Obstacles to Prayer
The Baal Shem Tov once asked his disciple Rabbi Meir Margaliot: "Meirly, do you still remember that Sabbath, when you were just beginning to study the Pentateuch? the big room in your father's house was full of guests. They had lifted you up on the table and you were reciting what you had learned?"
Rabbi Meir replied: "Certainly I remember. Suddenly my mother rushed up to me and snatched me down from the table in the middle of what I was saying. My father was annoyed, but she pointed to a man standing at the door. He was dressed in a short sheepskin, such as peasants wear, and he was looking straight at me. Then all understood that she feared the Evil Eye. She was still pointing at the door when the man disappeared."
"It was I," said the Baal Shem. "In such hours a glance can flood the soul with great light. But the fear of men builds walls to keep light away."