#BlogElul 9 – See


BlogElul graphic Judaism has a funny relationship with seeing. I’ve written about that in my previous three blog posts on this subject, here, here and here.

The general idea is that our eyes will lead us astray, and we need help to stay on the straight and narrow. In particular, there was a concern that the colourful idols and rituals of the neighbouring peoples would seduce the Israelites into following their ways. Moses spends a rather large fraction of the book of Deuteronomy talking about this.

Nowadays we aren’t as concerned about idolatry, and nobody is offering their children to Moloch.

So why do we still wear the tzitzit, to help us control those wayward eyes? Where are we likely to wander off to, if we aren’t reminded of the right way?

There’s definitely the seduction of the cult of “Oh, Shiny!” Many of us will hop from career to career, job to job, relationship to relationship, as soon as the old one requires work. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded that commitment is not easy, but it is the only way to achieve lasting results. I might be talking to myself here.

There’s a reason why stores put candy and brightly-coloured junk toys at child eye level in the checkout line – desire for things we don’t have, and don’t necessarily need or even really want, comes in through our eyes. I remember playing The Game of Life as a child, and losing happiness points “just looking”.

So, what do you think? Do we need to work on controlling our eyes this year? Or should we continue to lose happiness points?

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One Response to “#BlogElul 9 – See”

  1. Zohar Says:

    The problem of course, is that when we dont look, we dont see — I don’t think we lose happiness points if the rules are not random — we dont buy too much candy because its bad for our bodies — and even 2 year olds can understand that if it is explained appropriately — and I think the ‘shiny’ comes from NOT seeing where we really are, versus pretending or wishing — to see that is really there — that is the hard part — not just the shiny parts. Seeing what is really there instead of our preconceptions or wishes is the goal, I think — or maybe its not relevant to your post – but its what I think about when I see the title….

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