Project Genesis

Judaism and Non-Jews

Idolatry and Non-Jewish Practices

Supernatural Remedies

I have heard of using Kameas (amulets with supernatural capabilities) in certain situations (mostly for health issues) and that they really work. What is the idea behind a Kamea? Why are some Segulos (positive omens/auguries) permitted? Isn’t it like a shortcut (like skipping the hard work) or does it actually affect a person in a positive way, spiritually?

This is a difficult question. If a Segulah is in fact legitimate – and not all necessarily are – then it is included in the human efforts expected of us to achieve our goals (Hishtadlus). Just like if one has a headache he or she takes a Tylenol, one has the right to utilize a spiritually sourced “cure.” The Rashba in his classic responsum (vol. 1 #408) writes that there are certain spiritual forces that the Sages tell us about that are simply laws of nature (or, perhaps in this case, “super nature”) and are effective, even if we do not understand them. He compares it to the laws of magnetism and the like that seem “magical” but are simply parts of the creation that G-d has made. The truth is that a great many medicines (Tylenol included!) work but we do not all know exactly how or why they do – they simply do.

I hope this helps to clarify the point.
Rabbi Moshe Rosenstein

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