There is no passage in Torah that I have pondered more than Genesis 22. The story of Abraham’s binding his son, Isaac, on top of Mount Moriah as a burnt offering to God has always disturbed me.
There is no end to the questions this passage provokes:
How could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son?
Why did Abraham not raise a word of objection to this staggering request?
Why isn’t Sarah mentioned anywhere in the narrative?
Where did Isaac go after his life was spared?
Over the centuries, our sages have offered their interpretations of the Binding of Isaac. In our own time, poets, musicians, and artists have added their own layers of meaning to Akeidat Yitzchak.
This evening, at our Shabbat Service, we will read once again Genesis 22.1-19. Afterwards, the congregation will be invited to share their responses to this passage. Following this, Ted Bresler’s short play, “The Binding of Isaac: What Really Happened?” will be offered by Ted and Jack Samosky.
A first century sage, Ben Bag Bag says regarding Torah: “Search in it and search in it, since everything is in it” (Avot 5.25). The Binding of Isaac is surely an inexhaustible source for uncovering new meaning.