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Looking in the Eyes

The Zohar discusses another important attribute of the eyes. “The forehead, face, eyes, lips and palms all contain signs of one’s spiritual level. Someone who knows how to read them can tell everything about another person’s personality” (Zohar, Yisro 78a).

The Arizal was fluent in reading these signs. He could immediately recognize someone’s transgressions. For that reason many people were terrified to stand in front of him.

We should be particularly cognizant of this when standing before Hashem during tefillah. What a disgrace to stand before the King carrying a written testimony of one’s transgressions! Is there any way that we can erase these signs from at least part of our body?

The Arizal reveals that the secret of erasing this mysterious writing from one’s forehead lies in one’s eyes. He says that tears shed in the midst of even a single moment of sincere prayer should be wiped across one’s brow. These tears have the power to cleanse the offending marks and remove those badges of shame (Siddur Arizal as cited in the Elef LeMagen 582,46; Reishis Chochmah 9,7).

Text Copyright © 2014 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



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