The Gemara in Taanit says that when you take large strides, you lose 1/500th of your eyesight, and commentaries bring down that the remedy for this each week is to look at the Shabbos Candles when reciting kiddush on Friday night.

A) I’ve heard a possible interpretation of this midrash to mean that when you move fast through life without taking the time to look around (aka when you take large strides), you’re missing out on things and therefore “lose your eyesight”. According to this interpretation, why is looking at the Shabbos candles a remedy for this issue of brushing through life without taking it all in? And further, what’s the significance of the number 500?

B) Anyone know of any better understandings of this midrash?

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  • @Chatzkel Tosafos doesn't say, Thus each step hurts, but the person never approaches blindness. In fact, the limit of 1*.998^n as n approaches infinity is zero, and a person has only 1% of their m'or 'einayim remaining after 2300 p'si'os gasos (after which, for instance, one might think that their remaining eyesight is negligible). However, maybe (though this is perhaps דחוק) the first suggestion of Tosafos is that even an infinitesimal amount of מאור עינים is enough to maintain eyesight (as opposed to one's eyesight diminishing in proportion to the loss of m'or 'einayim).
    – Fred
    Jul 25, 2023 at 21:26
  • Vaguely similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/75699
    – Fred
    Jul 25, 2023 at 21:29


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