Don’t Arouse Jealousy

In this week’s Parsha, we learn of Yosef’s rise to power in Egypt. He turned that country into the world’s superpower during the seven years of famine.

When Yakov Avinu realized that the famine had spread everywhere, he told his family, למה תתראו, “Why should you be afraid?”

The Talmud in מסכת תענית 10b, explains what he really meant. At this time, Yakov still had food. Nevertheless, he gave not only his family advice, but advice to future generations as well.

“Do not show yourselves as full, or having more in front of Eisav and Yishmael, in order that they not be jealous of you.”

He was warning his children not to flaunt their wealth but to remain humble before the Gentiles. Arousing their jealousy is never a good idea. This is especially true for Jews living in the Diaspora. Jews are guests in חוץ לארץ and should quietly go about their business without attracting too much attention.

Yakov’s advice was prophetic and needs to be followed now more than ever. Shabbat Shalom