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Ayin Hara


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#1 mamash

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:42 PM

With all the ayin hara talk I thought I'd ask, what exactly is an ayin hara? How do you get one? And, in what ways can an ayin hara affect you?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 08:36 AM

As a Tzelem Elokim, a person's thoughts and desires have power. If a person is jealous of you, and deep down wants to see you harmed, that is similar to him praying that you should be harmed c"v. In particular, if the object or situation making him jealous is targeted by his ire as something he wants destroyed in order to alleviate his jealousy - even if on a conscious level, if asked, he would say he doesn't want you harmed - it can endanger that object or situation.

#3 ilavHashem

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:24 PM

is it true that ayin haras can only harm us if we believe in them?
also, a random Q, what does it mean when someone steps over you?

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:18 PM

is it true that ayin haras can only harm us if we believe in them?
also, a random Q, what does it mean when someone steps over you?

We do not rely on "not believing in them" when it comes to Ayin Horah.

There are actual halachos that exist because of Ayin Horah, for example, we do not call a father and son up for Aliyos one right after the other.

Throughout the generations we have done things to prevent Ayin Horah, including the Gedolei Yisroel.

(An interesting example: If you look at any picture of Rav Chaim Brisker you will find him always peering out from above his glasses, never looking through them. Many people do not know this but the reason is, Rav Chaim did not need glasses. He just wore them to avoid an Ayin Horah.)

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#5 ilavHashem

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:01 PM

glasses prevent ayin hara? y don't we ever learn about it? seriously, bais yaakov education needs help! and is the thing that if someone steps over u wont' grow true?

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:41 PM

glasses prevent ayin hara? y don't we ever learn about it? seriously, bais yaakov education needs help! and is the thing that if someone steps over u wont' grow true?

No, no. That's not what I meant. Rav Chaim was worried about an ayin horah since he was an elderly man and still did not need glasses, which may make people jealous. Normally we do not flaunt things that we have that others don't - we try not to instigate jealousy. But what could Rav Chaim do about the fact that he had good vision at that age that would prevent jealousy (jealousy that could bring an ayin horah)?

So what he did was, he put on glasses even though he didnt need them so people would not know that he had such good eyesight. That would prevent jealousy / ayin horah.

#7 much2learn

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

Rabbi, I have a question:

If Rav Chaim did this in order to prevent the Ayin Hara from being brought upon himself VS doing it to prevent someone else from being jealous (I hope you understand what I mean...) then is it the same 'mitzvah' (don't know another term)

Like, is it just as much of a chesed/mitzvah if I invite someone not frum to my house for shabbos because I want the kavod for Hachnassas Orchim vs inviting them because I want them to keep Shabbos.

#8 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:38 PM

I do understand what you are saying.

I am certain that Rav Chaim, being the Tzadik that he was, had as altruistic motives as one could possibly have.

But it's like asking if I lock my door at night, am I doing it to protect my property or to prevent people from becoming Gazlanim.

It's wonderful to want others not to do aveiros, but it is also a Mitzvah, and common sense, to protect yourself from being harmed. And Ayin Horah can harm.

#9 much2learn

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:26 PM

Thank you so much! I get it

#10 eidel

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

As a Tzelem Elokim, a person's thoughts and desires have power. If a person is jealous of you, and deep down wants to see you harmed, that is similar to him praying that you should be harmed c"v. In particular, if the object or situation making him jealous is targeted by his ire as something he wants destroyed in order to alleviate his jealousy - and of course even if on a conscious level, if asked, he would say he doesn't want you harmed - it can endanger that object or situation.


Would the person who subconsciously harbored jealousy in this case be held accountable for the damage? Is it his fault only if he was aware of his jealousy and didn't work to get rid of his jealousy?

#11 taon

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:24 AM

Thats why a person must learn mussar and work on oneself

#12 shifpifer1

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:58 PM

you never answered the step on foot question people asked! also is it true your not allowed to say Tehilim after midnight?

#13 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

you never answered the step on foot question people asked! also is it true your not allowed to say Tehilim after midnight?

The Minhag, which comes from the Arizal, is not to say Tehillim at night (Be'er Haitiv 238:1). However, if you are saying Tehilim for a Choleh who needs it, you can say it at night.

You're not going to stunt someone's growth if you step over them, but they say the reason we don't do it is because when you bury someone you step over graves to get to where you're going, and we don't do things that they do when dealing with dead people, such as pouring backhanded, or cutting your nails in order.

