Jealousy: Cutting the Baby In Half

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Shlomo Hamelech-cut the baby in half-JealousyWhat’s stopping shmira from expanding? Why did they say that they are willing to shut down if Shomrim shuts down with them? Why is their whole existence based on Shomrims non-existence?

The Haftorah of Parshas Miketz reveals to us the extent one can be driven when plagued with jealousy. The Haftorah relates the first court decision the wise Shlomo Hamelech rendered after assuming the mantle of leadership. It tells of two women who shared an apartment and both had given birth at the same time. Unfortunately, misfortune struck one of them and her child died in his sleep. One of the women claimed that her child was actually kidnapped by the other woman and replaced by the woman’s dead child and the other totally denied the accusation. Shlomo Hamelech immediately ordered for a sword to be brought and that the live child be divided equally amongst the two women. The true mother cried out and pleaded with the king that the child be spared and given to the other mother. But the latter calmly accepted the judgment and agreed to the slicing of the child. Shlomo immediately ruled that the woman who frantically expressed her compassion was the child’s true mother.

This incident exposes the true ugly character of jealousy and demonstrates how corrupt it can be. It is most amazing to think that Shlomo Hamelech would actually rely upon this scheme and be confident that the truth would result from it. One could question, “After all, even if it were not her child, where is human compassion?” In addition, wouldn’t one expect the imposter to act out her role to perfection? Obviously, no true mother would ever permit her own child to be sliced in front of her very own eyes. Didn’t the kidnapper realize that she was revealing her true identity through this absolutely inexcusable behavior?

We must conclude from this that we totally underestimate the savage feeling of jealousy. Firstly, our understanding of this horrible drive is that one merely wants something belonging to another. In truth it is much greater than that and is rooted in an inner need for absolute equality with another. A jealous person can not tolerate the fact that someone else has more than him and is compelled, at all costs, to be on par with that other person. In his mind it doesn’t really matter whether they both possess the article or neither, what really counts is that they are equal! The Malbim highlights this thought through the analysis of the exact wording in each woman’s claim. The Scriptures state, “One woman said, ‘No, my son is the live one and yours is dead’ and the other said, ‘No, your son is dead and mine is alive.'” (M’lochim I, 3:22) The Malbim notes the different priorities in the two women’s statements. The first woman prioritized the live being of her son and the other prioritized the death of her friend’s son. This subtlety revealed the true intention of the imposter. What disturbed her was that the live child belonged to someone else while her own child had died. What she couldn’t tolerate was the fact that her friend would enjoy her own child and she could not. Therefore it didn’t really matter whether she would receive the live child or not; as long as he wouldn’t be given to her friend she would be content. Shlomo Hamelech listened carefully to her words and discovered her true focus and concern. He therefore put her through this test and anticipated with confidence that her true motivation and interest would surface. And so it was. In effect she was caught off guard and without even contemplating the consequences of her statement she told it how it was. Once she heard the soothing words of equality, “Both or neither” she was perfectly content and, without thinking, agreed to Shlomo Hamelech’s horrifying verdict.

The upshot of this is that jealousy means one’s inability to accept that fact that one can possess that which he doesn’t. Although it translates into a “sincere” interest in obtaining that very same article this interest is actually rooted in a base desire for absolute equality. This hidden reality exposes itself when one finds himself mysteriously calmed after his friend has unfortunately lost the coveted article. Suddenly the drive is gone and one no longer seems to need the article his friend once possessed. The imposter in today’s Haftorah lived with this real feeling of jealousy and saw things in their true perspective. When presented with a “fair” solution to her problem, she forgot to translate her jealousy into a positive interest, the well being of the baby, and left it as a savage need for equality. Shlomo Hamelech made contact with her true inner drive and when she was caught off guard she fell right into the trap.

This fundamental understanding of jealousy opens our eyes to the painful national experience of Yosef and the Ten Tribes. In Parshas Vayeishev theTorah reveals the underlying cause for the sale of Yosef. “And the brothers were jealous of Him.” (Breishis 37:11) Yosef was the privileged character in the household of Yaakov rapidly establishing superiority and the brothers resented this. They actually felt physically threatened by Yosef’s rise to power and sought ample protection from him. Although they felt justified in what they had done (see comments of Sforno to verse37:18 ) they did not realize that, in truth, they were being driven to their conclusion by base jealousy. However, jealousy should motivate one to attempt to obtain the same item or in this case to rise to a similar position of power. Yet, we discover that their response to this jealousy was quite the contrary. Instead of attempting to perfect themselves and be deemed worthy of a similar status to that of Yosef, the brothers were compelled to remove Yosef from the scene. Was this jealousy or basic beast-like hatred?

