Examine Your Life
Question Twelve : What's wrong with being jealous?

   grant :
Its not good to be jealous, of anyone, jealousy, destoys ones soul, and the only one it hurts is 'YOU' for being jealous, there is nothing in this world to be jealous of.

   salkowfamily :

The problem with being jealous is that it is saying ‘ Hashem got it wrong’ In the first place it implies that I have whereas in Hebrew there is a concept of yeish li – there is to me or ain li – there is not to me The truth is we don’t really ‘ have anything’ rather what I APPEAR TO HAVE IS ONLY A LOAN of which I am the custodian for a brief period of time.

The second difficulty is the implication of jealousy is that if someone so called ‘ has something’ , it means that I cant’ have’ it - this erroneously implies that Hashem has limitations whereas we know that HASHEM is limitless and has infinite capacity.

   judyb455 :
It is a error to be jealous it does not give your soul shalom. Hashem has created each of us unique. What is inside of each individual are gifts to be expressed to serve Hashem and each other. To be jealous is lack of faith and trust in Hashem's. providence.

   Rabbi Schwartz :
Mostly, we can't escape feelings of jealousy. When we see someone with something we ourselves want, we feel resentment, irritation and even anger. Even the smallest of such feelings is jealousy. Still, we can channel our jealousy in a positive or negative way, with the goodness of our heart or without it.*

With our good heart, we are happy for another's good fortunes. We do not wish to tear him down. Instead, we make him our goal, striving to match, and even surpass his achievements. With our evil heart, however, we pray that he loses his advantage over us, and sinks to our level. Such negativity, we need to overcome. We must take control of our jealousy that it not destroy us and any happiness we may have.

We should try then, to say kind, friendly words to this person. If at present, this is too difficult, then at least, we should keep quiet, not making things worse with ugliness. Also, we can work on growing ourselves where we are strongest, that we may be satisfied with ourselves.

Over and above this, however, we must remember that the ideal is not to compete with others, but to serve Hashem alone and with lofty motivations.

* From Chochma v'Mussar vol. 2, essay 201

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