Secrets of the Heart

Ohr Hachayim Genesis: Miketz

Secrets of the Heart

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” – Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662)

Chemistry between people is an unusual phenomenon. How or why certain people get along and others don’t is a mystery that has confounded scientists and matchmakers since the beginning of time. Some may explain the confluence of interests, backgrounds, priorities, tastes, intelligence and a long checklist of factoids that will determine the success of human interaction, whether it be friends, relatives or spouses.

Predictors of compatibility are often right, but just as often wrong. Two people who otherwise seem entirely attuned, for some reason cannot stay in the same room with each other. Or two people who have almost nothing in common become life-long friends.

The Ohr Hachayim (Genesis 42:8) proposes that in the interaction between two people, it is often the heart that is in driver’s seat. Hearts are perceptive. They communicate with each other on a subconscious level. The Ohr Hachayim adds that hearts may tell secrets to each other. They may confirm or deny what the mind is not yet aware of, or refuses to acknowledge.

In the back-and-forth between hearts a message can percolate to the conscious mind. “I like him,” the heart will say. Or “he’s a jerk,” the heart will confirm. Or “that’s my long lost brother,” as with Joseph and his siblings.

May our hearts tell us no lies and may they always interact well with the hearts around us.

Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach,



To my friends of the heart. Though we may have little in common, the heart knows otherwise.

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