A challenging part of the Torah becomes uncannily apt for this week
Why was Joyous banned? Martial law?
For anyone who has a son in the army that thought is very powerful. Sending him off at the same time makes all the sense in the world, but no sense at all. They are indeed looking at death in the eyes. They will also never leave that altar. The heart breaks as it also bursts with pride.
Rabbi Sacks formulates the question as follows: "As Jews – indeed as humans – we must reject Kierkegaard’s principle of the 'teleological suspension of the ethical.' This is an idea that gives carte blancheto religious fanatics to commit crimes in the name of God. It is the logic of the Inquisition and the suicide bomber. It is not the logic of Judaism rightly understood. God does not ask us to be unethical." See Rabbi Sacks's answer to the question here: https://www.rabbisacks.org/covenant-conversation/vayera/the-binding-of-isaac/
Dennis Prager writes as follows: "Virtually every ancient society about which we have data had human sacrifice -- the killing of human beings to propitiate their society's god(s). Only if we understand this can one understand why God would test Abraham in this way: 'Are you, Abraham, willing to do for Me what all other human beings are prepared to do for their (false) gods?' [...] All the preceding notwithstanding, the ultimate message of this story is that human sacrifice is morally unacceptable to God. The good God introduced to the world by the Torah abhors child sacrifice." (The Rational Bible)
It's not always a "potential" sacrifice. R' Amnon Bazak points out this week- and he's hardly the first- that while Hashem did not want Avraham to sacrifice his son, he was sending a message that sometimes, being a Jew will mean that children will be sacrificed. I trust I don't have to bring examples.
You actually DO have to be mystical to read the text this way, your first sentence is just a classic case of the lady doth protest too much. As though you feel a need to justify a mystical point of view, when you claim to be so rational. When you finally realize that ALL believing Jews take into account both the rational and mystical, you might then finally understand how one can believe fully in the protective power of Torah, while still acting prudently in the heat of war.
Shabbat Shalom, ה' ישמור ויגן
Dear Ezra. The Torah does not think your way . The second Mal'akh from Hashem praises him for not holding back and gives him Berakhot.
"The father hears the voice of God, but its the son that gets sacrificed" - R. Elly Fisher
I am from Brooklyn and currently living at the Jersey Shore
There are midrashim that say Isaac was indeed sacrificed. https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/67097?lang=bi
Yet it's the Abraham of 2023 who held back his son whos offspring is greatly increasing....
I personally subscribe to another approach. The Akeda was a test for Avraham Avinu, but he failed it.
How can the same man who opposed the divine decree against Sodom and the other cities, accept to sacrifice his innocent child without a question.
Is that the relationship HaKadosh Barukh Hu wants with us? After all we are B'nei Israel and not B'nei Avraham.
When after the Akeda Hashem says that now he knows Avraham's faith is unquestionable and he is ready to even give up his son, I don't necessarily read it as an only positive response.
After all we see around us how utterly ungodly are the B'nei Yishmael, ready and happy to sacrifice their children.
Just another possible reading.
The storyline (narrative) was used against the pages worship of the day. There are 2 ultimate messages we can take. 1 Abraham will follow Hashems command even at the expense of his Future if need be. 2 Hashem eschews any type of Child sacrifice. The results that Yishaq returns alive is what is Wanted and Warrented by Hashem .He wants us to choose life and not feed the gods as others surely committed Molekh. I myself see this clearly and am not bothered at all reading this great saga