Hi! Racheli here. Someone asked me about doing a pidyon nefesh, which is a redemption of the soul from harsh judgments. I was like, "Why are you asking me? I'm not a kabbalist." A pidyon nefesh is an extremely powerful prayer that has the spiritual status of a sacrifice in the Holy Temple. Everyone should have one done at least once.
This woman is 36 and still not married, and she thought it would be a good segulah to do. A segulah is a spiritual action that may lead to a change in a person's life situation. Wow, I'm giving you a whole kabbalah lesson here. Many people look to segulahs for help getting pregnant, finding a soulmate, or winning the lotto. Just kidding. Maybe I'll try that. Can't hurt, right?
Here's what I think about segulahs - I think they work based on two factors: if you believe in them, and if you do your hishtadlus - your maximum effort. If this woman just does a pidyon nefesh and sits on her couch watching Bruce Jenner prance around on the red carpet in a hideous dress as she waits for her prince charming to come banging down her door, she funna be waitin' a loooong time.
But, if she reads books that will help her improve her character traits, like "Women's Wisdom" and "The Garden of Gratitude," and does personal prayer every day, all that spiritual effort will supercharge the effect of the segulah.
Here's an example: I ask Rav Brody to do a segulah that will help me lose weight, except I'm not dieting and exercising. Not only that, I'm stuffing my face with chocolate chip cookies a la Cookie Monster. "Rebbe!" I spurt, as I watch the crumbs fly out of my mouth and land in his beard. "I need a segulah to help me lose weight!" Munch, munch, munch.
You know what the best segulah is? Gratitude!
Saying "Thank You" for any situation opens the gates of salvation wide open! If you really want to change your situation, then thank away! And stop stuffing your face with chocolate chip cookies.