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Bereishis Rabbah (55:8-9) describes how Avraham, who had exerted so much effort into doing the will of Hashem to offer Yitzchak as a karban, felt bad that he wouldn't be able to do so. Thus, when he saw a ram that just happened to be sitting there, he grabbed the opportunity to "make up" for it, and he shechted it in place of Yitzchak. The Midrash describes ...

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