This week’s Torah Reading – Toldot – tells the Story of the descendants of Isaak. His children are Eisav / Esau and Yaakov / Jacob.
But it does not mention them in the first verse. We learned in a previous Parasha (Noah ) – that the main descendants of a person are his or her good deeds. When a person does a good deed, the repercussions have far reaching effects.
When the Torah says “Abraham Gave Birth to Yitzhak” – it is apparently telling us about Yitzhak’s Good Deeds.
Why was one reason that Yitzhak was so great in his deeds? Because Abraham, gave birth to Yitzhak.
Avraham was a Tzadik / Righteous Person. Yitzhak, realized this and followed his father’s ways – because he was a living emulation of the Torah. This is one of the secrets that made him great – that he was not only proud of his Father, but he followed in his footsteps because of the realization of Avraham’s greatness.
Recognizing One’s Greatness – Starts with Recognizing One’s Ancestor’s Greatness
Noah was a Great man. All people are his descendants. A Gentile that wants to become great and wants to break out of the path of meritocracy that the world traces – is to follow the Noahide laws.
Jews are descendants of Abraham, Isaak and Jacob. Thus emulating and respecting our lofty ancestors – will help us reach a higher level in the path to becoming great. Our past is replete of Rabbis and Torah Scholars. Emulating & Learning from them, helps us to become greater People – boosting us to levels much greater than the common man.
Like Rabeinu Yona Gerondi writes:
“The first gateway in the service of G·d is to recognize the value of oneself & to understand one’s loftiness & the loftiness of his ancestors, & their greatness, & their importance & their being beloved before the Creator, Blessed be He. One should strive & fortify oneself continuously to ingrain within oneself this value & conduct oneself with it always…”
Chapter of Shaarei HaAvodah / Gateways of Divine Service in His book Shaarei Teshuva / Gates of Repentance.