Pinterest: Seeing the Good in Things

By Yonatan Gordon

In Jewish thought we acquire what we see with our eyes. What I choose to acquire is subject to one’s control over the eyes.

Seeing is also a verification process (In Hebrew, “sight” (רְאִיָה) and “proof” (רְאָיָה) both come from the root “to see” (ראה)). On a certain plane, seeing something is a proof of its existence. To continually look at someone (like a teacher to student or husband to wife) is a sign of the onlookers care and concern for that individual. More than just an emotional attachment, looking implies that you are welcoming them into your consciousness.

As stated in their About Us section, Pinterest is a platform that “allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

The first thing that comes to mind from this is the well established relationship between sight and love in the Torah. As in the verse “and you will not follow after your heart and after your eyes by which you will go stray” and the dictum “the eye sees and the heart covets” (Rashi to Numbers 15:39).

The lesson here is that a person should “guard” his eyes to see only that which is good (in the world in general and in his fellow man in particular) and modest. The ability to guard and focus one’s eyesight correctly is the rectified “sense” of sight.

As for the suggested uses for this platform “to plan weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes” — as mentioned in the previous post, these three relate to Kingship in Kabbalah. (It’s the function of a king to look around the world and find those things that are good and beautiful. Why does he do this? In order to glorify the grandeur and majesty of God’s Kingdom. It is also only these four things–wife, home, offering, king–that are called new in the Torah.)

What this means is as follows: The program is interesting in that it highlights that sight itself is a form of acquisition. More than passive observation, sight does indeed act as a form of acquisition. People who use this service feel rich instantly because they have “acquired” dozens of objects at no actual cost to them.

But the fact this sight acquires means, all the more so, that we should be careful before casting our gaze upon any object.

Controlling Sight Through Clicks

Interestingly enough, the right hand in general, and the index finger in particular, serve to direct and focus one’s eyesight according to Kabbalah. Naturally then it is with this finger that Pinterest, and other computer based services,  rely on the most.

When reading the Torah scroll, it is a custom to point at every word with a silver “finger” (also as in the last name of a co-founder of this company). It is also a custom to use the right hand to make signs to indicate the cantillation nuances for the reader of the Torah.

The wedding ring is placed by the groom on the index finger of the bride’s right hand. This elevates the couple to the level of “my dove” (Song of Songs 5:2), the intense expression of love transmitted by the never ceasing gaze of the eyes one to the other-“your eyes are as doves,” (Song of Songs 5:12).

IN SUMMARY: Be careful what you see and where you click and if you want to be like the king, look and click in order to glorify the Kingdom of Heaven.


One thought on “Pinterest: Seeing the Good in Things

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s