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True strength of a person's piety

GYE Corp. Sunday, 13 May 2012

The true strength of a person's piety is demonstrated under the following circumstances: a devout person does not cast off his piety even when people ridicule him; whatever he does is for the sake of heaven; he does not look at women. His piety is put to the test especially when he is in the company of other men in a situation where women are usually around-for example, in a wedding hall where women are dressed in elegant gowns, and all are gazing at the women, and he does not stare. For that, he will be rewarded with abundant good. Therefore, when a man meets a woman, whether she is single or married, gentile or Jewish, an adult or a minor, it is best for him to turn his face aside and not to look at her. And so do we read in Job, "I made a Covenant with my eyes not to gaze on a maiden" (Job 3 1: 1). The verse "He shuts his eyes against looking at evil" (Isaiah 33:15) refers to the person who does not look at women when they are doing their washing.' When they wash their clothes, they lift their skirts so as not to soil them and thus uncover their legs; and we know that a woman's leg is a sexual excitement. And so said the Sage, "There is no greater barrier to sexual arousal than closing one's eyes".