The Sins of the Fathers

The Holy One, Blessed Be He, in Leviticus 26, makes it clear that He will punish the children, grandchildren, yea, the great-grandchildren of sinners seven times over. OK, actually, I’m lying, He only implies it, merely hints at it in his final threat.   There will be no children or grandchildren left alive when the All Merciful is done with you, disobedient sinners.   As it is written:

27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.'”  [1]

As it is written (by me):

The father’s weakness
anger, vanity
visited as a curse
on the lives
of his children

It does not, of course, need to be written this way, though frequently it is.   Your parents are your first role models for how to act.  Sometimes they are the worst possible role models, in which case, you will have to take your lumps for having originally learned how to treat others from teachers who had a poor idea of how to do it.

It makes me very sad, because, though you can learn these things over the course of many years, given the time and inclination and the luck of finding people to support you in this difficult endeavor, the odds of ever doing so are greatly stacked against you if you’re raised by senselessly enraged parents, or terrified ones.  They can’t be expected to offer meaningful support because they don’t even understand what you’re trying to do.    Your parents’ poor teaching will, as Ha Shem threatens the willfully disobedient, eat your flesh. 


[1] The Lord’s truly divine punchline (you really should read the entire five or six paragraphs of unimaginable horror the Holy One threatens will befall the disobedient, if you want the full effect of the punchline):

36 “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their ancestors’ sins they will waste away.'”

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