Jealousy

[A talk given in the yeshiva during lunch]

Question: How does one overcome feelings of jealousy?
Answer: The solution is faith in Hashem. First of all, Hashem gives to each person exactly what he needs – no more and no less. After all, we believe that Hashem is omnipotent. Furthermore, Hashem is good. He is good to all and His mercies extend to all of His creations (Tehillim 145:9). If He does not give something to you, it is a sign that it is not good for you. Therefore, you do not need to be jealous that your friend is wealthy and you are poor, your friend succeeds in learning Torah and you have trouble, your friend is married and you are still single, your friend has weak urges and you have strong ones, etc… This is exactly how Hashem arranged it. Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov were extremely wealthy, while the prophets Eliyahu and Elisha were incredibly poor. Rabbi Avraham ben Ha-Rambam writes in the book "Ha-Maspik Le-Ovdei Hashem" (Sha'ar Ha-Perishut) that they were so poor that they did not know if they could get married because they had no money to buy any kind of housing or food. This is the way it was meant to be according to Divine directive. The reign of one's kingship does not impede on another's kingship (Berachot 48b and other places). You have received the best conditions in which to serve Hashem. The Rambam in "Moreh Nevuchim" wrote that the angels are greater than us and there is no need for us to be jealous of them. You can serve Hashem even if you are not an angel. A person should not say: Either I am the Chief of Staff or I am not serving in Tzahal. Each and every soldier has a role to play. One does not say: Either I will be a great Torah scholar or I will not learn Torah. Not true – "every man at his camp and every man at his banner" (Bamidbar 1:52). Each person receives his role. Therefore, everyone needs to be happy with his roles because he is needed there. Every person should say: The world was created for me. This part of serving Hashem and this part in the Nation of Israel is mine and no one can take it from me. Therefore, I do not need to be jealous of anyone and I should be happy with my lot. I am happy with my physical lot (Pirkei Avot 4:1) and I am happy with my spiritual lot (Pirkei Avot 6:6).