Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I can get a pretty good sense of a person by looking into their eyes. Eyes that smile and seem like a deep well immediately reveal a person's warmth, while eyes that appear like a stone wall reveal a person's callousness.

Although this may be true 99% of the time, sometimes one meets a person with "stone wall" eyes who turns out to be remarkably kind.

Have you ever found this to be the case?

UPDATE: Yitz of Heichal Hanegina provided these pictures based on his comment:


At June 14, 2006 at 7:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Two great people, with amazing sets of eyes, come immediately to mind: the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l, and the late Rebbe Shloime Twerski ztuk"l of Denver.
The Lubavitcher's eyes had a steel-like intensity that almost seemed cruel, although he was a very kind man. He was obviously able to see deeply into people.

But for me, the most intense eyes were those of Rebbe Twerski! He mamash could see through you and you knew it! I experienced this, I'm not making it up! His son, Rebbe Mottele Shlita, was in my home a few years ago, and was a bit nervous about sitting underneath a picture of his late father -- "staring" at him! I kid you not!!!

At June 14, 2006 at 7:50:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Very interesting, Yitz, If I remember correctly, it is written about the Arizal that he too could look at a person and be able to know volumes about that person.

At June 14, 2006 at 7:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

It does not surprise me about the Arizal. But to have lived in the same generation with such great Tzaddikim - this is indeed a privilege!!!

At June 14, 2006 at 9:06:00 AM EDT, Blogger Shoshana said...

I've been told that my eyes talk - which always makes me nervouse, since I don't know what they are saying!

At June 14, 2006 at 10:20:00 AM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

OK, let's guess who the eyes belong to. There's a famous and kind Jewish blogger. I see Hitler and OBL. Is there a Rasputin in there?

At June 14, 2006 at 10:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Shoshana: Interesting, my father could always tell when I wasn't telling the truth by looking in my eyes.

Alice: No Rasputin. Any other guesses?

At June 14, 2006 at 10:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I often think about this. I try to read into peoples eyes. Sometimes I can't tell based on their eyes what kind of ppl they are. After seeing they are kind and looking again in their eyes I still don't see the kind eyes.

At June 14, 2006 at 12:01:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard many stories from people about the eyes of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and how he would look directly at him and his eyes showed how he truly cared about every single person he spoke to.

At June 14, 2006 at 12:43:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

socialworker/frustrated mom: I know what you mean.

anonymous: Thanks for sharing that.

Yitz: Why do you have a picture of Rebbe Shloime Twerski on your wall? There must be some story behind this!

At June 14, 2006 at 2:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

I'm the simple gentile. Hints please. Some are good guys I think. The last one looks super familiar. It's bugging me!

At June 14, 2006 at 2:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

Is one the Chabad rabbi?

At June 14, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Rebbe Shloime ZTUK"L was one of my early Rebbes. But hey, ASJ, you haven't been reading my blog from the beginning - please go out & do your homework! :)

At June 14, 2006 at 3:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...


1. Me
2. My grandfather
3. Hitler
4. Usama bin Laden
5. My great-grandfather
6. Lubavitcher Rebbe
7. Rebbe Shloime Twerski

Yitz: I saw that you posted something here

At June 15, 2006 at 2:07:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Interesting, the Ramban in his Iggeres, which is a classical manual for avoydas Hashem advices not to look into person's eyes when you speak with him (in order to work on trait of humility). In some societies it is considered rude. What do you think about it?

At June 15, 2006 at 6:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid: The Ramban certainly had a reason for this, however I usually find the inability to look me in the eye as a sign that the person is being dishonest. Obviously, there is a big cultural difference between the Spain that the Ramban lived in and America that we live in.

At June 15, 2006 at 10:56:00 AM EDT, Blogger Tamara said...

I can definitely see a resemblance between you and your grandfather. Cool post!

At June 15, 2006 at 12:01:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Tamara: My dad has the same eyes as well.

At June 15, 2006 at 8:27:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Neshama said...

It's very strange, but when I look at the last set of eyes, I thought of Al Pacino, who has a similar penetrating gaze. (I'm really not a movie goer, I just remembered his eyes.)

Emily was my English name (but no more of course).

I guessed your eyes, they are clear & sincere. Of course I knew the Lubavitcher Rebbe (when he was much younger in his winter black - I have the picture and have always loved it).

Are you sure that that's Yemach Shmam Hitler? He doesn't look well, physically.

Osama's eyes are not so eery, they even look ethereal.
Go figure that!

Your blog still remains the most interesting ever. Thank you for sharing with us, I really enjoy reading it. Hope you don't mind the analysis.

At June 16, 2006 at 6:23:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Neshama: Yes, I used a picture of Hitler ym"s and cropped it down to just his eyes.

Thank you for the compliments. Knowing people like you are out there reading what I post keeps me motivated to continue. Thank you for the chizuk! (...and I certainly don't mind all the analsis)

At June 18, 2006 at 5:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger Monica said...

Emmanuel Levinas (Jewish philosopher) would say, I think, that a person is "revealed" through the face-to-face interaction, in which you not only bypass looking at or into the Other's physical eyes, but you also discover that you are unable even to tell the color of his/her eyes -- this is what signifies a true face-to-face relationship with the Other.


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