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Prevention

testchart1 Tuesday, 16 October 2018

I basically keep the rules.    I wake up early, daven with a minyan, squeeze in a breakfast (sometimes) and a daf, and I'm off to work. After a long day at the office, I come home and try to be a good husband and father.    I try to do what's right ... but shmiras einayim is a really tough one.  {pagebreak} Day 30 - The Emerald City - Seeing What Is There   The Gemara in Makkos expounds the verse in Yeshayah, One who closes his eyes from seeing evil, as referring to one who carefully guards his eyes from improper sights. The reward for doing so is mentioned in the following verse: He shall dwell on high. Commenting on this Gemara, the Taharas HaKodesh writes: He will not reside in the Future among common men, but instead will inhabit the loftiest Heavens together with the righteous and holy men upon whom the entire world rests. Taharas HaKodesh then adds: The next verse states: "Rocky fortresses shall be his fortress," which the Targum renders: בית מקדשא תסבע נפשיה , "His nefesh will be satiated with the Beis HaMikdash." Apparently, not everyone will merit to see the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash. Only one who guards his eyes will. But not only will he see it; his soul itself will feel its radiating kedushah.   Let's make this real.   Mashiach has arrived and it is time to be oleh regel, to go up to the Beis HaMikdash for Yom Tov and bring the necessary offering. So you walk down the block to the neighbor who owns a 15-passenger van. Most of his children have already married and moved away so he has seats available. You ask if you can hitch a ride to Yerushalayim [to avoid the parking nightmare]. He agrees and you join him for the pilgrimage.    There is a great anticipation in the van as it first approaches the walls of Yerushalayim; the feeling builds as you proceed through the city gates and reach the Har HaBayis. You go to the mikveh, get dressed, and walk with him to the Beis HaMikdash. The excitement is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Together you proceed toward the gates, walk through and then ... nothing. The place is barren. There is absolutely nothing to be seen except the usual rocks and dirt. In shock and confusion you turn to your neighbor, and you see him standing there with the most awestruck, enthralled look on his face. He turns to you with a smile and whispers, "Isn't this the most beautiful sight you have ever seen?!" - and you have absolutely no idea what he is talking about! It is difficult to assess how literally we should interpret the Taharas HaKodesh's words, but this much is clear: The experience of one who guards his eyes will be completely different from that of one who does not. And it will remain so eternally, because once Mashiach arrives there is no turning back. Teshuvah is no longer a possibility.   Let's make sure that our eyes will in fact be able to see Hashem's return.