17) Psychology of human relations

2 laws present in the 10 commands need a lot of sensitivity to be transposed in everyday’s life and are often looked at as superstition. Actually here we have a nice example of oriental wisdom completely in opposition with occidental culture.

I am talking about the notion of ” lachon harâ ” (the bad tongue) and the ” ayin harâ ” (the bad eye).

The first notion is of course the interdiction of blasphemy and by popular extension, the risk of malediction.

Of course malediction does not causes bad luck for those who are targeted to be struck by the supernatural, but what is real is that gossip can kill somebody just by social pressure.

Speaking about somebody (bad tongue) even if the intention is good is prohibited. Journalism is thus a very contested activity by the bible. And in order to be consequent, it is not Moses who tells the story of the exodus, but it is god who tells to Moses to tell. And as the word of god can’t be contested, what is written in the bible can’t be a gossip….

The second notion is less understood in western societies. The ” bad eye ” is the eye of the greedy one. And the interdiction to envy his neighbour’s posessions is a major interdiction one finds back in all the laws defending private property. Moreover transgression of the laws of property don’t give the right to kill. Only reparation of the grief in just proportion with the spoiled goods is proposed.

And in order to protect people against the eyes of the greedy, modesty is a good attitude.

This explains the expression following every compliment ” kein ayin harâ ” (pronounced with a yiddish accent as kanainehore !) which means ” no eye bad “.

And also the tradition to associate to every celebration a little bad luck such as a broken glass during the wedding ceremony. And also the tradition to keep a small part of the house without finition.

This tradition results from the psychologic need to avoid resentment in a greedy person. The persistance of a defect takes away the feeling of resentment.

One finds this tradition also in the famous jewish humor in which one loughs usually with one’s own misery.

This kind of spirit is in opposition with the Hellenistic spirit of perfection that has to be shown at every moment. In western houses the nicest parts are viewing to the front, in oriental houses the nicest parts of the house are inside…

This tradition is shared with Muslims who unfortunatly biased this tradition by applicating it in an idolatrist manner. Extreme modesty in Arab countries killed beauty. The fear of idolatry (itself showing the primitive anxiety caused by idols) stopped the development of pictural art. The fear of the bad eye imprisonned women in their veils and their harems where they have to be beaten according to the laws of koran.


Published in: on 24/10/2006 at 07:59  Leave a Comment  

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