Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

It’s All in the Eyes

Visual Protection

A certain gadol once came to visit the great tzaddik of southern Israel, Rav Abuchatzera, known as the Baba Sali, and asked him the following question: "You are able to perform great wonders that no one else can do. What is your secret?"

The Baba Sali replied that he was completely immersed in Divine service. He never took his mind off Hashem for an instant. This was the source of his supernatural abilities.

The other gadol responded, “I do not believe you are telling me everything. I and other rabbanim do the same thing, yet we were not endowed such gifts. There must be something more.”

After much prodding the Baba Sali admitted, “Look at my eyes. My entire life I have guarded them from seeing things that are impure. This is the true source of my strength.”

The eyes are the lenses of the soul, and every vision makes an imprint on it (Reishis Chachmah, Kedushah 8,16). If we constantly guard our eyes, our minds will be much clearer and focused when we are immersed in prayer. We are instructed how to prepare our eyes, even while praying, so that they will aid us in prayer.

Gazing at the Heavens

Before one starts to pray he should turn his eyes towards the windows (Mishnah Berurah 95,4). Looking towards the vast expanses of the universe and the blue of the sky will remind him “Who created all of this.” If during the course of his prayers his mind wanders, he should look again through the windows and try to regain his concentration (Mishnah Berurah 90,8).

In order to fulfill this directive the halachah stipulates that “There should be windows in the place where a person prays as the verse tells us, ‘The windows in his [Daniel’s] attic faced Yerushalayim’” (Berachos 34b according to Rashi). The practical halachah requires some windows in a beis kenesses to face Yerushalayim (Shulchan Aruch 90,4).

The Zohar writes, “A shul should have windows in order to enable the ascent of everyone’s tefillos. For this reason, it's impossible to pray properly in a shul which does not have windows … Just as the beis kenesses in the heavens has twelve windows, so too the beis hakenesses in this world should have twelve windows” (Zohar, Pekudei 251a). The Shulchan Aruch cites this Zohar as the halachah, and writes that a shul should have twelve windows (Shulchan Aruch 90,4).


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Communication Brings Unity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

What Was Noach's Greatest Legacy?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Love versus Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Procreation: Creating Worlds
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Leisure Time
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

> Don't Shout at Me!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Choosing Sides
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

ArtScroll

A Wasted Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Wine and Window Washers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

People In Stone Houses Should Not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Law and Order
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

The Shame Of Cham
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Can You Enjoy While Others Lack?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information