gemara or even an open Possuk (such as in Parshas Bechukosai!) Even the Brocha that Yakov Avinu got from Eisav was conditional.

    Important note – for those learning in Kollel, make sure their wives or father-in-laws are the ones saying it. If you work “off the books”, say it baal peh.

  3. Dear Rabbi Hoffman. Thank you for your wonderful sources about this Inyan. But I would like to add a short Heaara on your article. I truly believe there is a lot of misconception by the oilam about Parshas Hammon. For some reason everyone is drawn to these kinds of segulos as if it’s some kind of hocus pocus, just say parshas hammon and you will win the jackpot. First of all, It does not say anywhere in Chazal or any sourse that reciting parshas hammon increases someone’s wealth! The sources who talk about it like Rabeinu Bachai and Tashbatz (siman 256) and others only say that whoever says it his food will not decrease, but they don’t say that he’s going make more money. Secondly, Chazal in (ביצה טז ע”א) tell us that מזונותיו של אדם קצובין לו מראש השנה. Our income is set on Rosh Hashanah, No matter how many segulos we do and say, it won’t increase, no matter how much we try. Thirdly, we found many great tsadikim who were extremely poor, for example the Gmoroh in Taanis (25a) talks about Rav Elazar ben Pedas, and in Soita (40a) about Rav Abba Min Akko, and Hillel Hazoken, to mention a few, all were very poor, many Rishonim and tsadikim throughout the generations were poor. The Rebbe of Riminov himself was very poor, he was thrown uot of his father in law’s house and had nothing to eat (there are many fascinating stories about him and his wife living in a poor life with no food to eat, all brought down in the sefer “Ateres Menachem” Bilguri 1910, in the begining of the book, worth reading). Didn’t they all know about the segula of Parshas Hammon to increase their income? obviously that’s not what it’s about. Rather the whole Inyan of what’s brought from the Yerushalmi that the parnasa won’t decrease means that whatever was decreed for him on Rosh Hashanah will stay that way, and won’t decrease if he has any sins (look in Baba Basra 10a), the reason for that is as the Beis Yosef and Mishna Brura explained, to mechazek the Inyan of Emunah, no matter how much we try to work, whatever is meant to us will come.

    I once asked my Rebbe for a segula for Parnasah, he told me the only guaranteed segula is what the Torah said, we say it three times a day in krias shmaa והיה אם שמוע תשמעו אל מצותי אשר אנכי מצוה אתכם היום, לאהבה את ה’ אלקיכם וכו’ ונתתי מטר ארצכם בעתו וכו’ ואספת דגנך ותירשך ויצהרך