Psalm 37 – SING & LEARN – Do not compete with the evildoers. Why not?

Summary for the first verse (psalm 37 1), please see below the video:

לְדָוִד אַל תִּתְחַר בַּמְּרֵעִים אַל תְּקַנֵּא בְּעֹשֵׂי עַוְלָה

Of David. Do not compete with the evildoers; do not envy those who commit injustice (Psalm 37:1)

We started the study by posing the question: Why not compete (and maybe also defeat..) the evil-dowers?  Why not let room for envy on their success? if G-d wants us to “behave properly”, shouldn’t there be some sort of compensation for doing so, while avoiding the ways of evil?  Isn’t there some sort of approval for their wicked ways, expressed by their prosperity?

We said the following four ‘replies’:

1) As the chapter continues (rest of Psalm 37), the prosperity of the wicked is something temporary, the end of every thief- is to be captured…, actually the verse right after (Psalm 37:2) refers to it: “For they will be speedily cut off like grass and wither like green vegetation.”

We mentioned that this is a repeating motif throughout the book of Tehillim whenever the question regarding the wicked’s success is posed.

2) By ‘competing’ with the evil, one already relates him/herself to the evil.  You think / talk / dream / consider it’s ways , and this is already giving the evil effect on you.  Long time after even the evil-dower finished with…his things, you are left with the pain of it (how bad it affected me.. why didn’t I do the same..  maybe the evil one is the right path… etc.) ,  you might be left with the rage and frustration – the wrong did now became even bigger than the actual did.

3) With ‘competing’ comes also the ‘comparing’.

Meaning: Surly the righteous is much more, much better than the wicked. But not only better, rather it is two separate worlds that supposedly have nothing in common – good and bad.  If both are being compared, it is as if saying: we have a common ground, it might be better to be good, but it is not so bad to ..bad (what is certainly wrong!).

This is a known marketing strategy, for a low level product, in order to emerge into the market of the ‘high end’ products, they come out with a comparing research between one of the fine products and the new-lesser one.  All what the article is doing sums up by telling the truth, but when people see the two items together in the same article, the difference for the two becomes less emphasized, and in many cases just a matter of time till most won’t realize that there is any difference at all.

4) By going into ‘competition’ with the evil-dowers, the evil ways are more familiarized to people, creating ‘buzz’, and being more ‘accessible’ for some who otherwise won’t even dream to consider anything to do with it.