By A. Cohen

This week’s Torah portion is Parshat Yitro. This portion is monumental as it discusses the giving of the Torah, the Ten commandments. One of the commandments is to “not covet your friend’s house.” The foundation of the entire Torah, all 613 commandments, are the Ten Commandments. If these are the laws that G-d wants to stand out for us, this one doesn’t seems to fit. Aren’t there more “important” laws that could have been mentioned here? There is obviously a profound lesson for us to apply to our daily lives.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson teaches us a crucial lesson on this topic. G-d gives each person the resources needed to live. This includes all material possessions, passions, strengths and unique abilities per our specific need. All of this is provided so that we can accomplish our unique mission in life. To live a fulfilling life, we need to use each resource provided and dedicate our lives to the Divine mission we have been tasked with. When we utilize our talents for the good of the world, the closer we come to a heightened awareness of G-d.

If someone is lacking something, that is a good indication that it is not needed to fulfill their mission in this world. Therefore, envying someone else for something they have is just a distraction to prevent you for plowing forward and reaching your full potential. Those “things” are obstacles that get in the way of getting the job done. Therefore, not being jealous is one of the Ten Commandments. For everyone to reach his/her potential, they need to not be jealous of what someone else has.

There is a great lesson I’ve heard that helps drive this message home. It goes something like, “Always look at those who have less than you materially, and be thankful for what you have. Look up to those who are more spiritually connected than you, and strive to reach higher heights.”

<May all be blessed with always being grateful for what we have and knowing that G-d has equipped us with exactly what is needed to make this world a better place.

This blog is for last week’s Torah Portion (Yitro – 22 Shevat, 5777 – Feb. 18, 2016).