Halacha for Monday 2 Tammuz 5784 July 8 2024

“Ayin Hara”

Concerns About Ayin Hara
Ayin Hara” (the Evil Eye) refers to a phenomenon whereby someone admires something another individual has and can thereby harm that individual. Indeed, our Sages taught at the beginning of Masechet Baba Batra (2b) that “it is forbidden for one to stand and watch one’s friend’s field when the stalks are at full growth.” Looking at the field when it is at its finest state can harm its owner.

There are different explanations for how to explain Ayin Hara, however, the basic idea is that the idea of Ayin Hara exists in the world, and it can sometimes be harmful.

Two Consecutive Aliyot
It is customary that two brothers or a father and son do not receive an Aliyah to the Torah consecutively. The reason for this is due to an Ayin Hara concern, for the entire congregation pay attention to the fact that these immediate blood relatives are going up to the Torah consecutively.

If both of them wish to receive Aliyot, someone else should receive an Aliyah between them, so it is no longer consecutive. Even if the two brothers or father and son claim that they are not concerned about Ayin Hara, we nevertheless do not allow them to receive consecutive Aliyot.

However, if the second immediate relative already went up to the Torah, even if he has not yet begun to recite the blessing, we do not tell him to sit back down. It is obvious that if he has begun reciting the blessing on the Torah, the concern of a blessing in vain overrides Ayin Hara concerns.

“And Hashem Shall Remove from You All Illness”
The Torah (Devarim 7) states: “And it shall be because you heed these laws and you shall observe and keep them, Hashem shall keep for you the covenant and kindness that He has sworn to your fathers. And Hashem shall remove from you all illness and all of the terrible maladies of Egypt that you have come to know, He shall not place upon you, and He shall place them upon all your enemies.” Our Sages (Baba Metzia 107b) expounded the words “And Hashem shall remove from you all illness” as a reference to something upon which all illnesses hinge upon, and Rav explains that this is a reference to Ayin Hara.

The Gemara states that Rav knew how Ayin Hara impacted all ailments, for once, Rav visited a cemetery and using his holy spirit, he began to see who died at his allotted time and who died for other reasons. He exclaimed that ninety-nine percent of the deceased had died as a result of Ayin Hara and only one percent died of natural causes and at their allotted time.

We can derive from the above Gemara that Ayin Hara does exist in the world and the vast majority of people could live longer were it not that they were susceptible to Ayin Hara. However, since they were affected by Ayin Hara, they pass away earlier than they should have.

In the following Halachot, we shall discuss this matter further.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha

Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha