Receiving spam emails lately? I know I sure have. Then again, I don't buy all the Mishpachas, Hamodias, Ami and all the other Jewish periodicals, so perhaps it's all Karma.
The past week had seen my emails flooded with 'SEGULA', and 'DON'T LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY', and 'WANNA GET MARRIED?' subject titles. Of course, I just clicked the friendly little 'select all' button and then 'delete', being that I'm a recipient of the national 'singles pity' emails around tu b'av.
One email, though, did catch my eye. I don't recall specifically what it said, but I do remember thinking that it didn't sound like 'only one donation of $180.00' and I was curious was to what the "catch" was. When I opened the email, it was all glitzy and flashing colors with big bold letters about finding your bashert. Once I clicked on the actual words/link though, it brought me to a page that clearly stated 'no donation necessary'. I was mesmerized, especially as each of these 'segulas' comes at a price.
There's the 'daven 40 days at the kotel for you', the 'chai rotel', the 'kupat ha'ir' and the 'erev rosh chodesh Tefilos' as well as many others, all at the small price of $_____.
So when I finally got to the website and saw that after completing all the information, the only way to send in your information was a minimum donation of $180.00, average donation of $360.00, with a maximum of thousands dollars, I can't say I was surprised. It was more like dismayed.
What happened to our society? Why do people do this? If I like an organization, am inspired or impressed with it, of course I give them money and donations. But taking advantage of someone in a tough situation = flatout disgusting!
Imagine if someone is unfortunately stuck with a terrible illness and they go to see a Rabbi or organization who can help them, only to be told, after providing all details of the disease, family history and Hebrew name, that he will need to pay large sums in order to be cured.
Come on, people.
Do we choose to be this way? Do we choose what G-d gives us? No.
Do we accept it? Of course.
Should we be afflicted with all these 'pay for your segulos', milking them for their money and giving people false hope?
So this Tu b'Av, I did not use Paypal, Mastercard or Visa. I did not add my name to any online list or pay any people to pray for me. I took a few minutes and said my own silent prayer to Hashem that by next Tu B'av, hopefully I will be spending it with my beloved and helping others find theirs-at no price!