Character Development

“Jealousy, Desire and Honor Remove a Person from this World”

Rabbi Zamir Cohen elaborates on the Mishna in Avot and the words of Maimonides on how to have a good life

“Jealousy, Desire and Honor Remove a Person from this World”
“Maimonides says: “And he shouldn’t be a man of quarrels”… there are those that enjoy a good fight and are just looking for someone to light their fuse. “And not a jealous person”…he should not be jealous of others. But how does someone do this, he’s got something that I also want? The way to do this is for a person to tell himself that he has everything that G-d wants him to have and that is the best thing for him in order to repair what he must in his current state. I have what’s best for me so why should I be jealous of others? G-d gave me my life, my body, my wife and my children, my appearance and all this is the best for me to repair what I must in this world.”

“And not a desirous person nor someone who chases honor”…Our sages say you will be seated in your place, you needn’t run after honor, if you’re supposed to have a certain honor G-d will lead you to it you needn’t chase after it. Quite the contrary, whoever runs from honor, honor runs after him.”

“Our sages said: Jealousy, desire and honor remove a person from this world”… a man who is jealous, chases his desire or pursues honor will find these things taking him out of this world. He will do things in his life that will ruin his life. He sees that his friend bought a beautiful new car so he also goes out and buys the same car because he was jealous. The only difference is that his friend inherited money and was able to do it whereas he borrowed money from the bank to get the same car, defaulted on the loan and now his house is being foreclosed because he went into out of control debt. He destroyed his life with his own two hands.”

Maimonides concludes: In general, a man should go in the middle path in everything until he sees his whole life’s outlook is on the middle path with equilibrium and balance. This is what King Solomon means when he says: “Level the walk of your feet and all your paths will be straight”. ‘Level’ means level flat and even. When you get swept off balance, straighten yourself out and then all your paths will be straight. Everything will be stable and with a solid base, you will live a good, happy and balanced life. You’ll be happy with yourself happy with your home your family peace and your surroundings. You are going on the path of balance and equilibrium, the healthy path to be on.”
 
 
 
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