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Antidote to jealousy: rejoicing in our lot

הקנאה והתאוה והכבוד מוציאין את האדם מן העולם

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

In this week’s Torah portion, there is a description of Korach’s opposition to Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaKohen. Korach is jealous of their lofty roles and stature to which he feels entitled as well. The punishment that Korach and his followers receive is symbolic: The earth opens up and swallows them whole since jealousy does nothing for anyone except to “bury” or remove them from this world, even while they are still alive.

As the sages say: “Jealousy, lust ,and (pursuit of) honor take a person out of the world,” and when the sages ask “Who is rich?” the answer is: “Whoever is happy with his lot.”

A truly rich person is thankful for what he has, sees and appreciates the many blessings in his life, and does not envy what others have. It’s a serious challenge these days to be content with what we have under the constant assault of social media and the accompanying fear of missing out.

Yet if jealousy removes us from the world, joyfulness and gratitude attach us to all the blessings the world has to offer.


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