Friday, June 1, 2012



Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Naso Pirkei Avos, perek 1
11 Sivan 5772/June 1, 2012

There’s an old debate among American families whether or not to observe Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Among the naysayers are families who argue that ‘every day is Mother’s and Father’s Day’ so why designate a special day for it? [Sometimes those who make such claims happen to be those who are looking for an easy way out of buying presents…]
This debate brings to mind two segulos that are well known in the Torah world. On the Tuesday of parshas Beshalach Parshas Haman (as in the manna which fell while the Jews traveled in the desert) is recited based on the segulah of Rav Mendel Rimanover, and on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan the prayer of the Shelah for the spiritual and physical growth of their children is recited.
During the last few years I have received a plethora of emails, texts, and reminders about those segulos on their respective days. No one wants to miss out on these once a year opportunities.
Far be it for me to discourage these two holy segulos, and please don’t misunderstand my point. But has anyone ever asked why we recite these prayers during these days. After all, ‘shouldn’t one daven for his livelihood and children every day?’ Truthfully, if one only prays for his livelihood only once a year – and certainly if one only prays for his children once a year, he’s severely remiss. I have no doubt the Rav Mendel Rimanover and the Shleh Hakodesh would be extremely disappointed.
Mishna Berurah (47:10) writes that one should pray for their children three times during the daily shacharis: “The prayers of the father and mother should always be fluent in their mouths, davening that their children should learn Torah, so that they should be righteous and have good character traits. They should concentrate particularly during the blessing of Ahava Rabbah and in Birchas HaTorah when they say, May we and our descendants learn Torah’, and also during ‘Uva LeTzion’ when they say, ‘ In order that we should not toil in vain nor give birth to confusion’.”
Perhaps part of the problem is that we do not recognize the value and power of our tefillos. But that is analogous to someone with a dreaded disease who won’t take the medicine he has in his hand because he doesn’t understand or believe that it works. He had better learn fast, because that’s his only hope!
Three times each day we have the opportunity to pray to G-d, and that is far greater than a segulah. May we have the wisdom to take advantage of those opportunities.

              Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
                R’ Dani and Chani Staum