Sunday, July 10, 2011

Privacy and DBJ-Lessons From the Parsha

In this past weeks parsha, Parshas Balak, Bilam planned to use the power of his words to curse the Jews. In the end, he praised us - because Hashem only allowed him to use this incredible power for the good.

One of the things he said was "ma tovu ohalecha ya'akov mishkinosecha yisroel"- how good are your tents, your dwelling places, Bnei Yisroel.

There are many interpretations to this passuk, this phrase. One of the ways this can be explained is that when Bilam was on his way to come and curse the Jews, he saw that the openings to their tents were not facing one another. The Jews purposefully placed their tents in a way that they would not see into another person's tent. They did this so that THEY wouldn't see into the other person's tent, not that the other person wouldn't see into THEIR own tent! What greatness! They weren't concerned about someone looking in on them, but they wanted to make sure they wouldn't put themselves into a situation where they would be tempted to look into someone else's!

This is how careful they were to protect the other person's privacy. They were so extra careful-they took this extra measure, an extra step so that they wouldn't see into another person's house. This teaches us just how careful we should be to protect another person's privacy.

* * *

Another thing Bilam was praising us Jews for is that we don't eye other peoples things with jealousy. We are a nation that works hard on this middah to try not to be jealous of other peoples' good fortune.

On the other hand, people look at YOU and are jealous! When you walk down the street looking your best (which is important and you always should look good), people think you must have the perfect life. Don't we all?!

But if people would know what goes on behind closed doors, what challenges you are facing, what troubles you are covering up for under that perfectly made-up face, hair/shaitel done so well, and big bright smile (which are all important- you should certainly look your best and don't have to look like a washed out rag just because you are going through something difficult), they would not be jealous!

When you think about this for a minute, you will come to realize that every person has their package and that you never know what someone else is dealing with! Just like even though you may look so good on the outside, you may not always feel it on the inside - but no one would ever know - there are other people who also feel the same way!

So when you see another person who looks like their life couldn't be more perfect, remember, that just like your life has it's own ups and downs, so does everybody else. Everyone has things to deal with. Whether it's big frustrations or little ones, nobody has it easy.

And that is the second lesson we should take from this weeks parsha. DBJ is not just a texting shortcut, we should really live it. Don't Be Jealous of other people. Why? Because looks can be very deceiving.

You really never know what someone else is dealing with! So try, really try to internalize this lesson so that you will not be jealous of others!


  1. So true! This is also another reason why we can not judge anyone just by what we see them doing...
    Thank you Devoiry for sharing!

  2. I love love love what lesson you wrote about. And it is 1000% true!!! Just like you can't judge a book by it's cover! A person NEVER knows what another could be dealing with even though they LOOK LIKE they have the most perfect life!!! NO-ONE'S LIFE IS PERFECT!!! So the next time you think you see someone who looks "perfect", remember their life might not be so "perfect" as you might think! Thank you sooo much devoiry for sharing such an important lesson that the world must know!!

  3. Wonderful post and very relevant. Everyone has their own package. Thank you for sharing!

  4. DB-yes, we shouldn't judge others by what we see on the outside cuz we never know the real reason and what is going on in their life-and that could have a big influence on their actions!

    smiley-that's right. Nobody has the perfect life, no matter what the outside looks like! Every person has their tests and challenges!

    SG-yup, and everyone's package is perfect for them, that's the real definition of a perfect life-Hashem made it perfect for them!


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