“Let some water be brought.” Rashi notices that the posuk uses the passive form rather than the active form: “I will bring some water,” to tell us that Avrohom chose to have the water for the malochim brought by his son Yishmoel, rather than bringing it himself.
Rav Moshe Feinstein, זצ"ל, points out that Avrohom’s actions stand in contrast to earlier, when he chose to serve the food himself, as the posuk states, “I shall take a morsel of bread.” Rav Moshe explains that when a father chooses to do a mitzvah himself, he shows his son that the mitzvah is beloved to him, since he chose to do it himself. If he delegates it, the child may think the fulfillment of a mitzvah is not beloved but rather a bother.
While the lesson of חביבות המצוה is a valuable one to transmit, a child may misinterpret it and think that his father does not trust him with the performance of mitzvos, because mitzvos are only the responsibility of “greater” people. Avrohom therefore chose to allow Yishmoel to make some of the preparations because he decided that Yishmoel needed to learn that mitzvos are not just for great people.
In addition to providing an understanding of this parshah, Rav Moshe זצ"ל is showing us that there are different approaches to teaching children. Every child is different. It is crucial for us, as parents, to recognize that and then reflect upon the best path to impress upon each individual child the importance of the fulfillment of the רצון ה. However, we should also learn from this פירוש that we need to daven to Hashem that He should help us make the right decisions in the chinuch of our children.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School