Dvar Torah Toldot 2001 – 5761 דבר תורה תולדות

The Sidra starts by saying, “this is the history of Yitzchak the son of Avraham”. Then it goes on to say, “Avraham gave birth to Yitzchak.” Isn’t that a bit superfluous? If it tells us that Yitzchak is the son of Avraham then naturally Avraham is the father of Yitzchak.

Yet this teaches us a very important lesson. Many people are proud of their parents and grandparents. They always boast about them and what they accomplished. You often hear “my father is a great doctor. My mother is an excellent teacher. My grandfather built a museum or a company.” That is great pride and does show an important background. The child is rightfully inspired by this and is justifiably proud.

The questions one should always ask are “would my parents or grandparents be just as proud of me as I am of them? Am I living up to their expectations? Do I live the kind of life that makes them proud of me? Am I carrying on the traditions and ideals that my parents and grandparents have?” If the answers to these questions are in the positive, if I can answer yes to these questions than they are proud of me. It is not enough that I take pride in them, but they should be able to find satisfaction in me and in the way I live my life.

This is what the Torah tells us. Yitzchak was the son of Avraham. He found that very honorable. He thought it was great. He had such a famous and important father. However Avraham was also very excited that Yitzchak was his son. He saw that Yitzchak was living the kind of life that made him a Tzadik. He was proud of his son. He was delighted that that he could say he gave birth to Yitzchak.

This is a responsibility that lies on the shoulder of all of us. We have to be sure that not only can we be proud of our parents and grandparents but also they have to be able to be proud of us.

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