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Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Who Will Be The Zeidy Of Our Children?

Grandparents are very special.  Since you generally do not live with them, often we can learn more from them than our parents.  When you do meet, it is usually a special occasion absent any pressure.  You get to see them at their finest hour and they are always in a better mood when you are there.  Because you don't experience the daily grind with them, you rarely see them out of character.  They also are not responsible for raising you, which makes the relationship that much more sweet.  It is not for naught that the gemara tells us (Kedushin 30a) that there is a special mitzva to teach your grandson torah.  Similar sentiment are offered by the Hafla'ah on the gemara there (see Rav Moshe Shternbuch - At Zeidy’s Seder What is The Role of The Father? )

In fact the gemara learns it from the pasuk (VaEschanan 6:9-10) "V'Hodatem Livanecha U'Livnei Vanecha. Yom Asher Amadita Lifnei Hashem Elokecha B'Choreiv", which refers to the transmission of the mesora from Har Sinai.  From this pasuk we see that there is more to a relationship with your grandfather, besides for an excellent atmosphere to absorb life's lessons.  it is about mesora, the link to the past.

Rav Itzele Blazer said more than one hundred years ago, that we must accept that by nature each generation is weaker in yiras shamayim than the one before.  However, he laments that a generation nowadays goes by in a mere five years.  Every half a decade we get dramatically weaker!

That is where a grandfather comes in.  The torah tells us that the grandfather is the solution.  Vayar Yosef L'Ephraim Bnei Shileishim, Gam Bnei Machir Ben Menashe Yuldu Al Birkei Yosef (Devarim 50:23).   Yosef raised his grandchildren and great grandchildren on his knee.  A relationship with grandfather can draw you into the past, rather the becoming caught up in the ever weakening present.  On paper, the future is where you want to be, but experience just a little reality and you will wish you can go back to a time where happiness and a meaningful satisfying life were far more easy to come by.

The Chofetz Chaim's university educated granddaughter chided him that he should leave the darkness of where he sits and go outside to see the light that modern civilization has to offer.  Unfortunately for her, more than almost anyone else, she missed an extraordinary privilege.  Any grandchild that has been exposed to their grandparents warm glow emanating from the better world of yesteryear, knows that all their new gadgets, endeavors, and ambitions will never help them become the people that their grandparents were.   In our quickly evolving world, grandparents, their lifestyle, and the ideals of their entire generation, inevitably become extinct.  Whether you are a grandparent, parent, or grandchild, you'd be wise to grab on to this unique chinuch opportunity before it is too late.  And as you grow older, don't forget to always ask yourself the question of our favorite song, "Who will be the zeidy of our children, Who will be the zeidy if not me?"

RELATED ARTICLES:chinuch  Chofetz Chaim  grandparents  mesora  Rav Itzele Blazer  Yosef

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