What Do We Fear More?

halloween

So it’s Halloween tomorrow.


It’s a holiday to remember those that have passed. 


In modern times, it has become a holiday of ghosts and ghouls, spooky and scary.


People dress up often in ghastly costumes, party hearty, and go door to door, trick or treat.


With fright night, I ask myself, are we more afraid of what we don’t understand from the spirit world or perhaps of what do understand from people in this life?


Certainly, the supernatural and the spirits–elements of what’s awaiting for us on the other side are things we don’t really have tangible experience with or understand…we are afraid of the unknown.


But in this world, we are familiar and encounter bad people and deeds, and unfortunately have to deal with them, but it never becomes easier or less scary to confront these.


Sure, we understand that not everyone is good, and not everyone has the best impulse control–people do rotten, horrible things for selfishness and greed or simply because they can’t stop themselves.


How scary is it to run into and have to deal with people that can and will do almost anything–maybe without a conscious thought or remorse for doing wrong…perhaps, they might even enjoy hurting others, taking what doesn’t belong to them, forcing their will or themselves on others, and doing unthinkable acts of crazed violence and evil. 


We are definitely afraid of people like this…they are out of control, and don’t add up for those of us who think in terms of a soul, conscience, an everyday moral compass, and a seeing and hearing L-rd above


So life is scary, but death awaits us all as well. 


And as my dad used to say, no one has ever come back to tell us what happens over there. 


He had the most faith of anyone I know, and I understand we are supposed to have faith that we are going to a better place, but like coming out of the mother’s womb into this world, when we die, we are coming out into a whole new place altogether. 


New things are scary and going from the physical world to the spiritual one, I assume can also be a little earth shattering–where exactly are we going and how will we be judged when we get there? 


Of course, I hope that I will be with my family and with G-d and bask in his eternal light. 


Thus for me, I find myself less scared of ghosts and metaphysical things, but the evil that people can bring, behind ghoulish smiles and with hidden agendas, telling lies and fooling us of their evil intent, that is scarier than any ghost or goblin, any time of year on Earth or beyond. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Evil Stink Eye

Stink Eye

So there is an important Jewish (and non-Jewish) concept of the evil eye (in hebrew, it’s called an “Ayin Hara”).


This is the idea that people who are jealous of you or simply don’t like you, can wish bad (or evil to befall) on you. 


And the more people or the more merits these people have in life that cast this evil wish (in mystical terms, some may call it a spell), perhaps the stronger the potency of it on you. 


Superstition or real? This is a matter of what you believe in and maybe experiences you’ve had in life have taught you to beware of when others don’t wish you well. 


This is why many righteous people try to avoid the limelight–they don’t want others to focus on them and harbor bad feelings toward them. 


Better in a sense to remain more private and discrete than suffer the evil eye of others. 


If we understand that there are not only physical powers in the universe, but also spiritual and metaphysical ones, then we may choose to protect ourselves by shielding ourselves from the public eyes of jealousy and hate.


Others may choose to do extra charity, prayer, and good deeds in an effort to protect themselves from competitors and antagonists in life. 


It’s funny, but when my wife sees someone she perceives giving another the evil eye, she calls it, “The stink eye!”


And truly, it does stink that people can be so mean and hateful to others, but unfortunately, not everyone in life is nice and good.


It takes all types, and that is why it’s critical to avoid those evil glances, feelings, and thoughts of others.


Hurt can take many forms–words and deeds are the two that we recognize most often. 


However, we shouldn’t discount the harm that thoughts and feelings can cause as well. 


The mind and spirit of humans can reach out and up to the Heavens, and so we must live our lives good to G-d as well to people, and Bli Ayin Hara (without the evil eye) for blessings and not for curses. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)