Someone once asked me how in the world could I concentrate with my eyes
closed, without looking in the siddur?
The truth is, I look in the siddur for most of davening, its only the
amidah, the silent shemoneh esrei where the conflict begins...
On the one hand we always say osios machkimos - the letters make one wiser.
There is a spirtiual light within the holy letters of the Hebrew language.
Especially if we see them written in Kesav Ashuri like in the Sefer Torah.
On the other hand, when I close my eyes, my concentration is so much
stronger, nothing to see and distract me. My mind begins to focus inward.
Sometimes I can see the letters in my mind. I draw them like glowing coals
in my mind's eye.
Other times I am free of letters, no letters just thoughts.
Still other times the kaleidoscope of images in my minds eye explodes with
brilliant colors, shapes and forms, full of the fire of prayer.
Some people close their eyes to escape and to stop seeing the world.
Some people only see the world for the first time truly, when they close
Like Rebbe Nachman's story about the Beggars, the Blind Beggar sees the
reality so much that he is blind to the falsehood of the physical world of
What do you see when you close your eyes?
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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