The Evil Eye

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…
Take care, there is much power in a glance. If accompanied by a malicious thought, it can cause harm. This is what is known as the evil eye.
(The Empty Chair, p. 58*)

What does this mean to me?
Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosson emphasize on numerous occasions that the force that we call “the evil eye” is more attitudinal than mystical. Because our souls are sourced in the loftiest place in heaven, our highest faculties of judgment and will can have either positive or negative effects.

Once, a wonderful tzaddik named Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach was invited to a students’ new home to celebrate G-d’s kindness with Torah study and a meal—we call such a festive gathering a chanukat habayit. After the rest of the guests went home, the aged rabbi asked his student to show him around, and he insisted on seeing every square inch of the apartment—something that even the most forward guest would never ask.

Before leaving, Rabbi Auerbach said to his perplexed student, “I’m sure that you’re wondering why I wanted to see the entire apartment. Usually, it’s important to keep the blessings that G-d gives us away from the eyes of others, because their judgments can be so damaging. But I can promise you, I have only joy for you in this wonderful new apartment that you’ve received. The verse says, ‘A person with a good eye is blessed,’ and this means that a blessing rests wherever he sets his glance. If you have the opportunity of having someone with a good eye in your new house, let him rest his eye on every surface!”

A prayer:
G-d, it is oh so simple
To find the evil,
the ugly,
the bad.
Help me learn to discount
all that is negative in the other.
Show me the goodness,
the beauty,
the kindness
in everyone I meet.

(The Gentle Weapon, p. 46*)

We encourage hearing your feedback and may anonymously publish your remarks. Please send email to: yehudis.golshevsky@breslov.org
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Your Feedback

Dear friends at Breslov,

This message arrived B”H at exactly the right time. My wife and I had – … – a – different way of looking at something, shall we say… This was Sunday night and Monday morning. I read the message below while at work, and I resolved to take some action that day to repair the breach. Everything is fine now. We both thank you. Shalom and hatz’lacha!
HS

“Study the Word of G-d in order to know how to eat.. ”
this reminds me of something i just read that Reb Simcha Bunim said
“…not studying Torah enough is not the reason for his suffering, but the reason why he can’t explain why he is suffering”
“Torah is thus the gateway to self-analysis: someone who is not engaged in the world of learning has simply alienated himself from a primary mechanism for self understanding.”
quoted from “THE QUEST FOR AUTHENTICITY” P.72 MICHAEL ROSEN
SA

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*“The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy – Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff and The Breslov Research Institute, 1994. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

“The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments – Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff and The Breslov Research Institute, 1994. Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Yehudis in her own words: When I first began learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings with my husband and other teachers, I felt as though I had come home to the personal and vital relationship with G-d that I’d always sought. Today, a large part of my inspiration comes from helping other Jewish women discover their own spiritual potential through the meaningful teachings of Breslov Chassidut. Yehudis Golshevsky has been teaching Torah classes to women and working in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. She’s a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and holds a degree in Judaic Studies from SUNY at Buffalo. Currently, Yehudis is a contributor to Breslov.org and “Pathways”, the Breslov Research Institute’s weekly publication. Since 2006, she’s been taking women’s groups to Uman and other sites in Ukraine for prayer and study. Yehudis lives with her family in Jerusalem.

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