The Evil Eye Remover

Worldly Problems Deserve an Otherworldly Response — for $101

Kurt Hoffman

By Ruchama King Feuerman

Published August 12, 2013, issue of August 16, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 5)

She made clucking noises: “Hashem yishmor! (“Heaven forfend!”) You have the biggest ayin-hores against you I ever saw!”

In my gut I felt terror.

Then I rolled my eyes. Come on, an evil eye remover is predisposed to see those little buggers everywhere, just like homeopaths see parasites lurking in everyone’s intestines. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

“How can you tell?” I asked.

She responded: “The bubbles in the lead. They’re like eyes.” She stirred some more. “Huge,” she exclaimed.

I nodded — sure, sure. She probably said that to all her customers. Still, I felt scared, and a little proud, too, as if having the largest ayin-hore were something to brag about.

“I’m doing it all over again, until the eyes disappear,” she let me know.

Maybe she should use Shout, I thought.

“They won’t disappear so fast,” she said in a worried voice.

Now I fretted: Why weren’t they going down so fast? Then I shook myself. I was worried, as if this were real, had validity, as if it weren’t sheer nonsense.

Finally, she announced she was done. She talked about my ayin-hore situation. I don’t recall everything she said about me, but she ended with, “There are people who are talking about you, who are jealous of you, begrudge your success.” What success? I thought. “Very, very jealous. They try to pull you down. I have never seen anyone who has so many people giving her an ayin-hore. Oy, oy, so many bubbles in the lead. And so big. But don’t worry,” she said with satisfaction, “I got them all.”

Good, I thought grimly. Stomp them all. Obliterate every last one. Kill the little buggers.

Because who could know what forces were out there in the universe? After all, if germs and bacteria and electrons and protons existed way before anyone discovered their reality, why was it inconceivable that invisible demons — ayin-hores — existed, even if we couldn’t yet prove they were there? I thought of all those imps, dybbuks and demons in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s fiction. I thought of the phrase “Looks can kill.” Well, maybe jealousy can kill, too.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.