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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

A place for my unformed thoughts. Help me sort them out!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


A friend sent me a request for people making challah. This challah will be made with the intention of it being a segulah (translation? good omen, maybe?) for the recovery of a woman who is sick.

I love making challah, so I read a bit further. Here are the details of what needs to be done in order for the segulah to work:

As you may recall, 40 women must commit to making challah from Maariv time or later Thursday night or on Friday. Preparations can be done in advance, however it is best to say the bracha of hafrashat challah after maarive time on Thursday night or anytime Friday. You need to use at least 5 pounds of flour so that challah can be taken. There are many minhagim regarding the steps for performing this mitzvah.
Follow what you are comfortable with. I will just type out one custom that I follow.

The first step is that you will need four coins (worth more than a prutah each- only dimes and quarters can be used) you will give each coin in the z'chus of the Rabbeim listed below and say this before giving the coins for tzedukah:
1st coin in the z'chus of Rebbi Meir Ba'al HaNess
2nd coin in the z'chus of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai
3rd coin in the z'chus of Rebbi Levi Yitzchak ben Sara Sasha
4th coin in the z'chus of Rebbi Menachem Mendel ben Reb Yosef Mayriminov

The second step is to say the Ye'he Ratzon from the Shacharis Shmoneh Esrei -it is below the Rifa'aynu paragraph (in the grey area at the bottom of the page in the Artscroll siddur). Please insert the name of the ill person.

Step three is to immediately say the bracha and take challah.

Who on earth came up with this? I have a feeling it's not in the Torah. And if I choose to pray for this person, will they still get credit? And if I make challah in their merit, doing a mitzvah, but only use three coins, does that mean it doesn't count? How about collecting the coins as tzedakah and making this woman's family dinner or putting it towards the cost of her medical treatments. I have a feeling that would be more practical. Ugh. I don't doubt that whoever sent this e-mail does genuinely want to help, and that is where it is coming from, but it just seems a little ridiculous.


At July 03, 2007 10:13 AM, Blogger SaraK said...

I never heard of the coins thing. I know that when a woman does the mitzvah of hafrashat challah it is a particularly good time for tefillah. I think that is where this 'segulah' probably originated. No idea where the rest of it came from. This is a great reference for the laws of separating challah. In any case, davening for a sick person is always a good thing, and if you happen to be baking challah, you can daven at that time, as well.

At July 03, 2007 10:18 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

I've also not heard of the coins thing but I have heard about people making challah as a segulah to help the sick because recently my rebbetzin mentioned that a group of women here do this each week and they dedicated one week for my mother, for her recovery. Like, you I think that they are doing a mitzvah in someone's honour is enough. (I think it's quite a nice one to do, not only for the mitzvah of challah but also lichvod shabbat.)

Any other customs and segulah's are up to the individual or group and that obviously depends on their belief in the action and how it's supposed to help.


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