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Yom Rishon shel Rosh HaShanah

Yom Rishon shel Rosh HaShanah

1st Day of the New Year
Genesis 22:1-19

The Eternal now remembered Sarah; the Eternal did for Sarah as promised, so that she became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the exact time God had told him. - Genesis 21:1-2


This portion is commonly known as The Akeidah, or “the binding.” In these terse and tense verses, the subject matter touches upon God, the man tested by God, the nature of faith, and the demands faith may make of us. God calls upon Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a supreme test of faith. Abraham, God’s loyal servant, agrees. Just as Abraham is about to offer his son up as a sacrifice, an angel calls out to him, instructing him not to harm the boy, and Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son. For the ancient reader this may have served as a rejection of human sacrifice, a practice of ancient Israel’s neighbors. For the modern reader, perhaps one is called upon to consider one’s own tests and sacrifices.


  • By Oren J. Hayon

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well, then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
    Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

    One principle that remains reliably true throughout the Bible is that the fruitful production of children is evidence of God's love and providence for favored and faithful humans. The birth of healthy children-especially to mothers and fathers who had despaired of their fertility or potency-is proof positive of God's attention and care. The child's arrival shows his parents that God desires to grant them a future, lengthening their legacy and their name long into the future.

  • Torah for Tweens

    Explore this week’s Torah portion with “Family Shabbat Table Talk” lessons, perfect for families with tweens.

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