Heavenly Eavesdropping

Friday, 17 November, 2017 - 2:05 pm

Overheard in a Tel Aviv restaurant:

Customer: Is this restaurant kosher?

Big, burly, tattooed proprietor: Look at the picture on the wall of the man with long, white beard and huge kippa on his head. That’s my grandfather! Of course it’s kosher!

Customer: Well, if your grandfather was behind the counter serving me and you were a photo on the wall, maybe I would trust the kashrut and eat here! But, not the other way around.

I could imagine that if someone bumped into Eisav (Esau) and questioned his spiritual bona fides, he would point to his yichus (lineage). Son of Yitzchak. Grandson of Avraham. Brother of Yaakov. That is some pretty serious pedigree.


Lots of people tell proudly of their Bubby’s gefilte fish and their great-grandfather, the Rabbi.

But, is that really a label to wear proudly?


As I enjoy the presence of thousands of my fellow Shluchim at the annual International Conference of Chabad Lubavitch Emissaries, I think about the pride we have in our Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a visionary who transformed Jewish life in our times.  The conference is a reminder of his larger than life presence, that still influences the world.

Yet, I am also reminded that the Rebbe is looking down from Heaven at his Shluchim, observing. And, I pray that he too takes pride in us.


In this week’s parsha Toldot, we read about Yitzchak (Isaac). The Torah states, “Yitzchak the son of Avraham, Avraham begot Yitzchak.”

Sounds a little redundant, doesn’t it.

But, there’s really a powerful message here:

It’s not enough for us to be proud of our parents. They need to be proud of us too!

I’m sure in Heaven they are eavesdropping on our pride in them, and hoping that they too can boast about their children.

They deserve some nachas after all, don’t they?

Let’s make them all proud!

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