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“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask,
‘How have you loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s
brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved
Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned
his hill country into a wasteland and left his
inheritance to the desert jackals.” —
Malachi 1:2–3

The Sages teach that we acknowledge God as
our own personal God before we mention that He
is the God of our forefathers in order to
emphasize that our relationship with God must
be personal.

Sure, we all benefit from being the spiritual heirs
of such holy and beloved men and women, but it’s
not enough. If we worship God only because our
parents did, that’s not enough. If we go to church
or synagogue only because it’s our family tradition,
it’s not enough. First we must discover our own
connection to the Lord, and only then can we enjoy
the benefits of our heritage.

God is not inherited. A relationship with the Lord
has to be earned and cultivated by every individual
who walks this earth. We must all go through our
own trials and develop our own faith. And then, we
will know He loves us for our own sake and not
based on our family ties.

With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

(excerpts taken from Holy Land Moments)

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