My father used to say "Nem di oygn in di hent," literally "Take your eyes in your hands." This was meant as a warning to be careful. I wonder if there is a religious source for this expression.

  • Would you accept ולא תתרו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם אשר אתם זנים אחריהם? "so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge. Sep 6, 2020 at 8:58
  • There are numerous book written in the area at this point.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Feb 3, 2021 at 13:20
  • The yiddish spelling is נעם די אויגן אין די הענט Dec 5, 2023 at 11:54
  • Any such source would be conjectural at best.
    – magicker72
    Dec 5, 2023 at 16:48
  • hebrewbooks.org/52065 Dec 5, 2023 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


The Yerushalmi(Sotah, 8, 10) states: החכם עיניו בראשו(קהלת,ב,יד) וכי הכסיל עיניו ברגליו הם, אלא עד שהחכם בראשו של דבר הוא יודע מה בסופו

A wise man's eyes are in his head" - are the eyes of a fool in his feet? Rather the explanation of this verse is that a wise man anticipates the end of a matter prior to it in its beginning.

(For further sources on this idea see Pesachim(bavli)106a, Biur Hagra on Avos 2,9)

Although in this parable the eyes are in the head, it is closely related to your father's Yiddish expression.


I’d venture to say it’s a cross pollinated example of “פשוט ידיך וקבל עיניך” (B. Hagigah 3b).

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