Looking around during Shemoneh Esrei

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  • #613165

    IvduEsHashemBsimcha
    Participant

    I remember hearing something a while ago that if one habitually looks around during Shemoneh Esrei, they will not merit Gilui Shechina ch’v. However, when I recently asked someone it, he said that it’s always quoted from the “Haylige Seforim”, but never given a real source.

    Does anyone know anything about this?

    #1088008

    RabbiRabin
    Member

    mishnah berura siman 95 sif katan 5 besheim shulcha aruch harav

    #1088009

    Sam2
    Participant

    I believe the Mishnah B’rurah quotes a Shlah that one who has his eyes open during Shmoneh Esrei will not be Zoche to see the Geulah. The M”B adds on that if one is looking in a Siddur it’s fine, if I recally correctly.

    From what I recall, most Poskim don’t seem to bring this concept down. So we probably have a Makom to be Meikel (and certainly a Limud Zchus) Mistimas Divreihem.

    #1088010

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant
    #1088011

    IvduEsHashemBsimcha
    Participant

    Thanks everyone.

    #1088012

    mik5
    Participant

    From Revach Web site:

    The halacha requires us to close our eyes when davening Shmoneh Esrei. It is brought in the Seforim that if one closes their eyes during Shmoneh Esrei, when they die they will be Zocheh to see the Shechina. However if one keeps their eyes open (not looking in a siddur) when they die they will see the truly gruesome site of the Malach HaMaves. Why is this crucial moment dependent on Shmoneh Esrei?

    The purpose of this world is to mask Hashem’s presence and tempts us with false pleasures. Our job is to see past all this and discover Hashem’s presence within the world. Only this can give a person real pleasure. Those who indulge themselves in this world never learn to recognize true pleasure. Their lives are an endless pursuit of Olam Hazeh. Yet there are those who see past the fallacy of this world and its false pleasures and instead turn their attention to discovering Hashem in this world, fostering a relationship with Him despite all the distractions. They get a taste of Olam Haba while still here.

    The moment of death is a transition from a world of illusion to the world of truth where nothing exists other than the presence of Hashem. For some people death means the end. They are cruelly ripped away from the only world they know how to exist in, the world of illusion. The moment of death is their scary end. They don’t see anything they recognize in their new environment and only see what they left behind and can no longer be a part of. They see the Malach HaMaves, the most horrid end of all ends, as they become prisoners in their dark grave trying to figure out how to get out.

    For those who have spent their lives trying to catch a glimpse of Olam Haba, death is not death at all. It is the moment when the curtain is removed and all that they’ve strived to achieve their entire lives becomes a reality in their new found paradise. They find themselves in the pure presence of a Hashem.

    A telltale sign of what is to come can be seen by the way a person davens Shmoneh Esrei. Shmoneh Esrei is an audience with Hashem that we are granted three times a day. Those who recognize the true pleasure of connecting with Hashem close their eyes and block out the distractions of this world and focus on the opportunity to connect to a world beyond. Those whose whole lives revolve around material pursuits cannot shut their eyes on the world they know and love. How can they when their vision sees nothing beyond their lowly earthly surroundings?

    #1088013

    Sam2
    Participant

    mik5: The Gemara says clearly that no one sees the Malach HaMaves.

    #1088014

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Sam, just to play devil’s advocate, the gemara also says what he looks like.

    #1088015

    feivel
    Participant

    That was most delightful mik5

    #1088016

    atypical teen
    Participant

    That’s gorgeous, Mik5. Thanks for sharing.

    My issue with that article is that it’s not practical. Once you take it down from atop the fluffy cloud it’s lying on, you realize that there are many ways a person can show that he is focusing on building a relationship with Hashem. The one action of keeping one’s eyes closed during Shemoneh Esrei means absolutely nothing if the person whose eyes are closed is thinking about things other than Hashem as his eyes are closed, and a person can have the utmost kavanna while his eyes are focusing on the red tile on the floor in front of him, you know?

    The idea that the action of closing one’s eyes is what determines whether he feels terror or happiness at the moment of his death is troubling.

    #1088017

    feivel
    Participant

    Is that Gemora talking about what a person sees after death?

    #1088018

    147
    Participant

    Many rabbis periodically have to look around during Amido to wink to Chazzan to commence Chazoras haShatz without awaiting the Rabbi,

    #1088019

    feivel
    Participant

    Atypical: I suspect that closing ones eyes is merely a siman, not the cause. I don’t believe he implied that it was a foolproof siman or that it was the only one. It’s just an indication. The thrust of that vort, it seemed to me, was that where ones heart is tied to will have a resultant impact on the transition to Olam Ha Boh.

    I’ve seen that before. There are two (Gemoras I believe). In one the transition is described as pulling a burr from wool. In the other it is described as removing a hair from milk. The resolution has to do with where the Neshama is clinging to.

    I personally don’t see any fluffy clouds here. Just a simple point. But I find that point to be beautiful.

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