A few months ago, a single guy sent me a scathing message on WhatsApp for posting happy family pictures, saying that I should be sensitive to singles. Given that I volunteer 20 plus hours a week for the last 22 years helping singles meet, connect and engage in their Jewish heritage, I feel deeply connected to the plight and challenges of finding your soul mate, loneliness and longing.
I have no doubt that these pictures on Facebook can create discomfort - but then no one should feature their Mom on Mother’s Day in case someone’s mom passed away or even mention they are celebrating with their mom. Certainly don’t go to a graduation or awards ceremony as there will always be people with more than you. I asked him if no-one should ever mention happy, healthy, smart or successful kids - many people including myself have kids with challenges, disabilities and illnesses.
This weeks Torah portion tells the story of the rebellion by Korach. The Sages say he was jealous over the fact that a family relative (whom Korach deemed lower than himself) was appointed to a higher leadership position.
As we learn in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers), "Jealousy, desire and pride take a man out of the world." This kind of jealousy does not leave room in your heart to want anything healthy. Being unsatisfied that others have more money, a gorgeous wife and perfect kids can only lead to more pain.
Instead of keeping score of what our neighbor has, let’s change the narrative to asking what are our abilities, strengths and skills. Every one of us has what it takes to make a difference in our corner of the world and become great.
King Solomon says it all when he tells us that "a person with a good eye is blessed."