Remember the old TV show “Candid Camera?” Remember how embarrassed people were when they discovered that their doings had been filmed? Well, for those of you who may not be aware, “Candid Camera” is still in operation. Every time you sit down at the computer and click on a forbidden site, every time you take a double look at the secretary’s legs, every time you have some illicit thought about your neighbor’s wife, it’s all being recorded. That’s right – even your thoughts! Just as the Torah forbids gazing at forbidden images, it forbids dwelling on illicit fantasies as well.
Smile - You're on Candid Camera!
The holy Zohar, in this week’s Torah portion of Yitro, discusses what I known as “Chochmat HaPartzuf” or the “wisdom of the face.” To summarize, a person’s characteristics can be “read” from the shape of his mouth, nose, forehead, and the like. It is known that the Arizal could look at a person’s face and tell everything about him. Rav Leon explains that every person has a compact movie screen on his forehead. Of course, you need special spiritual 3-D glasses to see it. There is a special holy Name that opens the curtains and reveals the movie of a person’s life. Rav Leon says you can see what the person did at work, and how he behaves with his wife, in short – everything.
Rav Leon relates that some thirty years ago when he first started helping people out with all sorts of problems, he used to look at the movie screen on a person’s forehead to see what was going on behind the scenes. Today, he doesn’t even have to look at a person to get a picture. Anyone who comes within his range gets picked up on his radar – even if he is thousands of miles away.
For example, once during a morning class, the public phone in the hall of the yeshiva kept ringing and ringing. Rav Leon told a student who stood up to answer the phone not to bother. He said that it was a man calling from Los Angeles and he would call back. Sure enough, after the class, the phone rang again. Before the student answered the phone, Rav Leon told him to explain to the caller that his pressing medical problem stemmed from the fact that he was cheating on his wife with a gentile mistress. “Tell him that if he promises to give up his mistress and begin to put on tefillin every morning, the illness will go away.”
Several months later, a man showed up at the yeshiva, saying that he was the caller from Los Angeles. He had followed the rabbi’s advice, and his illness had miraculously disappeared, to the great astonishment of his physicians. He had journeyed to Israel to thank Rav Leon and make a contribution to the yeshiva. As time went by, he became religious and moved with his family to the Holy Land.
So remember – “When you least expect it, you’re elected; it’s your lucky day. Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”