ESM Blog

How are Jealousy and Karpas Related? by Sherry Lush

On your seder plate you will put a little piece of karpas, or parsley. Dipping the parsley into salt water, will be a reminder of the tears shed by the Israelites during the bitter years of slavery. Have you ever wondered what led to those bitter years of slavery? Could jealousy have been the ugly culprit?

The Bible has a lot to say about jealousy – but nothing good. Ecclesiastes 4:4 tells us that toiling and achieving out of envy is meaningless; Proverbs 27:30 says envy rots the bones; James 4:2 shockingly says, You desire but do not have, so you kill.

There are many ways to kill – with a gun or a spear, or you can assassinate someone’s character, or you can destroy relationships and tear people apart. It is all killing. Anything done from the deep-seated motive of jealousy will lead to no good.

How could karpas possibly be linked to jealously? Do you remember the dreamer, Joseph, with his coat of many colors? His brothers were jealous of him, his dreams and his beautiful coat, so they plotted Joseph’s death.  But instead of killing him, he was sold and carried away. But now they had to let their father know he was gone, and they very cleverly led their father to believe a lie about what had happened to him. They dipped his robe in blood, showed it to Jacob, and Jacob presumed he’d been eaten by wild animals. The brothers let Jacob believe the lie – it protected them, but this incident, provoked by jealousy, was the beginning of the story of slavery in Egypt and finally Passover! Jealousy led to all this terrible trouble, and did it solve their “Joseph problem?” No! G-d is watching, and he made Joseph ruler over them, just as his dreams had revealed!

This year when you dip your karpas (parsley) into the salt water, remember Joseph’s robe, dipped in blood by his jealous brothers. This also foreshadows Joseph’s role as the suffering Messiah. The Messiah who would come as the Lamb of G-d, whose blood would cover our sins and provide salvation. Remember the Passover Lamb who was slain, whose blood on the doorposts protected the lives of all inside. There was one, Satan, who was jealous of G-d and wanted to be G-d, but he is about to lose too. Genesis 3:15b tells us: ….He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. G-d will win!

Psalm 37:1-3 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.