By the Grace of G‑d
1st day of the Week of Vayero 5730
[November 2, 1969]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

It is a Jewish custom to relate the events of the week to the weekly portion of the Torah, and thereby to derive true instruction from the Torah of Truth (“Torah” means “Instruction”).

This week’s Sedra tells us of the birth and upbringing of the first Jewish boy, born of Jewish parents, namely Yitzchok, the son of Abraham and Sarah, the first ancestor of our Jewish people.

The circumstances surrounding Yitzchok’s birth were supernatural and miraculous. His Bris (circumcision) took place when he was eight days old, and his upbringing was fraught with difficulties and trials.

Quite different was the case of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whose birth was quite normal, and who was circumcised when he was thirteen years old, i.e., at a mature age.

Yet it was Yitzchok whom G‑d chose to be Abraham’s true heir, from whom the Jewish people would descend.

Thus, the Torah teaches us that when new generations are to be born who are to ensure the Jewish continuity and future, the approach must not be based on natural considerations and human calculations. For Jewish existence is not dependent upon natural forces, but upon G‑d’s direct intervention and providence.

Similarly, the education and upbringing of Jewish children is not to be determined by the same considerations and criteria as in the non-Jewish world. Jewish parents do not wait until the child becomes mature enough to determine his behavior and find his own way to Yiddishkeit. He is given the strongest and fullest possible measure of Jewish training from infancy. Only in this way is it possible to ensure the “everlasting covenant” with G‑d, to come through all difficulties and trials with strength, and endowed with G‑d’s blessings materially and spiritually.

With Blessing,