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Open Your Eyes and See

Open Your Eyes and See


Dear Readers,

I was walking in a crime-ridden neighborhood of Brooklyn, and there was a shabby-looking man with an outstretched arm, asking for charity. I had some cash in my purse, but I didn’t want to draw attention to it. I quickened my pace, looked straight ahead and pretended not to see.

It was the end of a hard and aggravating day. Nothing had gone the way I had planned or wanted. My husband walked into our home, ready to share something that had happened that excited him. I chose not to see his eagerness. I chose not to share in his exuberance, but to remain in my own cloud-filled, dark corner of reality.

I had had a busy and exhausting week when I met a woman who hinted that she wanted to be invited for a Shabbat meal. Did she have to choose this week—the Shabbat that we had planned to make a simple, easy one, without guests? I closed my eyes to her need and closed my ears to her hints.

So many times in life, we choose not to see. We choose to remain blind to another’s wants, needs or pain, preferring to remain oblivious and ignore it.

This week’s Torah portion begins with the words: See, I give you today a blessing and a curse (Deuteronomy 11:26)

Maimonides in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance (5:1-3), states that freedom of choice has been granted to every man. If he desires to turn towards a good path, the ability to do so is in his hands . . .

He further writes, “This concept is a fundamental principle and a pillar of the Torah and its commandments. As it is written [Deuteronomy 30:15]: ‘See, I have set before you life [and good, and death and evil]’ . . . For if there were to exist something in the very essence of a person’s nature which would compel him toward a specific path, a specific conviction, a specific character trait or a specific deed . . . how could G‑d command us through the prophets, ‘Do this’ and ‘do not do this’ . . . ?”

G‑d is asking us to open our eyes. See the needs of those around you. See the beauty in giving. See the splendor in opening yourself up to do just a bit more than you thought you could.

Wishing us all a week of seeing!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Tequila Michigan August 19, 2017

Amen! Thank you. I'm reminded of "Mindlefullness." Reply

Linda Haniford August 18, 2017

While we are trying to learn from others we must not judge another until we've been in their shoes. We should assume that others are trying their best. So think about giving a pat on the back for the things that people are doing as opposed to looking for what they are not doing. For example sometimes I see people go through various challenges-they may have been challenges that I went through at some point. Their experience is completely not similar to mine as they are just being introduced to it and have a different background than me. I should just feel for them and hope that they'll be able to navigate through the experience successfully. Reply

Jerry Fort wayne August 16, 2017

Beautiful! Thank you Reply

Deborah Harper Florida August 15, 2017

My husband and I hardly have enough to get from pay check to pay check have to live on faith to get food and gas for week . We might not have but some change or a few dollars but when we see someone in need of some money for food or gas to get home we give it and it feels so good we pray to be able to give more. Life today is difficult but if we each do a kind act even if it is just a little bit it could make a difference in this world. Everyone have a blessed week Reply

Anonymous August 15, 2017

Hi, I am a Gentile with Jewish ancestry. Reading your articles helps me to appreciate the Jewishness of my ancestry. I am learning how to refocus my priorities, to appreciate the needs of others rather than what I can do for myself. Thank you for this article as I have to consider how many opportunities to help others I have squandered. Reply

Aviva Cohen Jerusalem, Israel August 15, 2017

Helping to bring Moshiach How very true.
I am recovering from cancer surgery, and I look at life much differently as a result.
I chose to volunteer for an organization in Eretz Yisroel that helps needy Jews with rent subsidy, food vouchers, medical supplies and tuition.
It is based in Passaic, New Jersey and is U. S. Tax deductible:
Vaad LeOrer Yeshainim
Thanking everyone in advance for extending a helping hand! Ask your friends, neighbors, relatives, etc to share financially.
May we help bring Moshiach through our kindness!!
Aviva Cohen Reply

Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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