"And with you shall be one man from each tribe, each man should be the head of his family" (Bamidbar 1:4).
What lesson about life is the Torah conveying with this verse?
A simple and boorish person who came from a distinguished lineage was arguing with a wise scholar who came from a non-distinguished family. The coarse ignoramus boasted about his illustrious ancestors. "I am descended from a great people. Your ancestors are nothing compared to mine," he arrogantly boasted . The scholar retorted, "True, you come from a long line of great people. Unfortunately, the line ends with you. My family tree begins with me."
Lineage has been compared to a carrot - often times the best part is in the ground. In truth, lineage is like the number "zero." If you make something of yourself, you place a "one" before the zero. If you are a "zero" then all you have are two zeroes.
Our lesson: You should live your life so that your descendants will be proud to consider you their ancestor!

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