From Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul

The Two Eyes

By emphasizing that which is good in people and in the world, and by bringing the positive to the fore, the evil is superseded by the good, until it eventually disappears.

Rabbi Menachem Shneerson

My son, one of triplets, was playing with his brothers in their room a few days before the Jewish Holiday of Scholars, Lag B’Omer. The triplets were almost eight years old at the time. They had made bows and arrows out of twigs for Lag B’Omer, and I decided to let them play with them a few minutes before getting them into bed.

One of the boys was showing his brothers how to shoot the bow in a safe manner, with the bow pointing downward. As he was about to demonstrate this, one of the other boys banged into him, lifting his arm up and causing him to shoot the arrow. The arrow flew across the room at the very moment that the third boy, Elishama, happened to turn around to face his brothers. The arrow struck him in the eye.

Filled with horror at this freak accident, we rushed Elishama to the hospital. He was immediately sent into emergency surgery to try to save his eye. But when the surgery was over and the surgeon came to tell us the news, it was not good. Elishama’s vision in his left eye was destroyed.

The next day, as Elishama was recovering from surgery, he asked me from his hospital bed, “What am I going to do now?”

I had been thinking carefully about what I could tell him, how I could comfort him.

I took his hand and said to him very gently, “God created everyone with two eyes—one to see the world with a good eye and one to see the world with a bad eye. Right now God has given you the privilege to be able to see the world with only a good eye.”

Elishama considered this for a moment. Then he said, “Boy, I’m sure glad the arrow didn’t hit my other eye!”

Leah Golomb

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