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October

Segulá, pl. segulót (Ashkenazi: Sgúle, pl. sgúles) 'a charm'
'Did she really ask you for a segula for an easy labor?'


The old books are full of segulot for all manner of crises, troubles, and misfortunes. They can involve saying pesukim (biblical verses) or special actions or both. Don't think they're history: In Ultraorthodox and other traditional circles, segulot are alive and well. In fact, a friend of mine claimed to have recovered from hepatitis with a segula that involved placing doves on his navel.

A segula for women to have easy childbirth:
    They should eat something on every Saturday Night for the mitsva of the Melaveh Malka meal, and also say aloud 'toward the mitsva of the Melaveh Malka meal', and thus they will give birth easily with God's help.
Rabbi Avrohom Yitschok Sperling




By kind permission of Oxford University Press,
publishers of The Joys of Hebrew by Lewis Glinert.



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Last Modified February 12, 2006