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



View Complete List

Why Tell Stories?
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Dealing with the Enemy
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

From the Beginning, Again
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760


Fonzie & the Happy Days of Rest
Jon Erlbaum - 0

A Walk in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Shabbos Bereishis -- Bridge
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Evil Without
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid
- 5768

The Oldest Lesson in History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

> Deja Vu All Over Again . . . Then Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5775

Meaning and Purpose: A Good Beginning
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Be Creative!
Shlomo Katz - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Tale Of Two Wives
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

No Doubt
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Spreading the Fate
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information