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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Evil Eye’

Human Folly

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

It seems like yesterday that we were shuddering in shul on Yom Kippur, pleading with Hashem to forgive our sins, wrongdoings and transgressions. Especially those that involved unethical and mean-spirited treatment of friends, relatives and strangers alike.

We promised that if we were inscribed in the Book of Life; if we were given another opportunity to start anew, we would mend our ways and improve the way we treated one another. We would be kinder, more generous – both with our time and our money – and be less judgmental in assessing other people’s actions. If anything, we would make an effort to go overboard in giving people the benefit of the doubt when something they did or did not do was questionable in terms of how proper or “kosher” it was.

We would take the high road and refrain from lashon harah or spreading gossip- even if the information was true.

We would set aside our jealousy and truly fargin another person’s good fortune and wish him/her well, instead of secretly seething and wondering why, for example, our neighbor’s daughter got engaged and ours is older “and has so many more mylas (assets, like looks or personality) so why did our friend have it so easy, while we are pulling teeth to get our daughter a date?

Many of us were sincere when we fervently resolved during those Days of Awe to elevate ourselves and be Torahdik Jews.

But, being flawed human beings, once we feel we are “out of danger,” we relax and let our guard down. With Yom Tov over, we have resumed our regular routines and have let old habits control us once again.

Below is a poem that expresses how despite our best intentions, despite our hakarat hatov to Hashem for his benevolence, we forget our promises to Him and go back to our old, unfortunate ways.

In the dark of the night, I turn on the light,

I thank You, my Creator, for the gift of my sight.

Yet I misuse Your blessing – I cause others to cry,

Jealously and resentment bring out my Evil Eye.

When my children call out, I have no fear,

I thank You, my Maker, for letting me hear.

Yet I use this bracha to tune in to malicious chatter,

If what’s said is even true- it doesn’t really matter.

When I need to convey, to verbally reach,

I open my mouth – You blessed me with speech.

But I abuse my heavenly gift, for I gossip, I smear,

Even those who trust me, who hold me so dear.

My hands enable me to do as I please,

I can touch, I can hold, I can grasp with great ease.

Yet I use this divine blessing to hit, to cause pain,

Even when my heart knows there is nothing to gain.

I can go, I can do, I can move when I’m ready,

You have given me legs that are strong and steady.

Yet I run to do acts that I know are not right,

Giving in to impulses that I chose not to fight.

This Yom Kipper was no different than those of the past,

I promised to mend my ways – but my will didn’t last.

I behaved, I self-controlled, I had a few good days,

But I quickly fell back to my familiar, errant ways.

You have been so patient. You have forgiven me each year.

Truly You are a Father who holds His children dear.

Please continue to forgive me though my iniquities persist,

For without Your loving kindness, I could not exist.

Al Chait… (For The Sin…)

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Every year as we sit in shul during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we make a chesbon nefesh – a reckoning of our actions and reactions.  And as we beat our chest and confess our sins, we sincerely promise ourselves that this time we will do better,  that we will improve and make a greater effort to control our yetzer harah – the powerful, human inclination that pushes us to gossip, to be jealous, to be hurtful, and to indulge in activities that we know are wrong and sinful.


Our intention to reform ourselves is sincere – but we usually fall back to our old habits rather quickly. But Hashem has mercy on His flawed children – and forgives us. May He always shower Klal Israel with His chessed – and may we this year successfully challenge ourselves to do His will – even if it’s one mitzvah at a time.


‘Al Chait…  (For The Sin…)’


As darkness falls, we turn on the light,
Thank You, Hashem, for the gift of our sight.
Yet we misuse Your blessing, we cause others to cry,
Envy and resentment bring out our Evil Eye.


When our children call out to us, we have no fear,
For you have blessed us with the ability to hear.
Yet we use this bracha to listen to idle gossip,
Instead of walking away, or trying to stop it.


When we need to communicate, to verbally reach,
We Just open our months for You blessed us with speech.
But we abuse this precious gift, for we lie, and we smear,
We humiliate and belittle, we scream and induce fear.


Our hands enable us to do as we please,
We can touch, we can hold, we can grasp with great ease.
Yet we use Your divine gift to hit, to cause pain.
Even when our minds tell us there is nothing to gain.


We can go as we please, whenever we are ready,
You gifted us with legs that are strong and steady.
Yet we run to do acts that we know are not right,
As we give in to impulses that we choose not to fight.


This Yom Kippur was no different from those of the past,
When we promised to mend our ways, vowing our efforts would last.
Indeed we behaved, we self-controlled, we had some good days –
But too quickly we slid back to our familiar, sinful ways.


You have been so very patient, You forgive us each year,
Truly You are a Father who holds His children dear.
Please continue to love us, though our iniquities persist.
For without Your loving kindness, we would not exist.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/al-chait-for-the-sin/2008/10/08/

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