Monday, November 24, 2008

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah Parashas Toldos 5769 (1)

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah
Parashas Toldos 5769


The Medrash

The Medrash states that it is said (Mishlei 23:24) gil yagil avi tzaddik viyoleid chacham yismach bo, the father of a righteous will be mirthful; one who begets a wise child will rejoice in him. The repeated words gil yagil teaches us that when a righteous person is born it is joy that follows joy. It is said (Yeshaya 7:1) vayehi bimei Achaz, it happened in the days of Achaz. Rabbi Hoshia said, the ministering angels said before HaShem, “Master of the world! Woe that Achaz reigns.” Hashem responded, “he is the son of Yosam and his father is a righteous person and therefore I cannot extend My hand against him.” Regarding the words viyoleid chacham yismach bo, Rabbi Levi said, how do you know that one who has a son that toils in Torah study, he will have compassion on him? The answer is found in the verse that states (Mishlei 23:15) bini im chacham libecho yismach libi gam ani, my child, when your heart becomes wise, then my heart, too, will rejoice. Rabbi Shimon ben Menasia said that I only know regarding the heart of a father who is of flesh and blood. How do I know that even HaShem will have compassion on him when he toils in Torah study? The answer is found in the verse that states yismach libi gam ani, then my heart, too, will rejoice. Joy that follows joy is when the child is righteous and is the son of a righteous person. This is what is said (Bereishis 25:19) vieileh toldos Yitzchak Ben Avraham, and these are the offspring of Yitzchak son of Avraham.

Question on the Medrash

What is the message of the Medrash? It would seem obvious that one who studies Torah is a source of joy to HaShem.

The deeper intention of the Medrash

The Medrash states that the joy that a father and HaShem have from a son who studies Torah is attributed to the son being righteous and the son of a father who is righteous. This phenomenon is not merely a genealogical pattern. Rather, the merit of the father allows for the child to be righteous and to study Torah. It is for this reason that the Medrash states that although Achaz was wicked, HaShem would not extend His hand against him because of the merit of his father Yosam. The father’s merit can be so great that it can even protect his wicked son.

The lesson of the Medrash

From the words of the Medrash we see the importance of a father serving HaShem properly. Thus, even if the son will not be like the father in character, HaShem will protect the son in the merit of the father.

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