- The Archer
Zchus For A Shidduch
G-d tried His very best to make it easy to follow His Torah. He laid out 613 mitzvos and said quite clearly that following those mitzvos and the Torah is the best way-the only way-to live one's life.
613 is a lot. It's the number of books I read over 3.5 years. It's the number of days in 20 months. If you gave me a check for $613 I could make that into a very decent weekend trip. You cannot argue that we do not have enough mitzvos. I would even argue that we have the exact right number of mitzvos.
But for some reason we've added more.
I am not perfect at the 613 G-D already gave me. I remember shabbos but is arguable if sleeping for 90% of it is keeping it holy. I list Loshon Hara as my main hobby and interest. Sometimes at the gym when I am doing reverse crunches my skirt falls all the way up and I don't put it down right away.
I just want to give the gay guys at my gym the opportunity to see the upper leggings of a woman who does 2 reverse crunches and then cries.
Basically, I'm a work in progress, just like everyone I know. I won't be able to say that I've mastered all 613 until the day I die, if then.
So, even though there are plenty of G-D given commandments to work on we always like to add more. These are called segulos and most people are far better at these than they are at mitzvos. People see these as the bonus coins in a video game-not the point of the game but fun to pick up nonetheless for bonus rewards.
Have you ever been playing a game where you spend the entire time trying to manipulate your character to get that one last coin only to realize that you've wasted all your lives on something that doesn't matter?
I want to believe that learning Torah and doing actual mitzvos is how I need to live my life and that there is a certain order in the universe. If I discover that G-D has had my husband waiting this whole time (in a surgery program where he belongs) and has been holding him back because G-D needed me to make a large seder on new fruits for Tu b'Shevat and the second I bite into a Mongolian Grapple my husband will appear in front of me, I'm going to be mad.
I have the same issue with asking illustrious Rabbis for a bracha. I believe I am waiting to be married due to G-D's plan for me. If that plan can be upended by a quick word from someone who doesn't even know me can we say that there even was a plan?
But probably the hardest part of all of this is that people are constantly sending me segulos and while they mean well and are probably steeped somewhere in actual fact, they all sound very, very stupid.
In honor of Tu B'Shevat this week I'm going through a few:
Tu B'Shevat Segulah:
This is a great day to daven to find your basheret because you should flower and grow seeds like a tree. Also you do not want to get dried up like this dried apricot I have here. You already look like a dried apricot? Yikes. Well, eat these dates in the zchus that you have more dates.
Tu b'Av Segulah:
In the olden days on Tu b'Av the women would wear white and go into the field and a man would take them right there in the field (hot! Not rapey at all!) and then they would be married and they would never ever have any problems again. Today in Brooklyn and the UWS and Washington Heights and a tiny part of Chicago girls go outside wearing black because it is August and sweat stains and wait for guys and the only ones they see are the Mexican construction workers who have totally missed the whole "Wow these girls dress differently" thing and will flirt with them anyway. It is not as successful.
A Parsha Where A Marriage Happens:
If you look really really closely at the Torah you can find a zchus for a shidduch in almost every parsha. There's either an actual wedding (Yaakov to Rachel/Leah) an implied weding (G-D and the Jews) a bad coupling that isn't a wedding but still counts (Zimri and Casbi) or you can make a wedding up between two cows waiting at the Beis Hamikdash to be made into karbanos. If you are in to forbidden romances, you can make it a thing between a sheep and a cow or the goat that's going to die on Yom Kippur and the one who isn't going to die. Either way once you have identified the parsha wedding its time to show Hashem that you also want a wedding by wearing a wedding dress the entire shabbos. Just don't drink grape juice. Or soup. Or cholent. You'll get stains on it.
This is my favorite. Many women in the Torah (Rivka, Rachel, Tzipora) met their husbands because they got water from the well for the hot guy who looked thirsty and/or his hot camels. Because of this many girls try to show Hashem that they too are good at getting water for people and pour water for others as a zchus. I was very into this in high school. I used to pour everyone water-whether they wanted it or not- and exlaim "zchus for a shidduch and may he be attractive!" I davened for attractive because attractive is the first thing you compromise on. Little did I know that I should have been davening for semi-functional. You also have to wonder if theres a bigger zchus that goes to water park operators for turning on all that water and if they will sell the zchus each morning of turning on the entire park and how much will it be?
