the key to what, exactly?

There is a minhag to bake challah for this Shabbat either in the shape of a key or actually put a key into the challah.

shlissel challah1 263x300 Segula for Parnossa: This Shabbos is Shlissel Challah Shabbos! Get your keys ready!There is a well known segulah (charm) for parnosa (making a living) that takes place this Shabbos. The Shabbos following the last day of Pesach it has become a minhag to bake Challahs either in the shape of a key or to actually insert your key into the Challah before baking (make sure to wrap it in tinfoil first). It is called Shlissel Challah. Hey, in todays economy it certainly can’t hurt. I believe the object to be that we recognize that parnossa comes from Hashem and we rely on him for our well being. Since Pesach is the start of the Spring time, it is now the times that crops should be ready after the winter. We have been doing it almost every year since we are married and I look forward to my wifes fresh Shlissel Chalah on Shabbos.

Could I add that learning some grammar couldn’t hurt, either?

I fear that the “it couldn’t hurt” mentality does actually hurt. I fear that people get so tied up in the segulas that they forget about actual work.

Last night, someone asked me how was my yuntif (even as I was assiduously avoiding conversation with her, since I was the substitute mikveh shomeret and I wanted to get home to bake my own challot). I answered something about how it was over too soon and I was looking forward to being in Israel next year with the Mashiach. She’s Chabad, you see, so I figured I throw her a bone. She asked who would do all the cooking then? I said “The Mashiach, of course.”

Then she pops our her head after a bit and says, “Oh that’s the difference between us and the goyim. We have Hashem to do the work for us.”

No, that’s magical thinking. Even when Mashiach comes and we all get to return to Israel for good, someone will still have to cook. We don’t do magic. We work with reality.

I think the same thing is going on with the fascination with the royal wedding. If only they kiss in public, everything will be okay. If only there’s good weather, if only they all walk talk dress this way, if only…

No, if only they keep their senses of humor (if they don’t have one to begin with, then I hope someone has bought them a good one as a wedding present), if only they keep some privacy, if only they keep rediscovering themselves and allow themselves to grow, if only they don’t listen to all the pundits, if only they remember they’re only human, if only they’re allowed to grow old gracefully…

If only…

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