8 Guard me like the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings
shom-RAY-nee k’-ee-SHON bat A-yin b’-TZAYL k’-na-FE-kha tas-tee-RAY-nee
ח שָׁמְרֵנִי כְּאִישׁוֹן בַּת־עָיִן בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנִי׃
17:8 The apple of Your eye
The term eeshon bat ayin (אישון בת-עין), ‘the apple of the eye’, refers to the pupil , and is used by the psalmist to reflect the divine protection he seeks: “Guard me like the apple of Your eye”. The eye is the most sensitive part of the body, and therefore the most protected part of the face. There are eyelids and eyelashes to protect the eyes from foreign intrusion, eyebrows to protect from sweat, and the forehead and nose to protect them from impact. The psalmist asks that Hashem protect him fully like the eye that is surrounded on all sides. A more profound interpretation of this expression recognizes that the eye is also the window to the soul. By asking the Lord to protect his eyes, the psalmist is thus asking God to guard his soul. In 1989, a group of settlers created a new community in Gush Etzion under the guidance of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. The residents of the community, called Bat Ayin, are mostly Jews with Hassidic tendencies, who place great emphasis on spirituality and the soul and aim to recognize and spread the light of Hashem in this world. Today, close to 200 families live in Bat Ayin, representing Jews of all walks of life, from rabbis and teachers, to artists and musicians, builders, farmers, doctors and writers.