Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Ch. 11 (Part 16)

Though we all know that “the jealous person gains nothing” being that way, that “he does nothing against the person he’s jealous of” in his stew, and that he only “harms himself” in fact, as Ramchal notes, still and all nearly all of us succumb to the form of “temporary insanity” as he terms it that is jealousy. (And if anger, as we’d depicted it above, is in fact an instance of a quick, arrogant, malevolent assertion of self as well as a harsh denial of another’s worth, then jealousy is perhaps a quick and meek denial of one’s own self-worth.)

The most jealous among us often get so “depressed, worried and bothered by the fact that someone they know becomes successful at something”, Ramchal offers, that even “their own successes give them no pleasure”. Solomon was apparently referring to them when he asserted that “Jealousy is the very rotting of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).

Others wouldn’t be quite as “bothered or wounded” as they, he suggests, but they’d nonetheless “experience some pain, or at least a certain=2 0chilling of the spirit” when seeing someone else doing well. And while they might “offer some encouraging words” half-heartedly to the other person, nonetheless “in their hearts they’d actually be hesitant” and might secretly want to downgrade the other’s success. In fact, Ramchal adds, “this is very common” -- “especially when it comes to a competitor's success” as most of us know.

But not only is being jealous shameful and harmful, it’s rooted in a deep misreading of reality. For, we’re taught that no one can “approach within a hairsbreadth’s worth of something that’s reserved for another" (Yoma 38b). That means to say, there’s a certain amount of this and that allotted to each one of from the first in this world, and absolutely no one can pass that line -- neither the jealous person, nor the other one. For “absolutely everything is from G -d, and emanates from His wondrous counsel and unfathomable wisdom”, know it or not. So, “there’s no reason to be bothered by another’s good fortune”, Ramchal assures us: each one of us has just what’s coming him.

The truth is that we’d be hard-pressed to catch sight of that in the world, since it plays itself out in realms beyond our comprehension before it comes to earth. For as Ramchal points out in another work, while the angels see the celestial source of their good fortune, we simply don’t. And certain realities are tainted on the way down to us, so we pick up mixed messages and arrive at erroneous conclusions which can lead to jealousy and the like (see Pinot HaMerkavah, as found in Ginzei Ramchal pp. 323-324).

In the end, though, we’d need to concentrate on the goodness that G-d Almighty has granted us, to remind ourselves that those who have things we don’t have would love to have things we do have and might very likely be jealous of us for them, and to understand that each blessing carries its own curse just as each curse has a blessing wrapped inside.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 


ARTICLES ON MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Under the Radar
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Sing His Praises
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Don't Forget the Butler
Shlomo Katz - 5758

ArtScroll

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Vengeance vs. Conciliations
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

> How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Don't Be Jealous!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

Every Little Bit Counts
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Different Missions In Life Require Different Techniques of Living
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Just in Keitz
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Associated Press
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Chanukah Vs. Purim
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Two Year Prison Extension
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

The Ideal Answer, or the Answer of Ideals
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Storehouse of the King
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information