Arriving in Aram, Jacob met Laban’s daughter Rachel shepherding her father’s flocks at the well outside the city. Rachel introduced him to Laban, who put him in charge of his flocks. Jacob asked to marry Rachel in return for working for Laban for seven years. Laban agreed, but at the last minute forced Jacob to marry Rachel’s older sister Leah. Laban then allowed Jacob to marry Rachel as well, on condition that he work for another seven years afterward. Leah gave birth to four sons in succession, while Rachel remained childless.
The Proper Use of Jealousy
וַתֵּרֶא רָחֵל כִּי לֹא יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב וַתְּקַנֵּא רָחֵל בַּאֲחֹתָהּ וגו': (בראשית ל:א)
Rachel saw that she had not borne Jacob any children; Rachel was jealous of her sister [Leah]. Genesis 30:1

Destructive, petty jealousy is born of the fear that the other person’s successes will lessen our own self-worth. In contrast, Rachel attributed Leah’s fertility to her righteousness, and was therefore jealous of her sister’s good deeds. This sort of jealousy is constructive, since it spurs us on to improve ourselves. Our sages similarly state that jealousy among Torah scholars increases wisdom. Jealousy can be a positive force in our lives when we learn to apply it correctly.1