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G-d of Isaac (Ber. 28:13)

Rabbi David SperlingKislev 12, 5773
122
Question
Why is parallelism lacking in this verse? It says, "I am G-d, Lord of Abraham your father, and Lord of Isaac..." Why are the words "you father" not attached to Isaac the way they are attached to Abraham? This question is especially significant because G-d is talking to the man’s son! Doesn’t the situation warrant respect? Honor thy father
Answer
Shalom, It is always nice to get questions about the weekly Parsha and to see again how, even though we have learnt the Parsha every year, there are always more and more questions, and deeper and deeper learnings waiting for us. Thank you. I assume you are referring to the verse in Berashit 28,13, in the beginning of Parshat VeYetzah, where Hashem starts talking to Yaakov in the vision of the ladder. You are correct that the words Hashem uses - "I am G-d, the G-d of Avraham your father, and the G-d of Yitzchak..." - are strange. Why would he call Avraham Yaakov's father, when he is his grandfather, and why not call Yitzchak his father? I found in the commentary of Rav S.R. Hirsh an answer to this question. He says that the Torah wants to point out that Yaakov is really Avraham's spiritual son and heir. The promises to Avraham that he would walk in front of G-d and be pure ("tamim") were realized in Yaakov, with Yitzchak being merely a "link in the chain". Yaakov is the one who merits to build the first Jewish house, as was promised to Avraham. Perhaps these sentiments of Rav Hirsh are based on the statement of the Rabbis (quoted with reference to this verse) that "grandsons are like sons". Whilst I am sure there are other lessons and meanings to be found in this verse, I hope this answer will encourage you to continue your deeper studies of the Parsha. Blessings.
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