Chazal relate about the powers of the eyes: “The body has 248 organs, and all of them are controlled by the eyes. All stumbling of man stems from the eyes” (Kallah Rabasi, chapter 3). Man’s physical inclinations cannot have power over that which his eyes did not see. And once the eyes have seen, the desire is never forgotten (Sanhedrin 17b, Tosfos Sotah 8a).
The Zohar reveals an even deeper significance of the eyes. “An eye is the earth in microcosm: The white in which it floats depicts the ocean; the tinted iris, dry land and streams. Within the iris is Jerusalem, fixed in the middle of the world. And the centremost point of the eye is the pupil through which light crosses, which parallels the foundation stone of the Temple, from which the world sprung forth” (Zohar, Vayechi 226,1).
“The muscles of the eyes are connected to the heart” (Avodah Zarah 28b). The eyes are two of the most spiritual organs of the entire body, and have a direct connection to the heart, which is the source of our prayers. Positioning our eyes in the correct way for the extent of our tefillos will help ensure that our hearts are lifted up to Hashem.
Text Copyright © 2014 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org