Vayechi: The Evil Eye

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Is there significance to the day of the week I was born? Does Judaism believe in the Evil Eye? Is there a safe zone?

Lesson Contents:

A. The Virtue of Thursday

The Talmud says that the day (of the week) you were born reflects your character (source 1).

The Rebbe explains this further based on the Chassidic teaching which explains that the first week of creation sets the tone for every week which follows. Every Sunday and Monday is influenced by the first Sunday and Monday of creation. Therefore, the theme of each day has a lesson for the behavior of the person on that day.

For example:

On Thursday, G-d created the fish and fowl, who are sustained by G-d’s acts of kindness. Therefore, Thursday is a good time to increase in good deeds. 

B. To Avoid an Evil Eye

In this week’s Torah portion, Jacob blesses Joseph that his descendants will not be dominated by an evil eye (source 2-3) by connecting him with fish, which are free from the evil eye.

As the Rebbe explains, fish are unique because an evil eye is generated when a creature shows off its specialty. Fish are hidden and never show off their great numbers; therefore, no evil eye is present in their reproduction. This blessing is also associated with Thursday — when G-d blessed the fish to be fruitful and multiply.

C. Free from the Evil Eye

This concept can raise a dilemma for a person involved in the success of a good cause. Should he keep a low profile to avoid jealousy and an evil eye?

The Rebbe here learns from the name of the previous Rebbe — Joseph. Just as Rabbi Yochanan (source 3) explained that he was not dominated by the evil eye being a descendant of Joseph, we are also descendants and followers of Joseph. Therefore, we have nothing to fear when doing good deeds and following in the previous Rebbe’s footsteps.

Moreover: Jealously and problems will be a cause for success. As G-d blessed the people in Egypt — the more they suffered, the more they multiplied. Challenges only serve to strengthen us.

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