The other day, for whatever reason, I remembered a story a friend of mine told me has happened to her. She was walking somewhere with her grandma and one of her grandmother's friends was walking towards them. When they met up, the guy did the typical "Omigosh, this is your granddaughter? WOW! She is so beautiful! Wow, she really is pretty!" and so on... When he was finished with complementing my friend, he and her granny did some small talk "Oh, so hows your son doing?" and "Hows your leg healing?" and so on...
Then of course they had to part ways. After the guy (grandma's friend) left, my friend's grandma said to her "Scratch your butt" My friend was like "What??" And her grandma was like "yes, quickly scratch your butt" My friend was like "WHAT?" And her grandma was like "if you don't scratch it, I will" And my friend was like "No, I'm not scratching my butt" and her grandma scratched it for her.
Another story, happened to me:
My grandma, sister, cousin and I were in the elevator in my grandma's building. In walks a fellow resident, as well as an acquaintance of my grandmothers. The lady realizes that my cousin, sister and myself must be the grandchildren, and says "Omigosh, they must be your grandchildren! So nice of them to visit their grandma, where's the other one? A boy right?"
So my grandma goes "yea, it is nice of them, the other one is also great, it's just that he is already finished with college, so he has to be at work." The lady smiles, elevator stops, and she gets off. As soon as the elevator door closed my grandma said to us "Make dooly" (which is making a fist and sticking your thumb in between the index and middle fingers). We were like "WHAT?" and my grandma was making them over and over again all around the elevator, she looked ridiculous!! She was like "That lady is evil, don't want her bad vibes on you."
I bet many of you think these stories are absolutely hilarious as well as completely insane. But I ask of you, when it comes to Ayin Hara, is your average "normal" person any better?
Ayin Hara generally makes me skeptical. After all, even by Kabbalistic standards it takes a complete tzaddik to be able to possibly affect you in any Ayin Hara sort of way. And lets face it, there aren't to many tzaddikim now-a-days and any tzaddikim wouldn't go around and give people Ayin Hara. Plus in order for one to be susceptible to Ayin Hara he has to believe in it. Therefore, recognizing you're a nut is simple and the solution to avoiding this occurrence. Giving power to a red string, or a yad, or any other symbol is just as insane as a Russian-granny telling her granddaughter to scratch her butt.