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Lights XVI

“Jonathan said, ‘My father has distressed the land. See now how my eyes lit up when I tasted just a little bit of this nectar.’” (Samuel I 14:29) Our Sages taught: “A person suffering from Bulmos – faintness of vision from fasting, and is in mortal danger, and the restoration of vision is the sign of recovery, should be fed honey and sweet things, for they light up the eyes of a person who is ill. Although we cannot bring an absolute proof, there is a hint in the verse when Jonathan says that his eyes lit up after eating nectar.” The students asked, “Why is that verse only a hint? It clearly states that he ate and recovered his sight!” The Rabbis answered, “But Jonathan was not suffering from this disease.” (Yoma 83b) [The Maharsha (See Dedication & Hodaah) explains that if Jonathan was actually suffering Bulmos, he would have been allowed to consciously violate King Saul’s oath and prohibition, and Saul would not have considered executing his son for the violation. Therefore, Jonathan must have experienced some weakness, but not Bulmos.)

There are all sorts of blindness. (See rabbi joseph’s Those Who See For Us) We can become so accustomed to the words of our prayers that we stop seeing them as new, and forfeit their deep lessons.

We are convinced that we know someone and forget to pay attention and see when they are hurting or when they do something extraordinary.

We do not always pay attention to other people’s needs.

We fall into patterns of behavior and stop evaluating our choices.

The Talmud teaches us that we only need to taste the sweetness of our Mitzvot and service to fully restore our vision.

Light the Chanukah candles with extra joy and pray that the joy will fully restore your spiritual vision.

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