So, if you remember from a few months’ back, I was having enormously troubling ‘evil eye’ issues where some weird thing was growing on my eyelid and my eye was very painful and generally just not in a good place.
I tried this, I tried that, I bathed it in gallons of colloidal silver, I worked the associated meridians, I stuck seeds wherever I could, I even ‘one brained’ it, to see if some deeper emotional or spiritual issue was at play that I couldn’t get to by myself.
Nothing worked, and the eye continued to get worse and worse.
So then, I went through a whole ‘eye teshuva’ checklist that included taking my internet use way down, chucking out any books that were remotely on the ‘dodgy’ list and generally trying to be more careful about what and how I was looking at things.
That worked a little, but the eye still wasn’t doing so well.
So then, I sent in a question to Rav Berland about my eye, and I got back the weird answer that I should be careful about guarding my eyes….
Errrr, I’m a woman….
But the Rav, in his wisdom, knew exactly what he was talking about. Two weeks later, I saw THIS video on Azamra from Rav Ofer Erez where he explained how ‘guarding your eyes’ also means judging your fellow Jew favourably, and I realised I had my work cut out for me.
Man, doing Azamra is SO HARD!!!
At least for me.
But up until Rosh Hashana, I put everything I had into uprooting my jealousy, hatred, anger and ‘harsh judgments’ of other people – and the eye got better! The yucky thing disappeared, and it stopped hurting me and being all gunky.
Sadly, since Rosh Hashana I seem to have fallen off the ‘Azamra’ bandwagon somewhat. I did really well while I was in the UK sitting shiva for my husband’s mother who unexpectedly passed away straight after Rosh Hashana. But a bit of me feels maybe I used up all my ‘Azamra’ juice for the year in that four day visit.
Because now, so many people are bugging the heck out of me!
I was walking around Geula yesterday, and I got flaming mad at about four different people in the space of half an hour. Some nine year old blatantly pushed in front of me while I was queuing up to buy (yet another….) school text book, and I felt so aggrieved.
“I was here first!” I told her – and she shrugged her shoulders and carried on asking the saleslady to bring her more books.
Then in the supermarket, some ‘distinguished’ looking man in the all-black get up let out a huge belch just as I walked past – and I was SO grossed out! Yes, I know he’d just swigged down half the bottle of coke (that he hadn’t yet paid for, which is sometimes the Israeli way) – but still! Is that Derech Eretz?! On some level, that still counts as acting like a pig, no?
Then on the walk back to my house, I had to keep weaving all over the pavement to avoid being mowed down by some very scary matrons pushing their strollers with a very determined look in their faces. And a bunch of teenagers kept ‘veering’, unseeing, into my path. And there were a few fat men who I had to walk ‘around’ (i.e. by going into the road) because the pavements of Meah Shearim are very narrow, and the rules of engagement are very pronounced (I have no problem with that, btw, or at least, not on a regular day.)
But yesterday, everything and everyone seemed to be bugging me maximally, and as my eye has been hurting me and going a bit funny again over the last couple of days, I realised with a jolt that I have officially fallen off the ‘Azamra’ bandwagon, and I need to try to climb back on ASAP.
But I’m so tired at the moment…
I feel I ran out of energy for all these big, energetic, pious ‘upswings’, even though I know God still wants it from me, and that my own life is so much better and nicer when I see the good in people, instead of grumbling about all their faults and flaws all the time.
But the problem is, I have run out of energy to fix my bad middot!
And I still have a lot of bad middot to fix….
So I’m in somewhat of a bind.
As I was pondering this in my talking to God session, the idea popped into my head that while I can’t seem to do Azamra for a lot of other people at the moment, I can still do Azamra for myself, and to try to understand why I’m acting and reacting the way I am at the moment.
I’m exhausted! I just came through some extremely trying circumstances and God is still waking me up every single night with some combo of the mosquito in the room / teenager out the house / early-rising husband making loud ‘adjusting his belt’ noises while I’m trying to sleep.
The last time I slept really well, all through the night, was in 5777…
So I have some mitigating factors, I know. But still, I miss that nicer, calmer and more patient version of me that seems to have gone AWOL at the moment.