The role of grandparents in a child’s life can make a profound difference for future generations.
The week’s Torah portion is Va’era (Exodus 6:2 – 9:35), and in it we get a thorough presentation of Moses’ lineage as well as that of other biblical characters.
At the beginning of the reading, the Torah lists the genealogy of Moses, beginning with Reuven and Shimon, the “founders” of the tribes that bear their name. We are told who their children were, but there is no mention of their grandchildren.
However, when it’s Levi’s turn for a census report, the Torah includes his sons, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, and even his great-great grandchildren! (There might even be some great-great-great grandchildren thrown in there, as well. I just couldn’t keep track!)
The obvious question is asked: Why is it that when mentioning the families of Reuven and Shimon, only the children are mentioned, but when it comes to Levi……
The answer, it is explained, is that Levi’s grandchildren were indeed special. They were different than all the other children of that generation.
Levi lived longer than most of his brothers. He lived longer than Reuven and Shimon and had a relationship with his grandchildren. He taught them Torah. He taught them how to be Jewish in Egypt. He was probably involved in their lives on a daily basis.
It must also be noted that Levi was not just anyone! Levi was the son of Jacob. He was the grandson of Isaac! He was from a different generation with a much more direct influence stemming from Abraham. Hence, Levi’s grandchildren enjoyed the benefits of a very special grandfather.
We see from here how special grandparents are. Those of us who are fortunate to have grandparents should take advantage of this good fortune every single day. They are a link to the past and a fountain of wisdom. There are many things we can get from grandparents that we just can’t get from our parents. They have a very special role in our lives. Enjoy them while you have them.
By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
For more insights by Rabbi Enkin on this week’s Torah portion, click on the links below;
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