[First posted on The Times of Israel at: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/toldot-the-jewish-secret-to-success/]
Netziv Genesis: Toldot
The Jewish Secret to Success
“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” –Aristotle
There are undoubtedly few nations in the history of the world that have invested more in the education of its people than the Jewish nation. Jewish education is by most accounts the reason for our extraordinary survival and success despite millennia of discrimination and persecution.
It is therefore both sad and ironic that in recent decades, after all this time, the Jewish people (as a whole) have either watered-down or completely abandoned their connection to Jewish texts and tradition. It is even more ironic to consider that those very same texts that we treasured, fought for, and even died for, are now being sought after and taught by others in countries like South Korea to gentile populations, where Talmud is apparently a growing interest.
The Torah recounts how our forefather Isaac encounters wild economic success during his sojourn in the land of Canaan. The Netziv on Genesis 26:5 explains that Isaac’s success was a direct result of his education, following in the footsteps and guidance of his father Abraham. The Netziv learns from Isaac’s example that study and practice of Torah, of Jewish law and tradition, leads to business success.
Let’s open up those books and connect to the source of true success.
To all of my students in my various Torah classes. It is an honor and a privilege to teach you and I am enriched by it.