Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 26: Employ the Power of Viewing Holy Things

Part 1/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Miller, Rabbi Zvi (See all authors)

"Can my desire to see improper images be re-channeled to strengthen me spiritually?"

"How wonderful it would be if we could channel the energy of our lesser personality traits to serve Hashem." (Ohr Yisrael, Letter Four)

Did you know that just as the eye is stimulated by negative images it is also stimulated by positive im­ages? Our Sages tell us that if we focus on holy objects, simply viewing them will instill holiness within us and inspire us to perform the mitzvot better .

For instance, can there be anything more inspiring than viewing a beautiful sunrise, a colorful flower or the graceful flight of a bird? All of these sights reflect the majesty of the Creator.

Moreover, our Sages tell us that when we gaze upon holy objects, the light of our eyes brightens and increases. Listed below are some of the holy things we can view that have positive effects on us.

(1) When you look at the face of a tzaddik, your soul is illuminated with light and holiness. (Degel Machaneh Ephraim)

(2) Looking at the sefer Torah when it is raised before or after kriat haTorah - and reading a word or two from the scroll - imparts a great, holy light to us. (Magen Avraham, chapter 134)

(3) Viewing the shin on either side of the Tefillin shel Rosh imparts holiness.

(4) Looking at water is good for the eyes. (Ibn Ezra)

(5) Looking at the heavens imparts Yirat Shamayim. (The Vilna Gaon)

(6) When reciting the Kriat Shema in Shacharit, it is good to look at the tzitzit and touch them to the eyes when you say, u'reitem o'toh. (Shulchan Aruch 24:4)