The Sacrifice of Isaac

Andy Kohlenberg (akohl@netmedia.net.il)
Wed, 4 Dec 1996 15:56:09 +0200 (IST)

Russell Hendel (TF 100) writes:
>Thus if God wanted to test Abraham with the sacrifice of his Isaac he would
>certainly first "prepare" him for it.
>
>A search thru the Chumash [Torah] clearly shows this preparation: How
>elegant that exactly one chapter before the sacrifice of Abraham's son
>Isaac (Gen 22) we find Abraham's expulsion of his other son Yishmael (Gen
>21)! Thus the sacrifice of Isaac was preceeded by the "sacrifice" of
>Ishmael. The Bible even goes into the depression and agony which Abraham
>felt and how God comforted him (Gen 21:11-12). Indeed, Abraham was
>"prepared" for the Akayda!

The relationship between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of Ishmael
is instructive in another way as well.

The question has been asked, "why didn't Abraham question the the command to
sacrifice Issac as he did the decree of death on the inhabitants of S'dom
and Amora?"

The answer is now clear; If G-d told Abraham not to question HIS WIFE'S
command to send away his child, despite the fact that this act seemed "evil"
to him, How could he now question G-d's command to perform a similarly
"evil" act with his other son?

This also explains why the Torah does not even report that Avraham's anguish
and displeasure with the command, as it does in connection to sending away
Yishmael. G-d had told him to do whatever Sarah says despite his own
personal feelings of right and wrong. He learned this lesson. When it came to
the Akeyda, he understood that he must do the will of G-d with regard to his
children and that his personal feelings should not be an issue.

Andy & Roochie Kohlenberg
akohl@netmedia.net.il