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AYIN HARAH
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AYIN HARAH
Question - - 02/28/2013
I'd like to know a bit more about the term "ayin harah" — the "evil eye." Is there really such a thing, or is it merely superstition?
Answer by Arachim
The term "evil eye" usually refers to something that attracts the attention of others and arouses their jealously. It might be a case of a particularly talented or beautiful child, of physical or mental prowess, of exceptional wealth and popularity, or any other form of success in life.

Drawing attention to oneself is likely to arouse envy and negative criticism. Unfortunately, man's baser nature may prompt him to find consolation in the downfall of those who have succeeded where he feels he has failed: "If I can't have a million dollars, at least let Sydney not have his million either."

Such sentiments are not constructive; they undermine society and divert man from the purpose for which he has come into this world. Therefore, on occasion, the Creator who endowed Sydney with extensive wealth that he is flaunts before others decides to eliminate the cause of envy. One way of putting things straight and eliminating hard feelings is to manipulate affairs so that Sydney looses a portion of his holdings.

Sometimes, if a person comes up against an individual who is spiteful or malevolent, a person may suffer even though he is not ostentatious about his wealth or prestige.

On the whole, it is a good idea to avoid drawing attention to one's achievements, and not arouse the envy of others unnecessarily. Experience shows that those who are modest and reserved, who play down their successes, are less vulnerable.

If one feels that, despite his efforts to shun the limelight, he is suffering from ayin hara, it is advisable to consult with a learned rabbi who is regarded as an accomplished Torah scholar. However, it is essential to stress in this regard, that nowadays there are many charlatans who pose as experts in kabbalah or in dispelling the ayin harah, and demand exorbitant fees for their services. These imposters are motivated not by the desire to help others, but by a desire for quick profits at the expense of those suffering misfortune.

Consequently, in our times it is very important to make thorough inquiries in advance. One should make certain that one is approaching to a valid authority who is indeed righteous and learned, and able to bring blessing on those who turn to him.
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