I want to share a great lesson on this week's parsha, Parshas Naso, with you.
When the second Nasi gave his korban, he could have given something nicer or better. But he chose to give the exact same korban as the Nasi before him-to make sure there would be no competition...which leads to jealousy and bad feelings. And all the other Nesi'im followed his lead and did the same.
The Torah is so careful with every letter and word yet it repeats the korban of each Nasi even though they were all the same! We learn from this how much Hashem values this middah and that we should try to emulate it in our own lives.
Some things don't have to be shared with everyone. The second something happens in your life, does half the world need to hear about it on Facebook or Twitter? How much about your personal life should be shared on Instagram or on Snapchat? Can you find a way to use any of these to spread positivity, to share things people will remember because of the impact it leaves? People don't really care what you had for breakfast. Sharing pictures of your latest vacation may cause feelings of jealousy and competition.
Just because you have more doesn't mean you need to show it off. Hashem blessed you with looks? Brains? If you did well on an exam, does everyone have to know about it? If you can afford to shop for things that are more expensive, do you need to tell everyone just how much you spent on your does, clothing or accessories? There's a certain measure of humility it takes to keep that inside and thank Hashem that you can pay for these things.
And...there is tremendous value to lowering your standards so others wont feel the need to keep up. You can afford more? You can make a bigger simcha? There are plenty of others who can't. There are plenty of families who are struggling. If you keep it simple, you are setting a standard that other people may be able to keep to. They will respect you more. It's not money that earns real respect, it's character.
I read a story a while back that inspired me so much and I want to share it with you. The organization Adopt A Kollel got an unusual donation amount every month. It wasn't the typical $36, $180 or $360. It was an odd number with dollars and cents. Something like $147.63. They called the donor to ask him what the reason behind this donation was and this was his answer. He explained that he was going to lease a more expensive model car but when he thought about the struggling families in Eretz Yisroel, he decided to forgo the nicer car and lease a cheaper one instead. And he sent the difference between the car he originally wanted and the car he chose to this organization...down to the last penny...every single month. What a donation!
This man chose to lower his standards and use the extra money to help families in Eretz Yisroel who really need it. What a powerful message!
May you be able to take a lesson from this week's parsha and apply it to your own life by keeping some things to yourself or just sharing with close friends and family, not showing off the good you have, and lowering the bar so there's less pressure for those around you to keep up.
Have a good shabbos!