Hashem looks long and hard at weddings to make sure the couple is good and married before they get up to any highjinks so single ladies, this is your time to steal the spotlight. While Hashem is focusing on joining this couple for the rest of eternity, try to distract Him by borrowing the kallah's jewelry (she can't wear it under the chuppah anyway) and use that diamond to catch the light and shine it right in Hashem's Eye. Bingo! Now He's looking at you and remembering that you exist. And that you're an annoying little turd. If that doesn't work, go daven Mincha under the chuppah. Hashem hasn't been able to picture you davening under a chuppah before which is why you haven't gotten married-He just doesn't see it. Make Him see it. Also, drink a bit of the chuppah wine so you get the same strain of Corona as the chosson and kallah. That way you're forever connected and it can help to be connected to married people.
Climb Naked Up a Mountain And Anoint Yourself in The Eclipsed Sun's Final Rays
Ok I made this one up but you bought it for a second didn't you?
When you are 4, make sure your mommy dresses you as a kallah for purim. Otherwise the other girls will have way more practice at being a kallah than you do and you will definitely be last in your grade to get a ring.
Daven For Your Friends
This is the hard one. You know on Rosh Hashana how we aren't davening for stuff we just are crowning Hashem as our King but we all do that cheat thing where we say "Hashem I crown You as King because You are the Only One with Power to make the traffic on my morning commute less terrible." You kind of work in your request as part of the coronation. Imagine if at Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding the minister had said "Do you William, Future King of England, the only one with the power to lower my taxes take Kate..." It's like that. If you're a single you probably have single friends and you should be davening for them to find their basheret while not thinking about how hopefully if you daven for them you'll find your own basheret and trying to put out of your mind that if they do get engaged you will cry for 4 hours while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. Please Hashem let Shprintzi get engaged but not a second before I do. And please notice how nicely I'm davening for her and then ignore her and find me someone.
That One Night Of Chanukah
We have assigned each night of Chanukah to mean something else: parnassah, health, SuperBowl outcomes, not too many bugs in the lettuce, etc. One of these nights was assigned to Shidduchim. So, on that night (let's say it's the fifth, I honestly have no idea) take the ring finger of your left hand and stick it in the fifth flame for as long as you can. The longer you can hold your finger in the flame the shorter time till your engagement. Just get a manicure before your first date cause your fingers look disgusting now.
A Trip To The Ohel
Many say that the fact that Ivanka went to daven at the Ohel was why Papa Donald won the 2016 election. And hey, they aren't wrong. If the Ohel isn't your flavor, they have a different grave that has magic wish granting capabilities for every flavor of Judaism. If you leave a stack of pictures there with your number it can help the dead Rabbi to remember who you are. It can also help the guys behind you to stalk you until you need undergo witness protection. Good news: there are entirely new guys to date in Nevada or Montana or wherever they put you.
Give $180 To A Sketchy As Hell Website That Has A Gadol HaDor Davening At A Grave
A few times a year I get calls from sites that call themselves Lovely Jewish Names like "Melachim B'Yisrael" "Divrei Rachamim" "Klal Yisrael Mivaka" claiming that in the past I've donated money and would I like to donate more.
A close look at the conversation:
Phone Voice: Ma'am last year you gave to Imrei Leah and Rabbi Dov Bear Zev Wolf Elefant davened for you at the Kever of an 18th century gadol (Chai Century!) on the 22nd day of the omer which we all know is the most special day because number 11 is just like 7 ah di do da do da day and 22 is 11x2. Will you double your donation this year?
Me: Me? I gave you guys money last year? From my bank account?
Phone Voice: Yes, we have your credit card number here
Me: Wow I must have been very depressed and as stupid as I look to leave you random sketchy woman with my credit card number. And now you want me to double? My salary didn't double. This isn't the inflation rate, why do you think I suddenly have double?
Phone Voice: It's a tremenous zchus
Me: I might be sitting on a little data that says it doesn't work
Phone Voice: ...................................
Phone Voice: So, $250?
Actually Do Your Best To Listen To G-D's Actual Mitzvos
LOL DO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED OR NOT?