Menachem Zaman

Close Your Eyes To See – On Chanukah we learn believing is seeing.

The primary battle between the Greeks and the Jews during Chanukah was a philosophical one. The main Greek philosophical formulation is “seeing is believing.” What exists in the physical world is the only reality. They wholesale denied a spiritual existence altogether.

The Jews posited that essentially reality is spiritual, deriving from an infinite G-d who cannot be seen. The material is only an interface to the spiritual. Therefore, our sight does not define what exists and what doesn’t. Sometimes in life, you have to believe first, and only then can you see. G-d can be found only when one first takes a leap of faith. Hence the Jewish philosophical  formulation of “believing is seeing.”

I wrote a poem in which I did my best to try to capture this theme in a small way:

Close Your Eyes To See

Lift up your head
Close your eyes
No need to sigh
Call to The one Who hears all cries

Hope is on the rise
But you have to believe
to realize
That behind nature’s
the beautiful Divine
Believe in Him and He’ll show you
a sign

No need for fear
Wipe away my dear your tears
Call in earnest for He is near
The brokenhearted He gives to ears
Even the silent pain He hears
Although man is dust He holds him dear

You don’t know if it’s real?
But all you have to do is feel
Just be
Close your eyes to
you already believe

For He is the roots of your tree
Buried deep beneath
Invisible but what you see He bequeaths

So do not despair
Do not be scared
Life may seem random and not fair
But you have Him

Close your eyes
He’s right there


About the Author
Menachem Zaman resides in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife and two kids.
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