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The Gemara is Shabbos(Chuf gimel amud beis) says:

Haragil Bner Havin Lei Bonim Talmiday Chachamim

(very loosely translated) A person who is studious with the mitzvah of lighting will have children who are Sages.

The question is why his Children and not himself?

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There is a joke going around that if he spends more time than he should he won't be learning, so only his children will be Sages ... – Anon_2Kislev71 Dec 6 '10 at 15:43
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Gemara says with regards to your own success, 'I have toiled but not succeeded', don't believe. (Yagati v'lo matzati al ta'amin.) So how you'll do yourself is up to you.

How your kids turn out, however, is not entirely in the parents' hands. (Banei chayei mezonei b'mazala talya). But you can better your odds in this manner.

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