Ethics

For the week ending 21 August 2010 / 10 Elul 5770

Praying for Failure

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: A colleague of mine and I are both being considered for promotion to a single opening in our office. Is it proper for me to pray that he doesn't do well in his interview so that I will get the promotion? What is the right thing to do?

Answer: A Jew must always live with the perspective provided by our Talmudic Sages that "No one is capable of infringing to any degree on what Heaven has designated for another."

Such a perspective renders prayer for your colleague's failure an exercise in futility. Your prayer must be focused on your finding favor in the eyes of your employers and your thoughts must be that whatever happens is ultimately for the best of all.

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