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  • Writer's pictureAliza Davidovit

DAY #10:“Thou shalt not covet" -- Are you dying of ENVY?

Maybe you don’t admit to lusting after your neighbor’s donkey, but have you bought things you cannot afford or simply wanted because you coveted with your heart and eyes. Have you hungered for your neighbor’s life or wife because they look better than your own? The Torah wisely admonishes you not to do so and to keep your eyes in your head. What’s divinely awesome about this commandment is that no one knows what is in your heart, only God. So you can be the perfect hypocrite and like a pig show the outside world that you have split hooves and are kosher and good, but on the inside, God knows exactly what you’re made of and how you digest the world around you. On the inside He knows if you’re a pig! The rabbis teach that the only thing we are allowed to envy in another is their knowledge of Torah. Every other thing they have is uniquely theirs by Divine design. To covet is your way of telling God He doesn’t know what He’s doing?

When we covet, we try to live “their” lives instead of our own. By feigning such postures we become like failed Queen Esthers who flout our opportunities and decide not to use everything God gave us to fulfill our own purpose and His will, and so we with our uniqueness, perish.

Jealousy/coveting never ends well. In fact, the Talmud teaches, “That anyone who places his eyes on that which is not his is not given what he desires, and that which he had is taken from him.” The rabbis teach that upon creation, the moon was envious of the sun and questioned why the sky needed two great luminaries, and so God diminished the light of the moon; Cain envied Abel’s sacrifice to God and as a result he was cursed by God; the primordial snake which once talked and walked, envied Adam’s relationship with Eve, with the result that God punished him and made him crawl the earth, eat dirt and caused hatred between him and the woman; Korach, Moses’s cousin, envied Moses and Aharon and struck up a rebellion; the earth opened and swallowed him. And make no mistake about it, the moon, Cain, the snake and Korach each had tremendous potential and talents and each had great destinies of their own if they would have been busy being the best versions of themselves instead of trying to be someone else.

Green is not a flattering color for a complexion and jealousy is plain out unhealthy. Your envious eye glamorizes the objects of your desire. You covet your neighbor because your view is framed by ignorance. Know his full lot, understand his full package and you may soon find yourself pitying your neighbor instead.


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