Have you ever wondered what the mitzvah of lo sachmod (not being jealous) is doing in the Aseres Hadibros? After all, the Aseres Hadibros represent fundamental principles in Judaism, so why is it included?
Listen to this moshol from Rav Eliyohu Eliezer Dessler zt”l: There is one thing that no one would ever covet: another person’s glasses. Why? For the simple reason that the prescription in the lenses is uniquely tailored to that person’s eyes, and no matter how attractive they may look, they would distort our vision.
In the same way, Hashem “customizes” a person’s lot in life, and provides the perfect prescription for his neshomoh. Just as we would never want to wear someone else’s glasses because they would be wrong for us, so we should internalize the belief that anything that belongs to somebody else—as enticing as it may appear—would not “fit” our neshomoh.
From this perspective, we can now appreciate that a person who is jealous of others is lacking אמונה and בטחון. The belief that every component of our lives is governed by hashgochoh protis is fundamental, and not coveting what others have embodies that principle. This is why lo sachmod belongs in the Aseres Hadibros!
Rav Dessler suggests that if every person were to place his entire peckel in life on a table, and was given permission to examine each package and select any one, he would ultimately happily choose to return to his own peckel. This is because each person’s lot in life is tailor-made for him by Hashem.
The Satmar Rebbe explains that the Torah adds the expression “all that belongs to your friend” to teach us that if we find ourselves feeling jealous, we should remember that there are many other aspects of his life that are far inferior to ours. In this way, we will be able to feel gratitude and appreciation to Hashem for all our blessings.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School
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