I would suggest, maybe, it comes from the Gemora in Sanhedrin (7b):

תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף ז/ב
אמר רבי אליעזר מניין לדיין שלא יפסע על ראשי עם קודש

and Rashi explains:

רש"י סנהדרין דף ז/ב
על ראשי עם קדש - שכשהיה המתורגמן דורש היו הציבור יושבין לארץ, והמפסיע ביניהן לילך ולישב במקומו נראה כמפסיע על ראשן:

So according to this it was considered disrespectful to step over someone.

#14 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

To what extent is trying to prevent an "Ayin Harah" ok? The Brisker Rav went through a great deal to prevent it, is that how we should act too?

#15 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:46 PM

To what extent is trying to prevent an "Ayin Harah" ok? The Brisker Rav went through a great deal to prevent it, is that how we should act too?

Rav Chaim Brisker. He was the father of the Brisker Rav.

The answer is, it depends how much people pay attention to you. The more you are in the limelight, the more you have to worry about Ayin Horah. The average person does not have to worry too much and does not need to do more than the average person does (such as not have a father and son get an Aliyah back-to-back). But someone who is the center of attention that people are more likely to be jealous of, should worry more. The odds are the average teenager does not have to worry as much as Rav Chaim.

#16 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:01 PM

Sorry about the "Brisker Rav" thing. Well, in a way he was a Rav, and he did live in Brisk. ;).

Ok, so about the question, I know about so many people who have developed OCD towards Ayin Haras. With every action they take, they think about the Ayin Hara consequence. Those people aren't necessarily better or more "jealousy-worthy," but since everyone has their ups-and-downs, their up may be somebody's down, and they don't want the other person to feel bad and/or give them an Ayin Hara. Or even if yes, somebody does have a "visibly" better life. How do those people live normally?

Thank you again mod for answering my questions.

#17 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:20 PM

Sorry about the "Brisker Rav" thing. Well, in a way he was a Rav, and he did live in Brisk.

True, and I am certain there were also many Geonim in Vilna, if you know what I mean ;-)

As far as how much to worry about Ayin Horah, you need not worry more about it than our Gedolim did. They knew how it works better than the people you describe. As you said, they are being "OCD." The way for them to live normally is for them to realize that they need to follow guidance in this area like they do in others, and that their behavior is inconsistent and self-contradictory. Because if they are worried so much about Ayin Horahs they should worry even more about Aveiros, which are much worse than Ayin Horahs. If their Yiras Shamayim is that of a normal teenager, then they are applying misplaced priorities by worrying so much about Ayin Horahs. They should make a to-do list in their mind of things they need to worry about to improve themselves, and follow it in order of priority. Ayin Horahs, they will see, will not be on the top of the list.

#18 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

What if they worry about both. They try to refrain from aveiros, but still worry about the possibility of contracting an Ayin Hara?

#19 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:58 PM

What if they worry about both. They try to refrain from aveiros, but still worry about the possibility of contracting an Ayin Hara?

Its not a question of worrying about both.

Its a question of how much to worry about each.

If someone worries about their health, that's fine. But if you won't go into the street without a virus suit, you're crazy.

Same thing for Ayin Horah. As I said, you need not worry about it more than our Gedolim did. They did not come close to the OCD level that your friend describes.

Avieros, on the other hand, one should try to avoid like the plague, as our Gedolim did. Because they are the plague. I doubt she has the Yiras Shamayim of the Tzadikei HaDor. If she did, she'd probably be one of them.

#20 FS613

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

As a Tzelem Elokim, a person's thoughts and desires have power. If a person is jealous of you, and deep down wants to see you harmed, that is similar to him praying that you should be harmed c"v. In particular, if the object or situation making him jealous is targeted by his ire as something he wants destroyed in order to alleviate his jealousy - even if on a conscious level, if asked, he would say he doesn't want you harmed - it can endanger that object or situation.

 


Would the person who subconsciously harbored jealousy in this case be held accountable for the damage? Is it his fault only if he was aware of his jealousy and didn't work to get rid of his jealousy?

 

L'Chvod Rabbi Shapiro, Shlita:

 

As Eidel asked above:

 

If Person 1 is jealous of Person 2 and looks on him with an Ayin Hara, and if C"V Person 2 gets harmed by this;

 

then, according to the Torah,

 

is Person 1 held responsible for his thoughts, jealousy, and Ayin Hara,

 

and the harm that  Person 2 suffered because of Person 1's thoughts, jealousy, and Ayin Hara?

 

Thank you.