Honorable Mensch-ion

Blurry World

Each morning, I say the blessing pokeach ivrim: We thank God for opening our eyes. I take these words literally. Without the assistance of a heavy prescription of contact lenses, I see a blurry world as I wake up.

My natural instinct is to reach for my glasses in order to sharpen the world’s focus. A few days ago, I brought my glasses with me on a small trip. Upon returning home, with three children in tow, I hurried into the house.

Unbeknownst to me, my glasses had fallen and landed in the street. I woke up with a distorted world vision. After checking all the places I usually place my glasses (and my keys), I hurried outside to check the car. There sat my glasses, on the pavement, in the middle of the road. I picked them in trepidation, and to my surprise, they were fully intact.

I once again recited out loud, pokeach ivrim: Thank you God for opening my eyes.

The Torah uses the words yeaver peekuchim in connection to the prohibition to take bribes. We read, “Do not take bribes, for bribes bind the clear sighted.” While the blessing literally refers to gratitude for the gift of sight, the figurative meaning can refer to the muddling of clear reason.

As a child, I remember doing the magic eye puzzle on Sunday mornings. What appeared to be a fuzzy picture comes into focus only when you slowly remove the image from in front of your eyes.

Our lives are intertwined with muddled perceptions. We are bogged down in details, minutiae that is important in the moment, but granular in the grander picture of our lives.

Yes, I am grateful that I was not in need of another pair of eye glasses this past week. I am even more grateful of the new meaning of a blessing I have recited thousands of times. God, thank you for the ability to acknowledge the messy world we live in. As we enter the Shabbat of Shavuot, may we use your Torah as a source of revelation, clarity, and love.

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