Positive Vision - Day 27
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger
Our weekly excerpt from the book "Positive Vision"
Day 27 - Appreciating Your Eyes - Using Them Correctly
These are among the many verses in Tanach that convey this most obvious point - that anyone who thinks about the wonders of the Universe knows intuitively that there is a Creator. As R’ Akiva states in the Midrash: “My son, just as a house is a testament to its builder, a garment to its weaver, and a door to the carpenter, so too the entire Universe is a testament to its Creator, HaKadosh Baruch Hu.” There is no need for detailed reasoning and intricate arguments, just honest intuition. When you see a building, you know there was a builder, and when you see the Universe, you know there is a Creator.
This is true for almost anything one chooses to focus on in the entire creation, but it certainly applies when we contemplate the wonders of our own body; as Iyov said, From my own flesh I see Hashem. And perhaps, from among all our limbs, the eyes provide the greatest testament to Hashem’s creative powers, as we say in Tehillim: Will He Who forms the eye, not see? If Hashem has created the wonders of sight, He certainly observes our actions.
In fact, the founder of the theory of evolution himself wrote: “Organs of extreme Perfection and Complication: To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Of course, he goes on to say with unwavering belief in his theory that he is confident that compatibility will eventually be found, but even he realized how absurd his theory appears faced by the wonders of the human eye.
He was wrong, however, even about the question becoming more answerable over time. Quite the contrary has occurred. Recently, a biochemist, Michael Behe, has shown that even a “simple” light-sensitive spot requires a dazzling array of bio-chemicals that just “happen” to be in the right place and time to function. Without getting involved in the details of his argument, he demonstrates that for the eye to function, a photon of light must trigger a chemical to become a specific protein, which in turn triggers another chemical reaction, which triggers a third etc., and this happens five times over until the type of protein ultimately produced is one that the brain is pre-programmed to interpret as light. Each of these changes has no independent value except for the fact that it leads to the following step, which eventually, after a series of reactions, becomes something that is meaningful. Unless all five steps exist and are arranged in a specific sequence, we would all be in the dark. Clearly some Being, a Grand Designer, knew the entire system beforehand and designed it.
To take this gift from Hashem, the gift of sight, a gift that so clearly demonstrates Hashem’s existence, and use it for things that Hashem prohibits, is the greatest possible sign of ingratitude.