In light of this week’s Haftorah we gain a glimpse into the brother’s behavior. As proven above, jealousy means a non-compromising stand for absolute equality without tolerating anyone to possess that which I don’t have. It really doesn’t matter if I achieve an equal status or if he is demoted from his superior position, all that counts is that we’re equal and he’s not ahead. The brothers, although not realizing it, could not tolerate their younger brother as a superior over them. There was therefore no drive for the position of superiority because their true desire wasn’t status but rather equality that no one should be ahead of them. This unfortunately slanted their perception about Yosef and ultimately justified them in their position of removing him from his superiority over them. The results of this ugly trait were devastating to the morale of the Jewish people and could not be rectified until the martyrdom of the righteous ten holy martyrs during and after the era of the Second Temple. May we merit the speedy arrival of Mashiach and the day when this and all other character flaws will be removed from the world, forever.

You see people this never had any thing to do with your safety; it was always about them selves. There is no הסגת גבול to doing חסד, why not build their organization instead of focusing on trying to destroy Shomrim?

7 Responses to “Jealousy: Cutting the Baby In Half”

  1. Dave Tolashki Says:

    i really enjoyed this week Haftorah thanks for posting!

  2. antimesira Says:

    Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
    His enemies’ say he’s on their land.
    They got him outnumbered about a million to one,
    He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
    He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
    He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
    He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,
    He’s wandered the earth an exiled man.
    Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,
    He’s always on trial for just being born.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
    Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
    Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
    The bombs were meant for him.
    He was supposed to feel bad.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
    That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him,
    ‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
    And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    He got no allies to really speak of.
    What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love.
    He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
    But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
    They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.
    Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
    To hurt one they would weep.
    They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone,
    Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
    He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,
    In bed with nobody, under no one’s command.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,
    No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.
    He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,
    Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    What’s anybody indebted to him for?
    Nothin’, they say.
    He just likes to cause war.
    Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,
    They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.
    He’s the neighborhood bully.

    What has he done to wear so many scars?
    Does he change the course of rivers?
    Does he pollute the moon and stars?
    Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,
    Running out the clock, time standing still,
    Neighborhood bully
    – Bob Dylan

    Known for its illustrious stories and extraordinary figures, the book of Genesis depicts the lives of the foremost Biblical personalities. This first of five volumes recorded by Moshe, contains few laws or commandments. Indeed, it reads more like a story, or a series of stories, than a code of moral instruction. No wonder many a secular scholar has classified it as a book of ancient Hebrew folktales.

    The Torah commentaries, however, are quick to point out that there is more to this narration than simple legend. Jewish tradition views these accounts as being permeated with valuable lessons on multiple levels.

    Our sages go as far as to say: “The deeds of the forefather’s are signposts for their offspring.” For the Rabbis, the Patriarchs/Matriarchs were paragons of our very own lives – their story is keenly relevant and reflective of ours. Genesis, in this light, is a pertinent a manuscript about the world; its purpose; its people, both great and small. It is, essentially, a book of the human journey and our mission as the children of Israel.

    Of all the narratives, however, the one about Yaakov most remarkably resembles the story of the Jewish people and their unfathomable historical journey. As the third in the patriarchal dynasty, Yaakov, known as the choicest of the forefathers, is said to contain a fine synthesis of the extraordinary qualities and attributes of his predecessors.

    It is, hence, not at all surprising that of the many Biblical figures, not one’s life is more transparent than Yaakov’s. The Torah devotes more verses and chapters to Yaakov’s adventure than to all the other figures combined.

    We are introduced to Yaakov even before he is born, as he interacts with his twin brother Esau in their mother’s womb. We come to know him as a young man, a mature adult, and an old man contemplating death. We observe Yaakov interrelating with his parents, his brother, his wives, his children and grandchildren, even with his cunning father-in-law. Each of these anecdotes is replete with relevant messages.

    Given the above, the portrait that emerges of this Biblical icon, as a man embroiled in incessant adversity and battle, is all the more disturbing. First there is the protracted struggle with his brother Esau, then with his uncle Laban. Finally, he is seen in a nocturnal wrestling match against an obscure spiritual entity. Why is this archetype of the Jewish faith forever wrestling?

    Moreover, some of the methods that our distinguished ancestor resorts to, as a means of prevailing, can be perceived as flat out embarrassing. What, for example, are we to make of our sagacious grandfather dressing up in the clothes of Esau, in order to secure his father’s blessings?

