Ask the Rationalist Rabbi
When my reputation as the "Zoo Rabbi" spread, I began to receive hundreds of questions relating to animals. Now that I have a reputation as the "Rationalist Rabbi", I'm receiving new types of questions:
Dear Rabbi Slifkin: G’Mar Chasimah Tova.
I greatly enjoy your books as well as your blogs. I was wondering if you ever heard of a segulah for a pregnant women to wear a ruby (someone tells me it is a Rabbeinu B’chaya on parshas tezaveh) and if so if there are any rationalists who object to it (or any other similar segulah). My wife wants to wear a ruby necklace and I am objecting to it.
Here is the response that I sent:
There is discussion in the Shulchan Aruch etc. about a gemstone that is a segulah for a healthy pregnancy, and Rabbeinu Bachya mentions it too (although I think he talks about eating it, not wearing it). From a rationalist perspective, this is extremely unlikely to be physiologically helpful, and some might even be opposed to it as being superstitious. On the other hand, never underestimate the power of placebo, and of making your wife happy; there may to be more to lose than to gain by objecting to it.
Check out this post and the comments to it: