Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fw: Guard Your Vision - draft for your review

Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

From: michael kaplan <>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:44:45 -0500
To: Moshe Goldberger<>
Subject: Guard Your Vision - draft for your review

Guard Your Vision


The Medrash teaches: when a person is careful to use his eyes properly, to avoid the negative and focus on the positive, Hashem says: This person is close to Me! (Peleh Yoeitz, Reiya)

1. On Guard

“Be on guard from all forms of evil" (Dvarim 23:10). Looking at things can lead a person to thinking improper thoughts.

The Talmud, Sotah 8A, declares:

“The evil inclination attacks a person based on what he sees."

That is why the Ben Yehoyoda explains the word “Reiya” has a gematria of 216 as the word “GeVurah.” That is the doorway that we must keep closed to shut out the evil inclination.

2. One Step

The Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 387) writes: “You should know and train yourself to always review this treasure: One sin leads to another; one mitzvah brings on another one.”

Thus, if you give in to look once, you may be tempted to see more. However, with Hashem’s help you can be strong and avoid that first look and thus gain merit to avoid more.

By refraining at the start, it becomes easier and you will rejoice in your portion throughout the day.

3. Rewards

“One who closes his eyes from seeing evil, he will see the King in all of his grandeur (Yeshaya  33:15).

“But one who is careless with what he looks at, may chas v’sholom end up as a blind person without being able to view the glory of Hashem (Shmiras Haloshon 2:30).”

Does it pay to ruin one's expensive video, camera eyes, by looking at forbidden sights?

4. Eye Protection

We learn from the great Yoseif Hatzadik who never gazed at that which did not belong to him. He was rewarded to always be protected from the evil eye (Brochos 20a).

5. Long Life

We need to pray for Hashem's help:

“Please protect my eyes from wasting film; teach me your ways of life (Tehillim 119:37).”

The Ibn Ezra explains -- “If a person guards his eyes, he will live longer!”

6. Prayer

The stakes are high, our lives are at stake. We need to pray sincerely, wholeheartedly that Hashem who created us should please save us from the attacks of the evil inclination (Sere Chasidim 28). Hashem, please help me!

7. Prepare Ahead

Before going out, or early morning, one should pray: Master of the universe, I need to go here or there. Please help me avoid temptations... Keser Rosh 73).

8. Practical Advice

A) The Talmud, Avoda Zora 20a, teaches a practical tips that helps to deal with and overcome inappropriate thoughts. One should go to a place where you can spit. This serves to remind a person that the origin of the physical body is from a drop of liquid (Chida, Devash Lefi 39).

B) The holy Shlo”h writes that he saw in a manuscript of Rav Moshe Cordovero, who was taught by an elderly sage (Eliyahu Hanovi) that to  switch one’s focus and to clear one's mind, one should say this verse many times: “Aish ttomid tukad al hamizbeach lo sichbeh.” (Vayikra 6:6)

C. The Chofetz Chaim, Shmiras Haloshon (2:3), says one should also look at his Tzitzis in order to help subdue one's inclinations.

9. Keep Away

“According to the challenges, the rewards increase.” (Avos 5:22)  But, “a person should always avoid bringing himself to challenges.” (Sanhedrin 107a).

10. Hashem’s Help

--”One who comes to purify will be assisted” (Yoma 38b)

--”On the path one is determined to go, Hashem will lead him.” Makos 10b)