Friday, April 29, 2011

Turn Shlissel Challah Into Parnasa - Sell it!

A Guest Post by E. Fink

I've called segulos shortcuts on this blog before (Scamming The Government and Scamming GodMore Shortcuts) What happens when the shortcuts spawn shortcuts?

I stopped at the local bagel shop this morning and saw this sign.

I thought to myself, this is an enterprising way to turn your shlissel challah into immediate profits!

But then I thought for another moment and realized this was a bad thing. Why is it bad? Well, I'm not a fan of segulos in general but I can tolerate them if the action done somehow connecst the person doing the segula with God. So, if someone gets a spiritual lift from putting a key in their challah and it reminds them to direct their prayers to God and it helps them improve their mitzvah observance in other areas - I don't find it necessary to protest the use of a segula. But ONLY under those circumstances.

The value I can potentially see in shlissel challah is when one takes the key to their home and bakes it into a mitzvah. It's a [primitive] way of putting one's faith in God. But the lesson only makes sense if you do it yourself. If you do the small token action and have the intent to use it as a way of connecting with God I can see how it helps you.

When you literally buy the challah with a non-descript key already in the challah it's a shortcut on top of the existent shortcut! It's hard for me to see how paying someone to do shlissel challah for you teaches you a lesson. The only lesson I see is that now you can pay someone to be spiritual for you. Even if I tolerate some segulos if they reach a desired end, this, I believe is another step in the wrong direction...

Here is the challah with the key in the bag:

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