I was wondering if Hazal referred to the question of how exactly Abraham was planning to perform the שחיטה of his son Isaac. Clearly, Abraham had intended to do it as it is written "ויקח את המאכלת לשחוט את בנו".

In VaYikra we are given specific and detailed instructions on how שחיטה should be performed and those instructions vary depending on the animal or bird. In my Rosh HaShana's Machzor, I remember a passage referring to a Minhag of hiding away the Shofar in remembrance with Abraham hiding away Isaac so that the the satan won't inflict a mum (מום) on him (and thus making him inadequate for a korban).

I would appreciate the sharing of knowledge regarding this issue with sources.

  • I don't understand what the Shofar Minhag has to do with the question.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 16:41
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    Where in Vayikra does it explain the laws of Shechita?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 16:45
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    I can think of two points, but neither is an explicit answer: first, the akeida was before matan torah, so the avos following laws was voluntary. Thus there is no reason to expect that Avraham followed laws of shechita. Second, I recall that a medrash says that Isaac told Avraham to bind him tightly so that he would not move and invalidate the cut, so there was some sense that the killing had to be done in a particular way. The medrash which says that Isaac was actually cut says that he was so on his neck (IIRC) which would follow shechita laws for a mammal.
    – rosends
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 17:40
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    What exactly is the question? Whether or not Avraham followed Halachah, or which set of Halachoth he followed (or something else)?
    – Seth J
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 23:01
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    @SethJ I am asking which set of Halachoth he followed for performing a Schita in a human being. Maybe, for performing a korban in Bamot (as was the way of the Avot), less restrictions apply than in the Mishkan or Beit HaMikdash.
    – smichak
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Here is a blog post that breaks down the Rogatchover Gaon's interpretation of the verse (Bereshit 22:6):

ו וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָהָם אֶת-עֲצֵי הָעֹלָה, וַיָּשֶׂם עַל-יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ, וַיִּקַּח בְּיָדוֹ, אֶת-הָאֵשׁ וְאֶת-הַמַּאֲכֶלֶת; וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם, יַחְדָּו.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife; and they went both of them together.

The Rogatchover asks why Avraham only put the wood on Yitzchak, and not the knife. He explains that it is forbidden to use the Korban to carry the knife. Since the wood was specifically for the sacrifice, it was permitted for Yitzchak to carry it.

See the blog post for more information and specifics.

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