Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Miketz

Under the Radar

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

And Yaakov said to his sons: “Why do you make yourselves conspicuous?” (Beresheet 42:1)

When Yaakov’s sons were about to leave to purchase food in Egypt he offered his sage advice, “Enter Egypt through separate gates. Do not all enter together because you will be noticed.” The Gemara (Taaneet 10a) elaborates. “Don’t show yourselves as satisfied and healthy in front of Esav and Yishmael for they will become envious” Rashi adds that Yaakov was fearful of the evil eye that may fall upon them if they were seen together as an impressive group of strong healthy men entering the city together.

Yaakov taught us the destructive power of jealousy from personal experience. He had given some special amenities to Yosef his son from Rachel and it created jealousies amongst the brothers that lead to the sale of Yosef to a caravan to Egypt. The Gemara says: A person should never treat one child different from another and describes the chain of events that followed Yaakov’s special favors to Yosef. (Shabbat 10b) The Rabbis went further and say that one should avoid any behavior that will create jealousy between two people. For example: One should not praise a person in front of another who dislikes him.

A man was fortunate to be blessed with twin boys. He invited Rav Shach zt’l –Rosh Yeshivat Ponovetz - to serve as Sandak (The one upon whose lap an infant is placed for the circumcision ceremony). When twins are circumcised each gets his own berit milah ceremony. Tradition has it that the sandak for each should be a different person. After the first was done Rav Shach remained in his seat and sat for the second boy as well – not in keeping with the custom to have someone else sit for the second child. After the circumcision Rav Shach explained his break with tradition. “I imagined these boys 15 or 20 years from now and thought perhaps one may taunt the other saying, “My sandak was Rav Shach – who held you? I did not want to be the vehicle to create jealousy between the brothers.”

A person should try to blend in with the scenery as Yaakov Avinu a’h suggested. In our times too many strive to out do others in dress, automobiles, homes and parties. This competitive spirit can breed envy which can result in being subjected to the dangers of the evil eye.

One of the greats of the last generation was Rav Yaakov Kanievsky zt’l – known as the Steipler. His vast Torah knowledge and his uncanny ability to see beyond what the eye can see are legendary. In his old age he fell ill. A colleague visited and told the Rav, “Tomorrow is Rosh Hodesh – I intend to go to the graves of tzadikeem – the righteous – and pray on behalf of your recovery.”

“Don’t bother going” replied the weak patient, ‘’I know why I am ill. You see there is a Rabbi in America who has written several books and he praises me in them. I told him it is better not to write about me but he insists that it will encourage others to go in the ways of our Torah. Even though his intentions are pure –THE PUBLICITY IS NOT HEALTHY FOR ME”

The lesson Yaakov Avinu taught his sons is a timeless one that all should heed. Don’t try to stand out and impress. In fact, the opposite is recommended. Keep a low profile in all that you do. “Why make yourself conspicuous?” Jealousy is a powerful negative force that can cause great harm. The less publicity – the better.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

In Man's Diminished Image
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Saved From a Rainy Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

ArtScroll

Great Is Peace
- 5769

Not Just Despite, but Because of!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

“Live & Let Live?”
Jon Erlbaum - 0

> The Ideal Way of Life
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Parshas Noach
Shlomo Katz - 5772

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

If it Hurts, Scream!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758



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