Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Shortcuts in Spirituality

From an article in this week's Yated on the role of segulos in Judaism:

...In the past, we’ve mentioned the recitation of the parsha of the monn, which is clearly explained as effective only insofar as it strengthens our emunah, our faith, that it is G-d - and only G-d - Who provides for our sustenance. It is the same, explains the Mishnah Berurah (1:13), for the ‘segulah’ of reciting Ashrei, korbanos, the Akeidah, and more. The power and the segulah are in the way reciting these things will change our lives and bring us closer to Hashem - nothing more, and nothing less...

A ‘segulah’ which does none of these, but rather seems more like magic - independent of any religious growth - is far from a harmless ‘experiment.’ It brings us dangerously close to blurring the lines between believing solely in Hashem and in the power of our service to Him, and believing in copper snakes and in the power of Moshe Rabbeinu’s uplifted arms...

We are never alone or hopeless, so long as we can turn to Hashem. Doing the will of Hashem is the one and only real ‘segulah.’ All other segulos are a part of this greater segulah. This segulah may not always be easy, but it is equally available to every single one of us...

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