God’s Role Models by Eli Lehman


Next week’s Parasha, Ha’azinu, states, “Shicheit Lo Lo Banav Mumam Dor Ikeish U’Ftaltol” “Corruption is not His – the blemish is His children’s, a perverse and twisted generation” (Devarim 32:5). There is a disagreement between commentators as to whom this Pasuk is referring to. According to Rashi, this Pasuk is referring to Hashem, while other commentators maintain that this Pasuk is referring to parents and their responsibility as role models over their children. If a person wants his or her children to follow the Mitzvot and learn Torah, but is careless about his own learning, the Pasuk says ‘Shicheit Lo,’ Is the corruption his? To which the father will answer ‘Lo,’ no, as he is ignorant to his own corruption. However, when it comes to his children, the father will notice his child’s flaws, because he cares about his children’s 'blemishes.”The Shaar Bat Rabim says that the same way parents want their children to meet their expectations, so too Hashem wants the parents to meet His expectations. However, people at a young age feel that they can have their pleasure and then just do Teshuva later when they get older. The Pasuk refers to these individuals who are spiritually damaged as corrupted, because, while they may do Teshuva eventually, their blemishes will remain with them, because they modeled themselves after their parents who neglected the Torah.

 This Pasuk clearly shows that it is the younger generation that is sinning and neglecting the Mitzvot. It is the parents’ job and responsibility to be good role models for their children, so the younger generation will be able to grow and learn).  The Gemara (Kidushin 29a) lists five or six responsibilities of a father to his son, one of which is teaching Torah. As we approach Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we must realize that we can’t just wait until we get older to do Teshuva. One day we will be role models to our children, and it is upon us to stop the cycle of sinning. Hopefully, we will learn to correct the mistakes of the past and will merit a quick redemption in these upcoming days of repentance.

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