Truth or Superstition? #5

Unlearned Person with Spiritual Powers

Q: Can a person who is not a Torah scholar suddenly become a prophet?

A: Not a prophet and not a person with Ruach Ha-Kodesh, since an unlearned person cannot be righteous, and righteousness is a condition for holiness and Ruach Ha-Kodesh.  Shaarei Kedusha of Rabbenu Chaim Vital 3:8.

Q: How then can we explain Manoach?

A: This was a one-time event.  So too Avimelech and Bilaam's donkey.  Shut Ha-Rashba 1:548.


Holding the Chuppah Pole

Q: Is it true that if one holds the Chuppah pole it is a Segulah for finding a match?

A: There is no source for this (This was also the response of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski.  Segulot Raboteinu, pp. 218-219).


Segulah for Chanukah Wicks

Q: I heard that there is a Segulah to find a match by taking the leftover oil and wicks from the Chanukiyah, burning them and then walking over them 7 times.  What is the source?

A: Nonsense (And Ha-Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi wrote in Shut Doresh Tzion: I have not heard about this).

[By the way, regarding burning the wicks, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 677:4) writes that one should burn the leftover oil in the Chanukiyah at the conclusion of Chanukah.  The commentaries add that the same should be done with the wicks which are saturated with the oil.  The reason one should burn them is because they were set aside for a Mitzvah and may not be used for another purpose (such as burning or eating).  If they are put aside for the next year, there is a fear that they will accidentally be used (see Tur ibid. and Mishnah Berurah #19).

If so, it would appear that there is no obligation to burn them according to the basic Halachah, since the only fear is that someone may use them.  It would also therefore be permissible to bury them or place them in a plastic bag and throw them out. 

In his commentary on Pirkei Avot 'Az Yomru' (pp. 131-133), Ha-Rav Yitzchak Aharon Goldberger, Dayan and Rosh Yeshiva of Chasidei Pupa, writes that he discussed this question with the Admor of Pupa.  Rav Goldberger once saw the Admor in the middle of the night bothering himself to burn them in the courtyard, moving them around with a stick in the fire until they were completely burnt up into ash.  Rav Goldberger said that perhaps there is no obligation to burn the wicks, just as it is permissible to throw out detached Tzitzit as long as it is done in a non-disgraceful manner, or to place them in a Geniza according to the custom of those who are meticulous in Mitzvah observance (Shulchan Aruch and Rama, Orach Chaim 21:1).  Similarly, it is permissible to wrap separated Challah in paper and throw it in the garbage if it is difficult to burn it, so that no mishap occurs (Mahar"i Steif brought in Teshuvot Ha-Maor.  And also brought in Moadim Uzmanim 7:177.  See also Shut Minchat Yitzchak 4:13). 

The Admor of Pupa responded that perhaps his words are correct, but since our Sages used the term "to burn it", he prefers to perform the obligation according to what our Sages said.  He is therefore particular to completely burn the wicks.  And this is the Minhag among some Chasidim, and the meticulous burn them among a large group of people.

I did see, however that Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski answered that the wicks may be buried (Shut Yadon Moshe 12:71).

This, however, has no connection to a Segulah – M.T.]