    Some of the tactics in which he engages, as a means of gaining his wealth, while in the employ of Laban, are likewise bewildering. And what about his midnight escape from Laban? Even more perplexing is the fact that the Torah tells us all this. Is this something to be proud of? Is it not fodder for the anti Semites, who are more than happy to use this as proof of the devious character of the Jew?

    The answer cannot be better stated than as presented in the above quoted song by Bob Dylan.

    The function of the Jew, as he goes through life, is to “reclaim” what belongs to him – to interact with the world and release the sparks of holiness that have become trapped in the ugly clutches of Klipah (impurity) and return them to their rightful owner; the Creator of heaven and earth.

    The lesson of Yaakov’s lifelong battle is that the corporeal world is not about to give anything up on a silver platter, whether it is the rightful owner or not. To bring the world back under the sovereignty of its legitimate maker, requires cunning and ingenuity. Right and wrong are unfortunately of little significance when dealing with the savage pirates who wish to claim ownership of heaven and earth and everything in between.

    Much as Laban audaciously declares to Yaakov – after twenty years of bitter toil: “The daughters are mine, the children are mine, the cattle are mine, and all that you see is mine,” Klipah, i.e. Esau, Laban, and their like, latches on to everything in its path and claims ownership. Much as Laban denied Yaakov his meager wages, Klipah will not give up anything it has stolen, unless it is outwitted and out maneuvered.

    The story of Yaakov is indeed the story of the Jewish people throughout history, no matter how much we earn our keep in this would, no matter how much we benefit and enrich the societies and cultures that have hosted us, the familiar mantra of Esau and Laban resounds over and over: “The daughters are mine. . . the cattle is mine. . . all that you see is mine,” and it is we the Jewish people who are portrayed as the thieves and the bullies.

    In this week’s Parsha we learn that after all his battles, “Yaakov arrived ”Shaleim“ (intact) at the city of Sh’chem.” Rashi points out that the Torah intimates herein that he arrived intact physically, financially, and spiritually.

    Yaakov, the choicest of the ancestors, teaches us that the way to succeed in our mission as a Jew in this world, especially in the dark moments of exile, is not by being timid and passive. Quite the contrary, it requires that we put on the clothes of Esau and beat him at his own game – that we fight cunning with cunning and chutzpah with chutzpah.

  3. antimesira Says:

    To all members of shmira, if you are honest caring and just. Leave the fraudulent organization, we understand that you were sucked in by Stern, Prager, and Skoblo you most probably joined with good intentions thinking you were helping the community; they took you in and used you, and left you in the dust. leave and continue on with a productive life , if your name is Menachem Kozlovsky, Chaim Herzle, or Zelig Shaul, who armed with cameras hang around members of the community taking pictures with which to Masser, please stay, Stern needs you in these difficult times.

    To those of you with a Jewish soul, you cannot deny the wrong actions of your leaders and those filthy names above right. You belong to an organization of liars, thieves, criminals and, Moissrem. The proof is on the table. They convinced you to join in order to use you, and if you screwed up? “You were off duty”. Resign now, while your name is still clean. If you stay you are guilty by association, it means that you condone the actions of your organization, Stern, Prager, Skoblo, and Hubner, will swear to g-d that they never Massered, they use the “who me” Approach. The truth has been exposed, the evidence is out there, just open your eyes.

  4. antimesira Says:

    How to Handle Jealousy
    Many people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it’s teaching you. Here are some pointers on working through your emotions and feelings of jealousy.

    Steps:

    Understand the emotions. Jealousy is a combination of fear and anger; a fear of losing something, and anger that someone is “moving in on” something that you feel belongs only to you.

    Allow yourself to actually ‘feel’ the emotion in a healthy way. When you start feeling jealous, ask yourself: is it more fear based, or more anger based? Recognize which part of your body is being affected. If you feel a dropping or clutching sensation in your stomach, it’s probably fear. If you feel a burning, tight sensation in your shoulders and jaw, then you’re likely feeling anger. You might also feel a combination of those sensations.

    Communicate your feelings. Sharing your true feelings with someone without blaming them can create a deep sense of connection between the two of you and open up a dialogue about the path of your relationship. Use “I” instead of “You”. Instead of saying, “you shouldn’t have done that”, say, “I felt terrible when you did that.”

    Identify what your jealousy is teaching you. Jealousy can alert you to what you want, and what is important to you. If you’re jealous of someone talking to a friend of yours, personal relationships may be important to you. If you’re jealous about money, you may have an underlying need for security or freedom. Ask yourself, “Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What am I trying to keep? Why do I feel threatened?” When you begin to understand what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive steps to maintain those things, without the cloud of negative emotion that accompanies jealousy.

