Dvar Torah Parshat Vayera 5773 2012

Before destroying Sodom and the other corrupt cities, Hashem says He will notify Avraham of His intentions. The reason He wanted to reveal His plan to Avraham, as Hashem says, is because Avraham commands, אֶת בָּנָיו וְאֶת בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו “…his children and his household after him.” (Gen. 18,19) Avraham’s descendants will follow his teachings, and the generations that will come after him will carry on with his principles of faith and worship Hashem.

Although this passage definitely refers to future generations, we cannot lose sight of its literal meaning. It talks about his children and his household. It is a tragic truth that many great leaders wh
o are busy with helping the community and society seem to neglect their own family and home.

Avraham was a worldly figure of his day. Yet he did not ignore his own household and managed to see that his son and the members of his domestic household were also imbued with his teachings. This is not a meager accomplishment. Public figures are often so busy that they have little time left for their own families. Yet it is most important that the family function as a unit.

In the state of New York, Regent Examinations are given to high school students in most subjects before they can graduate. A study was made of the students who earned the highest grades in these tests. One great feature showed up in the families of all the winners. Their families always ate their meals together. Unity of the family is a sine qua non, a most essential element, of successful children.

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