July 1, 2006 | Issue 26

Segulah Combat Unit Formed

FLATBUSH, BROOKLYN — [TheKnish.com] A year ago, the Rosenberg family of Flatbush was at the depths of despair. Their eldest daughter Pessie had just turned 20 and didn't have a husband, let alone children. On the holiest of days, Yom Kippur, salvation, or so it seemed, arrived in the form of an envelope from a Tzedakah organization. "On the envelope, in English and Yiddish in large capital letters, it said that all the gedolim in the world have personally sent me this letter so I must open it," recalled Moti Rosenberg, the father of the nebach. "If that’s not doche Yom Kippur, I don’t know what is!"

Moti immediately ripped open the letter and learned that if he whirled the letter around his family's heads 17 times while rubbing their stomachs and then sent in a check for $1000, his daughter would merit a chosson. The Rosenbergs swiftly cashed in their food stamps, sent in the money and performed the ritual. When a week later Pessie (who was now approaching the ripe old age of 20 and 2 weeks) remained unmarried, Mr. Rosenberg contacted the tzedakah organization. To his dismay, he found out that he had whirled counterclockwise and the segulah only works with clockwise whirls.

Yanki and Malki Stern were married for 2 months and still childless. Like the Rosenbergs, they too received a letter in the mail explaining an ancient segulah for having a baby boy involving sending $564.135 to a certain tzedakah organization. Excited, they sent in a check for $564.135. Five months later the Sterns became the proud parents of a baby girl. After doing some research it was discovered that the bank rounded to the nearest cent which caused the gender snafu.

When Esther Baumstein’s 103 year-old mother was given a week to live, she received such a letter in the mail. As the letter instructed, she promptly washed her hair in olive oil and sent in a check. Two weeks later, her beloved mother died. After contacting the tzedakah organization, she found to her horror that she had used non-virgin olive oil, when only a virgin sacrifice will do. The organization explained that by doing so she actually murdered her own mother and the only way to atone for it was to make another donation.

When a group of local rabbanim heard these and similar stories, they joined forces to combat this disturbing phenomenon. "These days people will do anything if it is godol-endorsed," said a spokesman for the newly-formed group Rabbanim Interested in the Proper Use of Simanim Of Flatbush and Friends (R.I.P.U.S.O.F.F.). A series of shiurim is being organized to teach people the proper way to do segulahs.

The cost of attendance will be three easy payments of $29.95. Attendees will also learn innovative new segulahs to ensure that any other segulahs they do will be successful. These new segulahs involve donations to R.I.P.U.S.O.F.F.; the good people of Flatbush could not be happier.


Pencil David Friedman is interested in any segulahs that will get him paid for this article.


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