While Abraham and Isaac transmitted their spiritual heritage to their children, the Torah does not describe them transmitting it to their grandchildren. While their influence as grandparents was indirect, Jacob directly communicates and transmits Jewish heritage to his grandchildren.
As Rabbi Soloveitchik says “How appropriate that our people be called Yisrael, because it was [Jacob] who created the community which ensures Jewish continuity…Jacob laid the foundation for a people, and though the covenant was made initially with Abraham, it was not until Jacob that the secret of perpetuating the heritage was discovered.”
Although college is only four years, it has a profound and lasting impact. Our experiences influence the way we see the world and live our lives. During our time, we also contribute and build a Jewish community, to ensure it has a strong and meaningful impact on those who come after us.
Rabbi David Eckstein is the JLIC Educator at Hopkins Hillel. Erica Biegen is a senior at Johns Hopkins University.