Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mother's milk segulah

Here's an interesting excerpt from a most interesting book, מעגל טוב, the travel diary of R. Hayyim Yosef David Azulay. The entry is dated 12 Iyyar, which correspondeded to May 1, 1776:

Señor Sabbetai Fano sent Giaronomo, a gentile, to escort us to Lugo. Also with us was the lad Señor Michael Solomon Hazaq. Two miles before our destination, people from the town came out to meet us. We arrived safely in Lugo and we stayed in the home of Señor Sabbetai Shemariah Fano, in a beautiful room, at the community's expense.

An elder named Rabbi Judah Fano told me that the
Rem'a of blessed memory wrote on a small parchment שמע ישראל with the milk of mother and daughter that were nursing mixed with lemon juice.1 Accompanied by fasting and immersion, this is a wonderful segulah for whomever swallows this parchment, that he should not apostasize. It is tried and true.

Update: Later on Rav Chida applies this segulah, as follows:

27 Kislev (5538; Dec. 27, 1777). I ate with Rabbi David, and dining with us was his wife's husband Señor Elia Perpignan and his wife, who were having major marital problems; the state of their marriage was going downhill, and they asked me to make peace between them.

28 Kislev (Dec. 28). Sunday Vayigash. Señor Elia Perpignan and his wife came to me, and I gave her a שמע ישראל to swallow, the segulah of the Rem'a, because they were afraid that she had thoughts of apostasy, God forbid. I gave them marital advice in order to make complete reconciliation between them.

1 I don't know if this was the intention, but many a child knows that lemon juice makes for a fine invisible ink, which becomes readable when exposed to heat!

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