25 Kislev 5778 / Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
    Create an account    |    Sign in
    My Account     Orders History     Help
  My Country:  
  United States   
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
Home Page Breslev Judaism Society Family Spirituality and Faith Torah Portion Holidays and Fast Days
   Personal Growth     Spiritual Growth     Personal Stories     Kabbalah and Mysticism             
Personal Stories  
HomeSpirituality and FaithPersonal StoriesGypped by Jealousy
  Advanced Search

Gypped by Jealousy    

Gypped by Jealousy

Without a supportive family, achievement seems less pleasurable. Along with attaining a goal is the primal desire for praise from those we love...


Everyone struggles with jealousy. I've worked for years to curb that awful feeling of wanting someone's possessions or circumstances. It comes down to me being happy with who I am and what I have. If I'm not I can either work on acceptance or do something to change my situation. Being jealous is not an option because the Torah warns us: “Jealousy takes us out of this world.”


No one taught me more about the pain of jealousy than a client who is unfortunately an object of jealousy within her own family. I'll call her Susan.

Susan had a very difficult childhood. Her parents were emotionally neglectful and occasionally violent. The family was uprooted repeatedly as her father tried to find some place he could hold down a job. Her mother was narcissistic and demanded that the kids treat her like royalty. Susan and all of her siblings developed self-destructive behaviors but at the age of 20 Susan joined a twelve-step program and entered therapy. Eventually she graduated college and became a nurse.  She is now happily married and has two young children. She works out and watches her weight.


Her brothers and sisters tease her that her house is so clean, make fun of her healthy eating habits and call her a snob because she doesn't enjoy getting together for big meals and lots of gossip.


They accuse her of being too preoccupied with her looks and tell her that her kids are spoiled. They don't like her husband.


If it smells like jealousy, call it by its name.


And yet despite the fact that my client finds no comfort in being with her family, she misses the closeness the siblings once shared.


Success can be lonely. Without a supportive family, achievement seems less pleasurable. Along with attaining a goal is the primal desire for praise from those we love, from those whose approval and pride mean the world to us.


If you've ever watched one of those talent shows, you've seen the families of the contestants. You can feel the level of empathy going on while their relative is performing. The heart of an entire family beats as one. Their hope is palpable.


And without the family there to share in the winner's triumph, winning wouldn't be as dramatic, as intense or as gratifying.


My client worked for years to become emotionally healthy, to build a family, a career and a meaningful life. She has made a good name for herself and enjoys close friendships.


Yet the admiration she really desires is that of her parents and siblings, who choose to feel diminished by all she has become. It's sad because they're the people who could really understand all she has overcome.


Jealousy destroys relationships. It pollutes love and corrupts loyalty.


How can we begrudge our brothers and sisters the happiness Hashem has bestowed upon them, often as a reward for their own hard work? Everyone has some darkness in their lives, shouldn't we be glad they have some sunshine as well?


I'll never forget when I first became religious and learned about divine providence, that no one can touch what is destined for someone else.


Back then living with eleven other girls in the dorm was fun but we all longed to get married and set up homes of our own. Coming from secular society where everyone competes, there was such relief in knowing that each of us would marry the man we were supposed to; it didn't matter who was prettier, skinnier, smarter or more fun. It wasn't a race and it wasn't a beauty pageant. That simple fact made a world of difference in the quality of our relationships. We were able to be good friends who didn't have to outdo each other in order to get the “best” guys. Our teachers taught us that Hashem sends you a man who suits your needs when He decides to. In the meantime we were to learn Torah, work on our character traits and pray.


My jealousy didn't automatically disappear. When a girl younger than me became engaged, it was difficult. But because I knew that jealousy was wrong and that Hashem runs the world, it made it easier to be happy for her and easier not to feel sorry for myself.


I have a friend whose wedding was almost ruined by her older sister, who cried during the chuppa, and sat stony faced throughout the week of sheva brachas. The older sister got married a year later but she could never undo the lingering affects of her selfish display of jealousy at her sister's simcha.


We don't often think how painful our jealousy can be for others - we are too busy focusing on our own pain but I can tell you firsthand how much it hurts.


Many years ago I landed a job at a drug rehabilitation center. A friend of mine was after the same position. We were both interviewed and I got it. My friend was furious and told me how much more she needed the job than I did. She was upset that I had even applied because in the beginning I hadn't been sure that I would. She told me tearfully how much she wanted that job.


I felt so bad that I relinquished the job and recommended they offer my friend the position. They did and she lasted one day, she just couldn't handle it.  Later she came to me and asked my forgiveness. I gave it to her and we both learned a big lesson.


Without God in the picture we can really mess ourselves up. If I had had more emuna I wouldn't have felt guilty about getting the job and if she had had more emuna she would have understood that the job was not for her. In the end, we both lost.


Let's work hard to be happy for each other, to really be thrilled for someone who has  accomplished something great or has been given many blessings. Let's work to truly understand that whatever another person gets is because it suits them and if I need something similar it will come to me in time.



* * *

Rebbitzen Yehudit Channen began her career as a Crisis Intervention Counselor in Silver Spring, Md. in the seventies. After moving to Israel, she worked as a marital mediator and social skills instructor for kids. Following the death of a son, Rebbitzen Channen became a certified bereavement counselor and worked with young mothers who had suffered loss. Most recently she worked at the Melabev Center for the memory-impaired, as an activity director and group facilitator for families coping with Dementia.  The Rebbitzen has written for numerous magazines and newspapers and recently led an interactive creative writing course called Connective Writing. Yehudit Channen is the wife of Rabbi Don Channen, Rosh Yeshiva of Keter HaTorah.  They are blessed to have nine children and many grandchildren and live in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Today, Rebbitzen Yehudit Channen is a certified Emuna Therapist for Breslev Israel. You can set up an appointment with her by contacting staff@breslev.co.il

New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Yehudit Channen
   Read more about Personal Stories

Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version

 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:


 Related Articles Related Articles

The Olden Days               Turnaround               Don't Close The Door To Salvation
 The Olden Days  Turnaround  Don't Close The Door To Salvation

  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
Claudia11/11/2017 4:42:06 PM
Michael7/25/2017 12:34:18 PM

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

In Honor of:    In Memory of:
   Bernard Schlamowitz-Yissachar ber
Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
Back  1 2 3  Next
Back  1 2 3  Next
 Most talked about Most talked about
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Most read Most read
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Facebook Facebook
 Mailing List Mailing List
Subscribe Here:   


open toolbar