• Home
  • Parashah
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals
  • Freemasonry
  • Articles
  • About
  • Books
  • Media

    The merit of the children – Vayyechi

    The sidra focusses on the patriarch Jacob’s dying wish for his children.

    Because of the merits of Jacob there are descendants whose proudly bear the name of Bet Yaakov or – utilising Jacob’s other name of Israel – Bet Yisra’el.

    The notion is that the righteousness of the ancestor (Z’chut Avot) brings merit to the children.

    The Anglo-Jewish scholar Israel Abrahams used to say that there was a counterpart, Z’chut Yeladim, the Merits of the Children – “the idea that the righteousness of the living child favourably affects the fate of the dead ancestor.”

    Abrahams says, “The real message of the dead is – their virtue. The real response of the living is again – their virtue”.

    The lesson we learn is so important. We think of ourselves as protected by the merits of our parents and ancestors. What we also have to realise is that we have a way to bring merit to our forebears.

    Comments are closed.