Friday, October 26, 2007

DVAR TORAH S2: Vayera ("Damnit Abraham, I'm a doctor... and God!")

So my last year's post was nominated for a Jewish blogging award so I need to clear the high bar with this one. For comparison see last year's entry:
Rabbinic Rambling: DVAR TORAH: Vayera (Abraham's Dysfunctional Family)

I'll be very brief as candlelighting is approaching (it is 5ish now). I think Isaac died. You might misconstrue what I said and think "duh, Isaac died after Jacob's sojourn in Haran". What I mean is that I think Isaac died during the Akeidah, during his binding to the altar. I have thought this a possibility for a while. I am now also inclined to think that certain influential ancient rabbis agree with my view. I realized that the Haftarah this week is about death of a child and his resurrection. It is my belief that there is a strong possibility Abraham did in fact sacrifice Isaac on the altar and that God resurrected him. The Torah says "you have not withheld your son from me". If Abraham didn't go through with it, then why would God say this to him? (Post-Shabbos Edit: I realized as I was leyning the Torah reading for the Akeidah that it mentions that Abraham left the mountain and rejoined his traveling companions. It mentions him in the singular and doesn't allude to Isaac... maybe he was still dead at this point...)

I think my view would lend a very different perspective on God, Abraham, Isaac (Post-Shabbos Edit: the flip side is who was Isaac who, whatever his young age, was probably much stronger than his elderly father to easily overpower him. He was carrying a significant amount of firewood... did filial dedication override the need to survive? Did he willfully allow his father to bind him to an altar, to actually kill him?) as well as the underpinnings of this being the Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah: Even if the righteous die, as does happen with everyone (thank you Kohelet for constantly reminding us of that) still there is resurrection both here and in the world to come.

Shabbat Shalom.

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