By: David Leubitz (10th Grade)
In this week’s Torah portion, Parsha Nitzavim, Hashem informs the Jewish people that He has placed before them life and death, and encourages them to choose life. Hashem informs the Jewish people that by choosing life, they are choosing it eternally, for their children and beyond.
The Torah emphasizes the fact that choosing life would ultimately cause one’s offspring to live as well. However, why does a person’s decision to desire life benefit their children? Shouldn’t the children’s personal decisions be the deciding factor for them?
A father who does mitzvot and learns Torah because he is required to do so, but not because he wants to, will not benefit his children. If the father espouses the idea that learning Torah and doing mitzvot are a burden, his children will adopt the same beliefs.
On the other hand, if one does mitzvot with happiness and pride, then the person’s children will want to experience the same enjoyment in their life. We are choosing life when we make thoughtful choices, even when they are more difficult. From this we learn that Hashem was not referring to a physical death, but a spiritual one. One must love and cherish the Torah and mitzvot, since Torah is the biggest of a Jew’s spiritual life. When one chooses to look at Torah and mitzvot in a negative matter, one could potentially turn their kids off as well. By choosing “life” in the form of Torah and inspiring our children to follow in our footsteps, we will be able to ensure a sweet New Year for ourselves and our descendants.
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!