Genealogy Matters!

This week’s Torah portion tells the famous story of Noah and the flood. It’s told as part of a detailed genealogical accounting of Noah and his family: “These are the generations of Noah…And Noah begot three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth…” This is what we read before we learn about the need to build the ark. After the flood, the descendants of Noah are listed. The final verse of this list teaches us that “Terah lived seventy years, and he begot Avram, Nahor, and Haran.” Avram, later known as Avraham, would become the father of Judaism. This isn’t the only place in the Torah that includes detailed genealogical information. It’s quite common. The information is tedious to read through and, therefore, often overlooked as we read the stories. But, when we do so, we miss a very important Jewish lesson: genealogy matters! By including these lists of ancestors and whom…