Thursday and Friday of this week are Rosh H̱odesh Kislev. That means there are only 18 more shopping days until H̱anukkah! What shall we get the kids?
Advertising has started already. The Globe and Mail had a special holiday gift section recently. And my social media is inundated with personalized suggestions. For many from now until H̱anukkah, it’s shop until you drop, spinning through stores like a dreidel.
But as Kislev begins, let’s consider a present suggested by this week’s parashah, Toldot. It begins, “V’eleh toldot Yitzhak, and these are the generations of Isaac, Avraham holid et Yitzhak, Abraham begot Isaac.
Why does a portion about Isaac and his children begin by noting that Isaac is descended from Abraham? Don’t we already know that?
Yes, of course is the conclusion, but the passage comes to remind us that we can give our children a gift by teaching them to trace their ancestry to Abraham. For our genealogy links us to a people and to God, and provides us with a sense of identity and purpose in life.
That’s the gift we give when we provide our children, and ourselves, with Jewish education and experience. That’s the gift we give when we read and study Torah.
How will you celebrate that gift this Hanukkah?