Friday, June 17, 2011

Pure Eyes

After my last post, I wanted to give some chizuk to all of you on how to keep yourself pure and guard your eyes especially during the summertime.

People think only men have to watch their eyes and that women do not have to be so careful. But I want you to know that it is not true. One of the
sheish mitzvos temidiyos, the six constant mitzvos (that can be done at any moment of the day and one receives reward for doing it) is in this week's parsha, Parshas Shelach. It says, v'lo sasuru acharei levavchem v'acharei eineichem, you should not look after images or things that are not appropriate for you - this applies to women just as much as it applies to men!

I once heard an incredible thought on this topic from R' Zecharia Wallerstein.

He spoke about how the guests who came to Avraham Avinu's house washed their feet before entering his home because there was sand in their feet and they worshiped the sand. Since he was so careful not to let a trace of avodah zara, idol worship, into his home, he had them wash their feet before letting them in to his house.

So the question is, how far can a person go? If these people worshiped the sun, would he have closed all the shutters? It's only sand!

But Avraham was showing that you can never be too careful. He took such great care in making sure not to let a speck of avodah zara, in this case the sand, into his home - even though it was so tiny.

And we see what an effect this had on his son because later on, Yitzchok became blind from the sacrifices of his son Eisav's wives, sacrifices of idol worship. Why did he become blind from this? Because his neshama was so sensitive to even the tiniest crumb of avodah zara that he couldn't handle the tumah, the impurity, that came from the smoke of the sacrifices. This is what caused him to become blind! It did not affect his wife, Rivka because she didn't grow up in a home where even a little piece of sand was not allowed into the house by those who worshiped it!

There is only one body part that is so sensitive to something as small as a grain of sand. If you had sand between your fingers or toes, it would not irritate you. However, if a grain of sand somehow got into your eye, it would bother you to no end. You would be busy trying to get it out, rolling your eye in all directions, rinsing it with water, and doing anything possible to get it out of your eye.

But what's the big deal??? It's ONLY a grain of sand!!

It IS a big deal because the eyes are extremely sensitive.

This shows you just how sensitive your eyes must be spiritually and each person must guard them so carefully. You must not allow even the smallest grain of sand into your eyes! We learn from Avraham how important it is to be careful with what you let into your eyes.

There's a famous saying, "the eyes are the windows to the soul" - whatever you let your eyes see will have an everlasting impact on your neshama. So guard your eyes carefully, especially in these summer months!

When you walk outside and see women who are less dressed than dressed, turn your eyes the other way! Look in the opposite direction!

When you are online and see a link, picture or video clip that looks tempting, quickly close the tab or window you are open to. Don't let yourself stumble! Be strong! Resist the temptation and keep those grains of sand out of your eyes so that you don't irritate them with things you shouldn't be seeing!!

I know it's hard. It's hard for me too. But think about how irritating it would be if you had a piece of sand, one tiny grain, stuck in your eye. Think about how quickly you'd run to the sink to flush your eye with water.

May you have much hatzlacha keeping your eyes pure!


  1. You said this so well! I am always amazed that women are so quickly to pretend we don't have to watch our eyes and that it is only men. So not true at all. You put this perfectly! I hope this reaches into the hearts of many people, especially women. How dangerous it is to think you are not in danger.

  2. Sefer Shever Mussar teaches that we must distance ourselves from places where we are likely to hear nivul peh [foul language].
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