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 VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

How Can We Be Comforted?
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Down to Earth Spirituality
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

The True Consolation Prize
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

> Harpstrings of the Heart
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune: Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Kinah for Tisha B’Av
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

We Need Backdrops
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Good Things Come - To Those Who Stipulate
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Moshe's Lesson of Acceptance
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Master Smelter
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Torah Study - Review vs. New
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

The Trust Of Truth
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

ArtScroll

Closure and Consolation
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Beyond the Letter of the Law
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758



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