New York - DAF: Ayin HaRah – The Evil Eye..
New York - Bli Ayin Horah.. Poo, poo, poo.. Red Bendelas.. Not telling how many children one has..Salt over the shoulder.. Lying about a newborn baby’s weight..What do they all have in common? They purportedly all avoid Ayin Horah – the evil eye.
Today’s Gemorah (Bava Basra 118a) discusses how Yehoshua gave advice to the descendents of Yoseph as to how they can avoid the evil eye due to their large numbers.
The question arises how it could be that someone could affect the future of another person with an evil glance, look or thought. Isn’t there a careful system of justice that Hashem placed in the world? How is it that this system of justice is now circumvented through a mere Ayin Horah?
The Chazon Ish zatzal, in fact, poses this question (Likuttim Bava Basra “Lizdahuri”), and answers that certainly everything is in the hands of Heaven. If it was ordained in Heaven that he be damaged it will happen. If it was not ordained - then he cannot be damaged. If, however, it was ordained – then it could happen that an Ayin HaRah will be placed upon him. The Chazon Ish further entertains the possibility that it may not be ordained on Yom Kippur that he will certainly be injured – rather it may be that it is ordained that no miracle will happen to him and that his course will follow a natural course.
Rav Dovid Kviat zatzal once gave an explanation to a similar idea. He explained that there are two types of judgements – Midas HaDin and Midas HaRachamim. Midas HaDin is strict judgement –something we all wish to avoid. Midas HaRachamim is jdugement with Hashem’s attribute of mercy. There is also such a thing as an idnah derischa when Hashem is kavyachol - angry at us. At such a time, He may do something called Hester Panim – a turning away from us. The Hester Panim, however, is limited by the Midas HaDin. In other words, during an idna derischa, Hashem may turn away from us in terms of His Midas HaRachamim – but not his Midas HaDin.
There is also a fascinating Ohr HaChaim on the idea of Reuvain’s arguments to the brothers at the sale of Yoseph. On the verse, VaYatzilaihu miyadam, the Ohr HaChaim explains that man can possibly cause damage that animals would not have been able to do because he is a baal bechirah. This Ohr HaChaim has perplexed many a Torah scholar. Perhaps it may be understood to mean that a Baal Bechira can at times cause a Midas HaDin to take effect as opposed to a Midas HaRachamim.
The Michtav MeEliyahu (Volume IV p. 4) gives an alternative to the Chazon Ish – laying the blame on the person who caused the other person to place an Ayin Harah. He should not have made him jealous. Doing so caused the punishment of the Ayin Harah.
According to this Michtav MeEliyahu, we are fully accountable for causing others to be jealous. This is why we should be careful not o purchase too ostentatious cars and houses.
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