The famous Amuka underwear tree: Women looking for husbands place their underwear near the tomb in hopes that their marriage prayers will be answered. Later, after they are married, they show their questionably stained underwear to other Rabbis, in the hopes that their prayers toput off having sex for a few days will be answered.
I received this ridiculous spam the other day about a "segula" for a shidduch. The "segula" involves someone, who from the accompanying picture clearly has a white beard, praying for the single individual at the supposed grave of Yonatan ben Uziel. Here is the text of the add (in italics) and some of my thoughts:
TEFILLAH for SHIDDUCHIM in AMUKA
Where did people get the idea that praying in Amuka was a "segula" for anything. Yes, I know the Talmud reports that the man buried there was never married, but ok, how does that create this mystical vehicle to deliver ones spouse? It's a cute concept I guess, nothing worth spending any money on though. Are you going to cite a source from a two-hundred year old book? Fine, what's his source?
ON THE DAY OF SEGULAH OF TU B’AV
OK, this is the sentence that is really getting on my nerves. Tu B'av is a "segula" to find ones spouse...whoops, I mistyped, I meant its a "segula" for someone else to involve themselves in your search for your spouse. The source for this concept is the Talmud's recounting of how on that day unmarried girls would dress in white garments and go out to dance in the vineyards while the boys would come out to watch them to choose a spouse.
Young men, would come with their friends to watch single girls dancing in circles. They watched the girls as they spun in circes, hair blowing in the wind, sun shining on their smiles, hips swaying to and fro, the scent of perfume rising to the sky. The eyes of the boys, moved by their hormones, internal temperatures rising, would eventually settle on a single person, the girl he thought had the prettiest smile of all.
That is what Tu B'av was, not paying unemployed men to drive in a bus to a cemetery to pray that a complete stranger across the globe should be set up on a blind date with his match through a crotchety matchmaker. What these people are doing is the exact opposite of helping someone find a mate. They facilitate and perpetuate this horrible system that is so unnatural it should be constitutionally banned in at least 49 states.
H'Admor Harav YECHIEL ABUCHATZEIRA shlit'a & A MINYAN TALMIDEI CHACHAMIM
99% of people who read and/or respond to this add will have never heard of the man named Yechiel Abuchatzeria. Most will be familiar with his surname though. So the people who respond will not just be relying on the prayers alone, but on the alleged mystical abilities that any single human on this earth with the same surname as the Baba Sali must certainly have. We all know how great and holy all the members of this family are; and look, for the purposes of this ad, they even gave this man of Moroccan descent a title like he's from some village in the Ukraine, Adonanu Moreinu V'Rabenu, so he must be able to work wonders.
Jews of Lithuanian-style European descent (all Jews not of Hassidic or Sfardi origins) should have no business at all with phony-con-artist-wonder-workers (they shouldn't even own a set of Zohar.) Really no one should have any business with these sorts of people, but I can't worry about everyone.
Now just in case the prayers of Adonanu Moreinu V'Rabenu don't work (how could that be??) there will be a minyan of Torah Scholars to pray as well. That's 10 for the price of 10. This is important since we Jews believe that not all people can pray to God, well not really, everyone can pray to God, but the prayers of Torah Scholars are worth more. Wait, that's not true either, also the prayers of the opposite of scholars are worth more, that of young children. What if no-ones donation helps since there is only an A'DMOR and TEN Torah Scholars?? can't they just make room on that bus for a few kids to come along as well!! Just stuff them in the back. They obviously didn't think this through well enough!!
WILL PRAY FOR YOU & YOUR LOVED ONES ON TU B’AV THE NOTED DAY OF SEGULAH FOR SHIDDUCHIM,
No, actually it's the noted day for men to pick up hot girls at dance clubs.
AT THE RESTING PLACE OF REB YONASAN BEN UZIEL WHERE THOUSANDS HAVE ALREADY HAD THEIR TEFILLOS ANSWERE (sic)
People who were actively searching for their spouse at some point prayed at this grave and then went on to continue actively search for their spouse and then they eventually found and married their spouse. Let's not fool our selves, that is thousands of people who serve as proof that all their effort in dating, meeting people, falling in and out of love or like, owe it all to spending ten minutes in a cemetery in a valley.
Most people actively searched for their spouse and never stepped foot in Amuka and then continued to actively search for their spouse and then they found and married their spouse. This is inexplicable, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how any of them did it?? Also, how could thousands of people "had their tefllios answered"? Where was the ADMOR and the Torah Scholars? Were they at home eating lunch or something? I wan't to know where they were when all of these "thousands" were praying for their own wee little selves in the valley??
FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO PIDYON SHVUYIM TO HELP YAD L’ACHIM RESCUE JEWISH WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF $18 X 10 MONTHS [$180]
What? How did this suddenly turn into a fund raiser to convince likely happily married couples to break up their families and divorce? OK, so you don't like intermarriage, you'll donate to an organization that will attempt to bring Jewish woman married to gentiles closer to Judaism, that's nice. If I was a "segula" shill, THIS is what I would use as a "segula." Help rescue Jewish woman from marriages to Muslim men and in that merit you will find your spouse. But that's why I'm not in the "segula" business, people don't care about things like that, not really. What's the merit of preventing intermarriage worth when it comes to the merit of having kollel people pray on a bus for you?
So "rescuing" intermarried woman isn't going to help you with your dating problems, so what will it help you with?
YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE 2 BEAUTIFUL GIFTS TO GRACE YOUR SHABBOS TABLE (a gift, not a raffle) + 20 BONUS TICKETS INTO A RAFFLE TO WIN A TRIP TO ERETZ YISRAEL!
That's right! for "rescuing" an intermarried woman you will get a challa cover.