25 Kislev 5778 / Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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Eyes of Holiness - For Men Only!    

Eyes of Holiness - For Men Only!

It's that time of year again. The sun is out, the temperature’s rising and the clothes come off. Guarding our eyes and maintaining personal holiness is a big challenge...


For Men Only


Hot time, summer in the city


It's that time of year again. The sun is out, the temperature’s rising and the clothes come off. Guarding our eyes and maintaining personal holiness is a big challenge throughout the year. This time of year mandates extra vigilance and effort. Therefore, it's a good time to review the teachings imparted by Rabbi Lazer Brody in the emuna CD Eyes of Holiness.


Rabbi Brody says that every forbidden image allowed into your mind is like letting a terrorist in the front door. In the third paragraph of the Shema, twice-daily we recite Hashem’s command that we not allow our eyes wander. Our sages say that what the eyes see, the heart desires. Any time we recall an image that our eyes saw we arouse the same lust we experienced the first time. It puts us right back in the mud and can contaminate our souls time after time.


The Evil Inclination enters the soul via the eyes. In Gemara Sotah, it says that the only control the Evil Inclination has over a person is via the images it succeeds in planting in the brain. If we don't see things, we won't desire them. Unless we are careful about guarding our eyes we can become a slave to the Evil Inclination and contaminate the soul, severing it from the Divine Light.

It’s just not worth it!


Failing to guard our eyes can cause many health and income problems. It can also despoil one's Torah learning. That's why the Evil Inclination loves to trap religious people into looking where they shouldn't, so he can hijack their Torah learning.


Our sages warn that looking at another woman is mental adultery. Coveting another woman weakens a man’s bond with his wife and undermines the relationship. On the other hand, in Garden of Peace, Rabbi Shalom Arush teaches that by guarding your eyes, you’ll merit to see the exquisite radiance of your wife’s soul that is meant for you only.


There is a strong correlation between mental health and good judgment with personal holiness. Just look how many intelligent and prominent people have ruined their lives through bad decisions stemming from a lack of personal holiness. Are all these risks and negative consequences worth it?

Guarding our eyes evokes Divine compassion


The Zohar says that when a man guards his eyes, thousands of Angels sing praises to Hashem and look for his parents to tell them what a great deed their son is doing by refraining from looking at an enticing sight. They declare his name and praise his parents. His ancestors’ souls are elevated.


Rabbi Brody says that people complain that it's not natural to guard one's eyes. That's precisely the point. The Torah wants us to sanctify ourselves and that's not natural either. Let’s face it. Human beings have an innate tendency to be self-centered and animalistic. Hashem wants us to transform ourselves under the guidance of His Torah. We must work and pray to develop good character. The more we uplift ourselves and rise above nature, the more Hashem goes above nature to bring us miraculous blessings and salvations.


People who are strong in the area of personal Holiness enjoy a much higher level of Divine assistance in their lives. If you learn to guard your eyes, wait and see the wonderful things that will happen to you!

Learn it and live it


Rabbi Brody sets forth some basic rules from the Code of Jewish Law.


1. It's forbidden to look at a woman if she's dressed immodestly.


2. If you know of an area where women dress immodestly, it's forbidden to enter that area. You should look for an alternate route. If necessary and there is no other way or if the alternate route is impractical and costly, you can use the route but must take every precaution not to look at forbidden sights.


3. It is forbidden to have any desire for any other woman but your wife.


4. It is forbidden to derive pleasure from looking at the beauty of a woman even if modestly dressed.


It’s heavy lifting but we can do it!


Controlling our eyes is a tremendous challenge but with the proper motivation we can prevail. Rebbe Nachman explains that our free choice is to desire to observe Hashem’s Commandments. Rabbi Arush recommends that we devote thirty minutes a day of personal prayer to get to the level where we guard our eyes consistently. Then to maintain this, we should devote a portion of our personal prayers each day to this objective. Instantaneous progress should not be expected. We need sustained prayer and persistent practice.


When we first learn laws that are very difficult, its is challenging, as is every beginning. It takes time, practice, and prayer to achieve gradual continuous progress. Don't get discouraged. One should focus on progress and not instant perfection. An aspiring marathon runner can’t build up to 26 miles in a single day.


Rebbe Nachman promises that anyone who guards his eyes will grow in the path of Torah observance. A man can't truly love his wife unless he guards his eyes. Rabbi Arush teaches that when an unmarried man guards his eyes, he will receive great merit and Hashem will help him find and marry his true soulmate.


When we sanctify ourselves from below, Hashem sanctifies us from above. He'll respond in kind and provide each of us with great blessings and accelerate the full redemption of our people.

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