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Why should we worry about Ayin Hara? If we serve G-d, He will protect us!


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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

moses_fan: why should we worry about ayin hara [Ed. note: See What is an "ayin hara"? ] etc... when if we serve Hashem he will protect us, is this not akin to superstition?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: you don't have to worry about Ayin Hara, you can trust in Hashem

moses_fan: Then why is it mentioned in Shacharit intro. prayers?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: That is how we trust in Hashem! We pray to Hashem that HE should take care of us and we shouldn't be subject to Ayin Hara

moses_fan: But by acknowledging it in such a fashion "protect us from Ayin Hara" are we then not setting some of us up for the "it was the Ayin Hara" that caused the .....(choose your favorite bad event)....

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: I didn't say there is no such thing as Ayin Hara, and that is not what you asked. You asked why worry about it when Hashem takes care of us. And i said Don't worry... and that is why we pray that Hashem should take care of us and we shouldn't have to woprry

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: so I don't understand your last question

moses_fan: I find it problematic (and note that there are many things that I find problematic, like reading the newspaper first thing in the morning) that we would give such credence to the existence of an Ayin Hara as to the cause of a bad (or seemingly) bad event. Is not everything hashem's will. Is not everything tied into our actions? Don't we have the power to change the way hashem treats us? Why even bother with this superstitious Ayin Hara?

moses_fan: Can you imagine Jacob saying that Laban's deception was the Ayin Hara? Aren't we smarter than that?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: your question provides the answer. Everything is Hashem's will, and tied into our actions. So if we do something that causes Ayin Hara it can be Hashem's will that something will come out of it

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: do you know what Ayin Hara really means?

moses_fan: Evil eye, no?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what does that mean

moses_fan: An evil eye is like a hex that someone puts on another person.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: no, you have the right translation, but what is the concept

moses_fan: A curse usually.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: not really... the concept is that when someone looks too much or wrongly, they can cause G-d to look again so to speak and decide to change his mind, or bring something upon you

moses_fan: Looks too much or wrongly- what do you mean?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: it is for example like when a teacher sees a student do something but he decides to overlook it and ignore it.... but then if other students start saying hey look what that student is doing etc. the teacher might reexamine the situation

moses_fan: So its the teacher's eye that notices the bad behavior and punishes as a result.

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Question on the Talmudic example

Posted by: Willy on Oct 16, 2005

So how does this effect the person that GAVE the 'ayin hara'?

Editor's Comment

It doesn't. Until someone subjects HIM to an ayin hara.


Posted by: Chava, Holy Israel on Oct 30, 2005

I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately, and re-looked at the "Hamsa" that is on my keychain. I didn't really think about anything when I bought it, (other than it's just a nice Jewish symbol) but isn't it used as a protection against the ayin hara? If so, why are they permitted?

Editor's Comment

While there doesn't seem to be any source for the Hamsa in Torah literature, I don't see why it should be forbidden.
Morning prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
Third of the three Patriarchs and father of the Twelve Tribes. Lived most his life in Canaan and died in Egypt in 1505 BCE. Also known by the name of "Israel."
Rebecca's brother and father of Rachel and Leah. He deceived Jacob into marrying both of his daughters for the price of fourteen years of labor.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.