Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Avoid the Evil Eye


"The evil eye cannot rule the eye that doesn't wish to be fed from that which isn't his."

(Talmud, Berachot 20a)

Have a great day,


  1. Is ayin hara here "evil eye" or jealosy? C.f. Avos 2:14:
    אמר להם צאו וראו איזוהי דרך רעה שיתרחק ממנה האדם.
    רבי אליעזר אומר, עין רעה....

    IOW, when did the idiom slip from jealousy, to its punishment, to treating the punishment as a metaphysical force in its own right?

  2. Funny you should ask - that's my topic for a Pirkei Avos shiur this Shabbos.

    In a nutshell: I believe that "evil eye" is used biblically for thinking poorly of someone else or of a particular cause/purpose. Cf. Bereishis 21:11, Devarim 15:9 and 28:54, and Mishlei 23:6. It fits with Bilam as well.

    One who does not seek the property of others for himself will be protected from the efforts of others to gain that which is his, perhaps.