This fosters unhealthy competition, including within marriage.
Of course, this ends up infiltrating the frum world too.
But really, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
Apples & Oranges
But if you’re obsessed with how you compare to an orange, you end up holding yourself back.
For example, you may obsess over how your peel is fully edible – yet the orange’s peel can be used for flavoring in high-end desserts. “Orange zest” somehow sounds so much more prestigious than “apple peel.” Yet you’ll be missing the wonderful vitamins and taste experience inherent in your own peel.
Or you fret about how to add more orange to your color. But you’re a Green Delicious! Adding more orange will only downgrade your market appeal and inherent beauty. Customers seek you out davka because you’re a Green Delicious or a Pink Lady rather than a juicy Jaffa.
Self-denigrating apples also ignore the absolutely scrumptious & comforting pies they make and instead yearn to be part of a citrus fruit cocktail or mourn their lack of vitamin C and pre-formed sections.
Likewise, Hashem set up spiritual physics so that women can achieve what men can, albeit in a different way.
How to be a Gedolat Hador & a Mekubaless
Upon dozing off, an old man suddenly appeared before her, praising and thanking her for freeing him from his suffering — “even though you did not rescue me completely" —
before vanishing into thin air.
When she consulted Rav Yehudah Petiyah, he informed her that the date contained the reincarnated soul of this old man and via her pure-hearted blessing, she succeeded in rectifying him 2 levels upward!
The astounding part is that she succeeded in doing so even though she recited the wrong blessing. She said borei pri ha’adamah rather than borei pri ha’etz.
Had she recited the proper blessing, this lost soul would have achieved complete rectification.
Yet as far as I've seen, in order for men to accomplish such a thing, they need to fortify themselves with lots of Torah study and learn the proper kavanot of the kabbalists. You hear stories of a soul trapped in a fruit achieving some kind of rectification when eaten by a righteous Torah scholar – not a well-intentioned am ha’aretz.
Think about this for a minute:
In all the stories of rectifying souls via blessings, have you ever heard of a regular yeshivah bachur achieving this? No. It’s always a learned tzaddik or even a mekubal. So how was this poor illiterate and somewhat ignorant (it’s not difficult to guess the correct blessing for a date, like it is for bananas) old lady able to achieve this?
And again, even with the wrong blessing, she managed to rectify this soul up 2 levels. Had she said the correct blessing, this soul would have achieved complete rectification — all because of her heart and mental focus, regardless of her actual knowledge. So she was able to achieve what only mekubalim can achieve. Amazing!
In a nutshell: Hashem set up the world so that women can achieve great things by taking a completely different path than men.
Upon being asked what a girl is taught in the womb by the angel, Rav Avigdor Miller explained she is taught “an endless Torah” of good middot, character refinement, emuna, and daat Hashem. He quotes the Vilna Gaon, who insisted that his daughters should learn all the mussar books. (The category of mussar books today includes but is not limited to: Duties of the Heart, Pathways of the Just, Ways of the Righteous, Pele Yoetz, Rav Eliyahu Dessler, etc.)
As Rav Miller emphasizes in tape from A Moment with Rav Avigdor Miller-Tape #459:
All the mussar seforim are available to girls.
If a girl learns all these things, then she is a gaon, she's considered the same as if she would be a gadol hador.
She has learned her Torah, she is a success.
Hashem set things up so that a woman who excels in her path really does become a success, a gadol hador, and can even accomplish miracles.
This is a truth that both men and women need to internalize and appreciate.
The Jewess Mystique: The Truth about Women & Mitzvot
To receive a weekly email with choice transcriptions of Rav Avigdor Miller's classes like the one above, please go to the sign-up page here: http://rmillerqa.com/