    Change any false beliefs that might cause jealousy. There are often false beliefs that underlie jealousy and fuel emotion. If you examine the belief, many times, you can eliminate the jealousy. Some common underlying beliefs are “Everyone is out to get my money.” or “If this person leaves me, I won’t have any friends.” Beliefs are changeable. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel. Choose to tell yourself a belief that is nurturing and supportive, and you’ll feel better. When you begin taking steps to creating a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, you will find the anger, the jealousy and the fear will disappear.Dont listen to people who make you jealous.

    Tips:

    Jealousy is not the same thing as love. Sometimes, people think that by feeling jealous about someone, they are loving them. Jealousy is not love, it’s the fear and anger of losing love. Jealousy disappears when you are truly loving yourself and others for whatever experience you’re having.

    Learn to be happy with yourself and what you have. Everyone is different and each person has their good and bad qualities. Realize that you have the potential to create a better future.

    Try to talk about your problems with someone. Perhaps you feel that these jealous tendencies are a private matter; then, you ought to anonymously ask an advice column or similar construct about your problem.

    Irrational jealousy usually stems from your own insecurities and low self-esteem. Address these issues first.

    Be happy for the other person. Jealousy can represent that “I like that, it would be nice to have that thing or experience”. When you can be happy for another person’s success and happiness, you are allowing positive feelings to flow into your life. Instead of being angry, congratulate the other person.

    Warning:

    If jealousy in your relationship is leading to control or power struggles, it’s a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

  5. antimesira Says:

    Keeping Up With the Cohens
    By Yossy Goldman (Chabad.org)

    “That’s some new kitchen Sandra just had done. State of the art!” “Psst…Did you see the new car Mark just took delivery of? It’s got every gadget in the book!” Common conversation. Rather routine, everyday talk.

    They tell of a rep on the road that had broken all records for sales in his company. When asked the secret of his success, he explained that the first thing he said when someone opened the door was ‘Did you see what your neighbor Mrs. Jones just got?’ That trick never failed him.

    This was never the Jewish ethic however. We were taught differently and our ancient value system is as relevant as ever in contemporary life. Privacy, modesty and discretion are all characteristics our people have cherished since we became a nation.

    Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel dwelling according to its tribes” (Numbers 24:3).

    What was so special about the Israelites’ dwelling? Rashi offers one interpretation of the verse to mean that the doorways of the Israelites’s tents in the wilderness were arranged so that they did not face each other. That way, one person was not able to see into his neighbor’s tent and their privacy was protected. In fact, this is one of the explanations of Balaam’s famous praise of the Jews, Ma tovu oholecha Yaakov–“How goodly are your tents, O Jacob.” The heathen prophet was extolling the Jews’ virtues in their town planning, whereby they took precautions in safeguarding their modesty and protecting their personal family lives from would-be busybodies and peeping toms, otherwise known as yentas and nudniks.

    Another possible interpretation of “not looking into your neighbor’s tent” might be this: Do not look into your neighbor’s tent to help you decide what you should be doing. Your decisions in life should not be based on what other people are, or are not, doing. Certainly not on what your neighbors have or do not have.

    Social workers today will painfully testify that family breakdowns are often a result of financial difficulties and the stress that puts on marriages. Many of those stresses are self- imposed. Their clients confessed that they didn’t really need the new kitchen or the new car, but once their friends were moving up in the status stakes they felt under pressure to maintain their social standing.

    Whether it is the kitchen, car, vacation or the latest digital technology, if we allow ourselves to be judged by other people’s criteria, we lay ourselves open to a lot of unnecessary stress. Even a simcha–wedding or bar mitzvah–can get us into “keeping up with the Cohens” mode, from the seven-layered designer invitation hand delivered to every guest down to the posh dinner-dance replete with chopped liver sculptures.

    Why? All because we are busy looking over our shoulders or peering into the next-door neighbor’s place.

    The principle even applies to Tzedakah. There is an appeal for the Shul or a Jewish charity and how do we respond? “Well if so and so who is a multi-millionaire only gave $10,000 then all I should give is $10!” What difference does it make what someone else gave or didn’t give? You should give what you can, irrespective of what others gave.

    How much resentment, bitterness and disappointment we would avoid if we didn’t try to measure ourselves by other people’s standards! We would be much happier people if we looked into ourselves and achieved what we could and should without drawing comparisons with others.

    If you want to enjoy the blessing of “goodly tents” or even just good housekeeping, keep your eyes and your nose in your own tent. Then you will be content, too.

  6. Great New Site…TMZ « Who Is Shmira? Says:

    […] Welcome back! Don’t be so surprised with the Mosrim, they cant compete so they try to shut you down! […]

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