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  • Writer's pictureAliza Davidovit

Thou Shall Not Envy the Dude with a Hot Wife Or His Donkey

We all seem to know some lucky “undeserving” idiots who seem to have it all in life--that obnoxious brother-in-law, your sister, the neighbor, or that guy on TV. And as we compare our own lot in life to theirs, it’s hard not to be jealous when our assets are in bubkes and theirs are in billions or when they are so “hot” and we are just not. How often has the little green-eyed demon, jealousy, whispered in our ear? “If I only had what they have I’d be happy.” Unfortunately, jealousy is often not an inspirational coach that motivates us to improve ourselves as much as it inspires us to ruin others. Interestingly, the tenth commandment--“You shall not covet”--is the only one that deals with our thoughts and desires, not our actions. As such, it is a commandment that if broken can only be known by God, He who can read hearts and surely knows if you are lusting after your neighbor’s ass[ets]. But this commandment is deemed the most important of all because it is the root of all evil. If jealousy and coveting are nurtured, they will lead to a violation of ALL the other commandments. In the name of jealousy all the ills of the world were born in Eden. When I was a young girl and would tell my mother I wish I had this girl’s dollhouse or that one’s bicycle, even though we were not religious my mother would always say in Yiddish, even though she is French, “zindik nisht,” which means “Do not sin.” And then she would add, “You never know what another person’s luck is!” (Somehow wisdom spoken in other languages seems to have more gravitas.) As always mother knows best. She was right. Up until last week everyone envied Tiger Woods. He had a picture-perfect life. But we always forget that life is 3D, not a flat picture. Then there was the double-D beautiful Marilyn Monroe who was so envied, yet all her blessings ended when she died at the age of 36. James Dean, too, had everything to live for and then died at 24. The same is true of Lady Diana, Elvis Presley, JFK and JFK Jr. And while they lived, how many of them were truly happy and how many had sunk to the depths of despair? Millions of people once wished they could have changed places with the above individuals when it seemed their lives were dreams come true? But time has shed a truer light on their stories--which have proven to be more nightmarish than dreamy. Did you ever wonder what those people would have given to be you? Before you start envying someone else, have you really accessed everything that God gave to you and developed it and worked on it and turned it into greatness? Or do you lazily watch life go by and envy everyone who has the temerity to get off the couch and be all they can be. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with healthy competition or having role models-- that’s what leads to excellence and innovation. But each man has his own lot in life. It is said that on a person’s Day of Judgment before one’s Heavenly Maker, we will not be asked why we weren’t as great as others were but rather why we weren’t AS GOOD AS WE CAN BE! In this week’s Bible portion, we read about Joseph and his brothers’ jealousy. That jealousy led to a plot to kill him (until they decided to throw him into a pit instead). His brothers were so busy looking at Joseph and hating him that they forgot to look at themselves and their own immense worth. They were the future 12 tribes of a blessed nation, of God’s chosen people. Each was destined for greatness and named at birth prophetically for his own unique qualities that he would bestow on humanity. Each tribe was ascribed his own month hence the 12 months of the year; each had his own influence corresponding to the 12 astrological signs. But instead of putting their focus and energy on how high they could go and how important they were individually, they decided to “dig” a pit for their brother which, in the end, THEY fell into. Friends, there are two ways to augment yourself in life: one is by digging a diminishing ditch for others, the second is by building a meaningful platform for yourself. If you choose the former you become a coward, if you chose the latter you can become a king. You cannot rise by bringing others to their knees, but rather by getting off your own. ***************************** This blog is dedicated to: Lev lalev girl's orphanage in Israel (help make their Chanukah special) AND to The Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (help make their Christmas special) Doesn't matter who you help, but please reach out and help someone during this holiday season of lights and candles and brighten somebody's life. Sponsored by Wordsmithy Editing Services


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