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Oct 27, 2013

The creation of a segulah

There is an entire industry through which people pay a lot of money to touch or hold, or even just see, items that had been touched or used by someone famous. Holding such an item - a sword of Napoleon, or one of Ben Gurion's books, Michael Jackson's jacket, Marilyn Monroe's dress, or Queen Victoria's bloomers - makes one feel connected to history, connected to greatness. Even just being somewhere knowing that someone famous had been there - walking on a trail in Israel where we know the forefathers walked, being on Har Habayit knowing some of the figures in history who had been there before, standing where Abraham Lincoln was shot, etc.

So I understand the need, or desire, of some to take dirt from the previously uncovered grave of Rav Ovadiah Yosef, as was reportedly being done, and to sit on his chair or daven in his shul. It gives you the sense of being connected to history, being connected to a great man.

And then it turns into a segulah.

The craftsman who built one of the chairs used by Rav Ovadia Yosef zt"l has opened his doors to people who wish to sit upon the chair as a segulah.

Shlomi Dadon from Kiryat Motzkin specializes in designing and building furniture for shuls. About 8 years ago Dadon designed a chair that was to be used by Rav Ovadia. Rav Ovadia liked the chair so much, he decided to use it for a special shiur to a large crowd and it was moved to locations across the country for shiurim given by Rav Ovadia. For whatever reason, Rav Ovadia told Dadon to keep the chair and to just bring it for the shiurim when needed.

A few months ago, that would be even before the death of Rav Ovadia, a woman came asking to allow her thirty-something daughter to sit on the chair to help her find a shidduch. Sure enough, she found her soul-mate shortly after.

Dadon also relates the story of a young woman who was unable to give birth for 7 years, but two months after sitting on the chair she succeeded in getting pregnant.

Now, Dadon says, every day tens of people, both men and women, come to his shop to sit on the chair. Dadon does not charge money and does not claim the chair contains any powers. he says he just makes it available to the public as a chair that was sat upon by a holy man, and people can believe whatever they want.
(source: NRG)

(This reminded me of another segulah chair I read about a long time ago. I cannot find the information now, but I remember reading about a chair that had been used by the Baba Sali (I think) that was being used as a segulah for women to sit on to help them with getting pregnant and having an easy childbirth.)

Before our very eyes, a piece of history, a connection to a great man, becoming a segulah.

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  1. doesn't charge money? frier.

    you watch, someone will take it away, claiming ownership, and charge to use it.

  2. You can sit on the Steiplers chair if you want to become a kallah

  3. What is so bad about this if it makes people happy? No one is claiming it is a mitzvah. And who knows, maybe it is a "real" segulah. Did the creation of segulos close once the gemara was sealed?


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