segula

Alternative Spellings

zgule, sgule, skula, s'gulah, s'gula, sgula, segulah

Definitions

  • Folk remedy, safeguard, superstitious action, talisman
  • divinely bestowed reward as a result of an individual's participation in a minhag or mitzvah
  • "procedure that is not based on medical or scientific logic yet is efficacious in improving a situation or protecting a person from harm" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segula_(Kabbalah))

Example Sentences

  • "The mitzvah of proper burial is such a holy one. Our Rabbis tell us it is a sgula for long life to buy a burial plot (to be used after 120 years)." (http://www.youngisrael.org/content/parsha/05%20Chayei%20Sara/ChayaySarah5754EliasSchwartz.cfm)
  • "We have a Minhag to give out a small bag with salt as a Segula for Hashem to guard us, we put it in our pocket. or Tefillin bag. Is this Avoda Zara, or superstition?" (http://www.yeshiva.co/ask/?id=1701)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb סגולה segulá, Yiddish zgúle

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

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