Dear Mesora,
I read some of your content on the net. I understand your worthy intentions. You should also be careful and sensitive at the same time. I agree that nowadays people are commercializing everything and we should down play and even remove supermarket Kabbalah. Americans want everything in an instant and that's just not the way it works.
Meanwhile, you should not put other Yidden who are Yire Shamayim in the category of Baalei Avodah Zorah, Chas V' Shalom! The red string is accepted by Rov Klal Yisrael as a segulah against Ayin Harah. Kameyas were in use before the time of the Mishna. Rav Yaakov Emden, Zt"l was all for such things when used in the proper context.
Physical things can help bring about spiritual change. The Rambam would deny that Moishe Rabbeinu was 10 Amos tall, but the Vilna Gaon lambasted him for that. The Rambam was not the Rishon to choose when discussing these matters. The Rambam had to be very careful about what he said. His Seforim were being put in Chairem and later burnt by decree of the Gadol HaDor, Rebbeinu Yonah....who later wrote Shaarei Tshuvah, out of regret for what he did.
Nonetheless, many others, including, the Ramban Hakodesh, the Ari Z"l, the Sefer Hatemunah, the Raivid, the Maharal, the Noda B'Yehuda, and the Vilna Gaon (to name a few) disagreed with the Rambam on such matters.
We don't like what some people, cults, etc...are doing with our Holy Torah; but we should be careful not to cast aside good Yidden who are doing no wrong when they wear red strings from Kever Rachel (and old Yerushalmi custom) or from wherever, or if they wear a Kameah written by a Chacham, or renown Tzadik. Many Yishiva Leit and Chasidim conduct themselves accordingly; and so be it. Dayin Fisher, ZT"L of the Badatz-Aida Chereidas was very much involved in segulahs that were accepted over the millennia.
It is patently wrong of you to assume why the Rambam wrote what he did, other than for the purest reason: To teach what he felt was correct according to the Torah. He did not restrain his views for fear of unpopular opinion or future book burnings. He says himself in the Moreh that he could not have written what he did without Ruach Hakodesh. Additionally, making such an assumption for why Rambam acted violates "Miharhare achar harav", "Second guessing a Rabbi". One cannot place himself in Rambam's stead and venture to guess why he wrote what he did. Especially when Rambam himself says it was through Ruach Hakodesh.
I never saw throughout T'Nach, where Hashem condoned the concept of red bendels, good luck charms or the like. If there was any reality to physical things having any effect on reality, Hashem would have informed man of this power. The fact that it arose later on is proof that these primitive practices stem from man's psyche, not from G-d's Torah.
Reality is, there is only One Power in the universe - Hashem, G-d.
Why is Avoda Zarah the epitome of what opposes Torah? Because it assumes powers other than Hashem. This is the basic concept of idolatry.
When the gemora allows kmiyas and charms, it is just that...an allowance. Not a suggestion. It is a Matir, not a Chyuv.
Meaning, it is not violating the Torah if one does things in pairs, or one feels psychologically at ease when holding a pendant. The Gemora never says the object has powers. G-d forbid! It only says that one is allowed to have it. The Gemora knew people are feeble minded, and that certain tensions would be put at ease if they had a certain "security blanket". These security blankets do not violate idolatry, and therefore could not be made prohibited.
It is documented that in very primitive cultures, when a witch doctor places a spell on someone to die, he dies. Does this mean that a primitive human has control over the forces of life and death? Nothing could be further from the truth! It means simply that when a member of such a culture places his sense of reality on his witch doctor, he believes that this witch doctor does in fact have power. We know he doesn't, but this clan member believes it to the point that when a spell is placed on him, his mental stress actually kills him. It's not the doctor which kills, rather, it's his own beliefs.
The same applies to these gemoras. The Tanaim knew that people would not be able to extricate themselves, and that undue stress could be removed, so they allowed these security blankets. Had these objects been believed to actually contain powers, the rabbis would have openly prohibited them, as G-d in the Torah prohibited fortune tellers, enchanters, Baalie Ove, Yidoni, Machshefa, and all those who feign control or knowledge over the physical. Hashem clearly defines the investment of powers in physical objects as Avoda Zarah. Nowhere in all of the Torah will you find Hashem reinforcing any such practice.
It is quite the contrary.
G-d uses the strongest language when commanding us not to follow idolatry - the term abomination is used.
No rational person would say that a thread, just because it is died the color red, now contains powers.
What happened when it was still white? Can you give a rational explanation as how this power only inheres in red threads, and not blue or green ones? Also, one should not care how many people follow a practice such as a red bendel. Numbers has never been a proof of what is correct. Should we follow Jews for Jesus if they gain numbers as well? No. One must follow what is accurately consistent with the mesora.
We do not get impressed with numbers, ..even if they are Jews. Had we joined Korach, or the revolutionists at Maase Meriva, we would be killed with them - regardless of the fact that there were numbers of Jews doing this. You must remove this idea from your mind that numbers is a proof to what is right.
Tosefta in Chapter 7 of Sabbath clearly states the wearing of red threads on fingers is considered "ways of the Emorites". Not acceptable in Judaism.
All of these cases of kmiyas, good luck charms and the like, are much more rationally explained according to what I have written. We should always look for the simplest explanation, and try not to assume new powers which G-d didn't create.
Hashem has elevated us above the animals by blessing only man with a rational faculty.
Let us not lower ourselves by ignoring the use of it.
Moshe Ben-Chaim

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