Friday, October 26, 2007

Binding of Isaac: Fallout Falling Apart

based on a lecture by R' Shmuel Klitsner

People like quoting Rashi's comment on Bereishit/Genesis 22:6-8 — on the way to the place where Avraham is planning on sacrificing his son, Yitzhhaq, the Torah uses the expression וילכו שניהם יחדיו, the two of them walked together, both at the beginning, when Yitzhhaq has no idea what's coming, and later, after his father has dropped the hint that "God will find for Godself a sheep for the sacrifice" — that 'sheep' being Yitzhhaq himself.

Rashi commented on these verses that just as when he was oblivious, after figuring out that he is heading towards his death, Yitzhhaq still went together with his father, towards God's purpose.

What neither the people who quote him, nor Rashi himself, it seems, noticed, though, was that this phrase appears again... almost. Avraham and Yitzhhaq go up to the mountain. Avraham binds his son on the altar, and is only prevented from killing and sacrificing him at the last moment by a messenger of God. God then blesses Avraham's descendents, and then —
וישב אברהם אל נעריו
ויקומו וילכו יחדו
אל באר שבע
וישב אברהם בבאר שבע

And then Avraham returned to his servants,
and they arose, and walked together
to Be’eir Sheva‘;
and Avraham dwelled in Be’eir Sheva‘.
From the point at which Yitzhhaq is almost sacrificed, he drops out of the story. He never interacts with his father again. He doesn't participate in burying his mother, Sara, or even in his own search for a wife. He only finally appears at the end of that story, coming back to meet Rivqa from meditating in the field, visiting Be’eir Lahhai Ro’i.

Be’eir Lahhai Ro’i — the Well of the Living One Who Watches Me — the site where a messenger of God saved the life of Avraham's other wife, Hagar, when she was pregnant with Yitzhhaq's older brother, Yishma‘eil.

Yitzhhaq is hanging out with Yishma‘eil.

Yishma‘eil who was also betrayed by their father, and put in danger of death. Who was also saved by God.

Yishma‘eil and Yitzhhaq buried Avraham their father together, but did not stay in Hhevron, or in Be’eir Sheva‘. Yitzhhaq returned to Be’eir Lahhai Ro’i, where God blessed him — because his father never did.

8 Comments:

Anonymous brother yishmael said...

Hey yitschak
nice dvar torah
let's hang out

10/28/2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i can't figure out —
is that a malformed haiku?
or shabbos invite?

10/28/2007 9:48 PM  
Anonymous brother yishmael said...

despite the nice Dvar
you are still a big weirdo
no more haikus please

10/29/2007 11:58 AM  
Anonymous unshod in jtown said...

you two crack me up.

10/29/2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

5 from unshod, now seven;
i'll finish this one!

10/29/2007 1:11 PM  
Blogger thanbo said...

it's not a haiku
if it doesn't use nature
especially seasons

10/29/2007 2:58 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

it's so cold outside
haiku party-poopers stink
at throwing snowballs

;-)

10/29/2007 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and how much interaction did yitzchak and avraham have prior to the akeda?
also, if we are going to go the rashi-route, then it also says in rashi that yitzchak met rivka while bringing his father his new wife: filial interaction.

10/31/2007 2:37 AM  

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