The Evil Eye: Superstition or Reality?

  • The evil eye has a basis in natural science and it is good to always say “without harm from the evil eye” “Masha Allah – God has willed” when things are going well and that they should even get better.
  • Talmud teaches that there are two sides to the eye, the white of the eye and the black. There are also colors in the eye pigmentation of the Iris.
  • In the Jewish Talmud is written that 99% of people die from the evil eye; the evil eye is the main cause of disease.

When things are going good in your life in health, livelihood and family. When there is peace in your life and in your land, remember always to think positive that times will not change and things will even improve. If you’re conversing with a friend and telling him about your success don’t forget to say “without harm from the evil eye” as is the custom amongst Jews. If you are a Christian it may be good for you to cross your fingers. The fear of the evil eye is written in all ancient scriptures.

In the Jewish Talmud is written that 99% of people die from the evil eye; the evil eye is the main cause of disease. This seems strange since Jewish people are known to be intellectual. Not only Jews but also Muslims have a tradition that if a compliment is to be made it should be said Tabark Allah – Blessing of God and Masha Allah – God has willed. Belief in the evil eye dates back to Classical Antiquity. It is referred to by philosophers Hesiod, Callimachus, Plato, and others.

The concept of the evil eye is based upon the belief in the forces of evil which exist in the creation of God. God created good and evil. The first appearance of evil in the creation came through the snake in the Garden of Eden that tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. The snake is also called the Satan. God created the forces of evil to challenge man to prove him for good or evil and to give him a reward in the afterlife for his good works. With the belief in the forces of evil is also the belief in demons. The Jewish Talmud teaches that around each person are thousands of evil demons. If not for the help of God each person would be swallowed up by evil. The angel of death is the commander and chief of all his army of demons.

Science will not accept the existence of demons. Medical science cannot accept that 99% of people die from the evil eye. However science can accept that there is a destructive force in creation and a creative energy. All matter is temporary. Everything returns to dust. Man has the desire to fly into the heavens and has built airplanes, and rocket ships which can reach to the moon. On the other hand there is the force of gravity which opposes the will to fly. Technology has discovered the energy within the atom which is created through fission. Atomic energy begins as a destructive force until it is retained in vessels to make electricity. There are two sides of the coin of life, good and evil, creation and destruction. In the middle of these two forces is peace which combines spiritual and material. Spiritual is the energy of life called heavens. Material is the energy of the earth called death.

Talmud teaches that there are two sides to the eye, the white of the eye and the black. There are also colors in the eye pigmentation of the Iris. There is a technique of diagnosis of disease in alternative medicine called iridology through which the doctor can see the reflection of the body and its organs in the Iris. There is also a technique for checking stress and trauma through eye contact sensitivity where the doctor makes eye contact with the patient using a cup. Eye contact can be blemished through trauma. In Genesis 44: is the story of father Joseph who put a goblet in the sack of Benjamin his brother to cause panic to his brothers who had attempted to kill him. Joseph in traditional scriptures is called the man of the Good Eye. In the blessing given by his father Jacob on his death bed is mentioned Joseph in reference to his power over the evil eye. Jews to protect themselves from the evil eye say “Ben Porat Joseph.” The blessings of Jacob reads “Ben Porat Joseph, the whirling eye.” The whirling eye is the eye of mercy the white of the eye which fights against the eye of justice which is in the black of the eye called the pupil. On the pupil is a corneas which is a mirror. The eye is called the window of the soul.

Many doctors consider stress and trauma to be a significant factor in body disease. Good mental health is an important part of preventative medicine. Very possibly when the Talmud is referring to the evil eye as the cause of disease it is related to stress created through eye contact disability. Each person has his guard up in life which is his natural defense and immunity system. Emotional stress which is not treated can develop into physical disorders. The eye has two sides which is the black of the eye with steering energy which can become destructive when the ego has been penetrated by stress. The good and friendly eye then becomes naturally the evil eye for those that are not receiving its love and kindness.

In the white of the eye connected to mercy is the energy of healing. In meditation the eyes are rolled backward; an energy is created naturally for healing. When this energy becomes connected to belief in God and the resurrection is combined natural healing with spiritual healing. Positive thinking is another aspect of the good eye. Trust in God is part of the good eye. Worries and fears are part of the evil eye.

Jesus and the prophets have said that faith can move mountains. Faith is the power of the good eye over the evil eye. There are stories in the Talmud about sages who looked at people and they died on the spot like the sage Reish Lokash when he was challenged by a heretic, it says that he looked at him and he died. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai the author of the Zohar the Book of Splendor spent thirteen years in a cave hiding out from the Romans where he studied the deep secrets of the Torah. When he left the cave and returned to civilization the common people who saw him became frightened from the light on his face and emanating from his eyes. He had to return to the cave until it was safe for him to go out again. When he went out of the cave the second time he saw a simple Jew carrying two myrtle tree branches as was customary on the Sabbath. He was pleased with the simple faith of this Jew and now was able to return to civilization. Moses came down from the mountain after fasting forty days and forty nights and his face glowed with light. He had to cover his face with a veil that the light on his face would not harm the people. The power of the eye is great and it is necessary to watch over the eyes from evil forces. The Sage Baba Elazar who was tragically murdered several years ago in the city of Beer Sheva in Israel always watched over his eyes not to see women with their hair or body uncovered. He built a tunnel from his house to the synagogue to protect his eyes from seeing evil on the way to the synagogue.

The evil eye has a basis in natural science and it is good to always say “without harm from the evil eye” “Masha Allah – God has willed” when things are going well and that they should even get better.

(The picture above is of a Hamsa used to ward off the evil eye.)

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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