Open Our Eyes: Mackenzie Taller

Mackenzie Taller, Woodmere, New York

 

You know when you lose your phone and you’re looking for it everywhere but can’t seem to find it no matter where you look? You go to your mom and ask if she’s seen it. She says “Yeah it’s on the shelf in your room,” To which you reply, “No, I checked already, but it’s not there.” Your mom says, “I’m telling you, I just saw it. Check again.” You answer: “That’s great that you think you saw it but it’s not there.” And so she does that eye roll, and let me tell you, that eye roll must be magic, because the second she does it, she gets up, walks over to the shelf and when her finger goes and points to the shelf you JUST CHECKED—poof. There’s your phone.

There’s a common phrase that people say when they lose something:

‎“הַכֹּל בְּחֶזְקַת סוּמִין, עַד שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֵאִיר אֶת עֵינֵיהֶם”—“Everyone is presumed blind until Hashem comes and opens their eyes.”

The source for this quote is from the story of Hagar. She and her son Yishmael were walking through the desert and her son was dying of thirst. The Torah says that “Hashem opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” It’s not that Hashem performed a miracle and placed a random well in front of her. It was there the entire time, but because Hashem opened her eyes, Hagar was able to see it.

The Imrei Pinchas tells a story of the Ba’al Shem Tov and his student who were journeying through the desert. They had run out of water and the student was very dehydrated. He told his Rabbi that if he didn’t have a drink of water immediately, then he’s going to die. A few minutes later, a man approached them and asked, “Have you seen my horses? I’ve been looking for three days and I can’t find them anywhere!” The Ba’al Shem Tov and his student said, “We’re sorry we haven’t seen your horses, but do you by chance have any water to spare?” The man said yes and gives the student water, saving his life. The Rabbi says “See? The solution was there the entire time, we just had to find it.” The student responds, “But was it really necessary for that man to be searching for his horses for three days in order for me to have a sip of water?” “Of course,” responded the Rabbi.

Hashem provides the solution to a problem even before it arises. If that man hadn’t lost his horses and started looking for them three days before this happened, nobody would have had water for the student and he would have died.

If we face a problem in our lives, there is already a solution in the world. Sometimes it is tough to find it, but if we just ask Hashem to help us open our eyes in order for us to see it, we will find the solution that already exists. Hashem creates solutions before He creates problems.

When we have a problem or when we lose something and our mom says, “It’s right there! Just open your eyes!,” really we just need to ask Hashem for clarity in our lives and He’ll open our eyes so that we’re able to see and find the solution that He created for us.

 

Inspired by chapter 20 of the book “Living Emunah” by David Ashear

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