Rabbi Frand on Parshas Vayakhel
This dvar Torah was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi
Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 453,
a Watch on Shabbos. Good
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No One Is Completely Immune From Envy
Hashem commanded Moshe to anoint the sons of Aharon, "as he anointed their
father" [Shmos 40:15]. The Meshech Chochmah [Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk]
provides us with an insight on the expression "as he anointed their
The Meshech Chochmah says that when Moshe was instructed to anoint Aharon
the Kohen Gadol [High Priest], he had absolutely no problem doing that. In
fact, Moshe had felt bad that he, as the younger brother in the family,
in a sense, usurped the leadership role in Israel that rightfully belonged
to his older brother, Aharon. Moshe was therefore consoled and even
that G-d commanded him to anoint Aharon in the unique leadership role of
But, says the Meshech Chochmah, Moshe hesitated when anointing his nephews
the sons of Aharon as Kohanim. The implication of this anointing was that
Aharon's sons would succeed their father in the perpetual role of Jewish
leadership ensconced in the priesthood. Perhaps, says Rav Meir Simcha,
Rabbeinu felt a tinge of jealousy at this point. Moshe Rabbeinu had no
assurance that his sons would inherit his position and in fact they did
For this reason, G-d had to emphasize to Moshe "anoint them AS YOU ANOINTED
THEIR FATHER." Just as you anointed Aharon with a fullness of heart and
graciousness, so too you should put aside any twang of jealousy and
anoint his sons.
I find this teaching of Rav Meir Simcha very instructive. Certainly we
cannot superimpose our petty human emotions onto Moshe Rabbeinu. However,
learn from this insight that even the great Moshe Rabbeinu can be tested by
this experience of jealousy. Jealousy is such a basic human emotion and so
much a part of the human condition that even Moshe Rabbeinu must be
reminded, "Moshe, don't be envious and don't let jealousy get the better of
Jealousy is a destructive character trait. It has ruined people's lives. As
the Mishneh teaches "it drives a person outside of the world" [Avos 4:21].
Jealousy can make a person crazy and drive him to do the most ridiculous,
hateful, and spiteful acts.
The Medrash Shmuel on Avos says that the Satan came to two people. One
person was a tremendously jealous individual who could not tolerate anyone
having something that he did not have. He was envious of everything and
everyone. The second person was a gluttonous and omnivorous person with an
insatiable appetite for more and more and more. He ate whatever he could.
The Satan came to the two of them and made them an offer. One of them could
pick whatever in the world he wanted. However, whatever the person who was
given the right to chose would pick, his companion would get double the
quantity of that same item. This was a real dilemma for such people. The
envious person knew he would not be able to live with his companion
receiving twice as much as he received. The gluttonous person knew he would
never be satiated as long as the other fellow had twice as much as what he
The jealous person was given the option of choosing. He chose that Satan
gouge out one of his eyes.
The Medrash teaches us that a person can become so consumed and so warped
his jealousy that he will have his own eye gouged out, just so that someone
else will have both eyes gouged out. This is how the Medrash Shmuel
the statement in Avos that jealousy, lust, and the pursuit of honor drive a
person out of this world.
This write-up was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher
Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tape series on the weekly Torah portion.
The complete list of halachic topics covered in this series for Parshas
Vayakhel-Pekudei are provided below:
Tape # 047 - Pikuach Nefesh: To Save a Life
Tape # 090 - The Melacha of Carrying.
Tape # 138 - The Melacha of Tying Knots
Tape # 185 - The Melacha of Writing
Tape # 231 - Making A Siyum
Tape # 275 - Electricity in Halacha
Tape # 321 - Leap Year and the Second Adar
Tape # 365 - The Melacha of Tearing
Tape # 409 - The Melacha of Melabain (Laundering)
Tape # 453 - Wearing a Watch on Shabbos
Tape # 497 - The Tefillah of B'rich Sh'mei
Tape # 541 - Learning Kabbalah
Tape # 585 - The Melacha of Trapping
Tape # 629 - Sitting in Judgement on Shabos
Tape # 672 - The Mishebeirach in Halacha
Tape # 673 - Putting a Sefer Torah in the Aron
Tape # 717 - One Hundred Brochos a Day
Tape # 761 - Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Tapes or a complete catalogue can be ordered from the
Yad Yechiel Institute, PO Box 511, Owings Mills MD 21117-0511.
Call (410) 358-0416 or e-mail [email protected] or visit
http://www.yadyechiel.org/ for further information.
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yissocher Frand and Torah.org.
Transcribed by David Twersky; Seattle, Washington.
Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman; Yerushalayim.
Rav Frand Books and Audio Tapes are now available for sale! Thanks to www.yadyechiel.org and Artscroll.com.