Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
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R. Yehuda Ayash points out that there are contradictory passages in the Zohar. In Parshat Vayikra it says that the Binding of Isaac took place on Rosh Hashanah, while in Parshat Vayeitzei it implies that it took place on Yom Kippur. He says that further analysis is required to reconcile the two passages: Mateh Yehuda O.C. 584:2 קורין וה' פקד וכו' כתב הר"...


10

Ralbag has an interesting explanation of the challenge of the Binding of Isaac, which could answer this question. He explains that the challenge was specifically to see how easy it would be for Abraham to sacrifice his son (i.e. not to see if he would sacrifice his son at all). God's command to Abraham was sufficiently vague that Abraham could have sought ...


9

The Tzemach Tzedek, in Derech Mitzvosecha 186b brings this same question in the name of R' Menachem Mendel of Horodok. He asks it much the same as you did, but he adds that Yitzchak was 37, and if he had wanted to.....: ובזה ית' מה דקשיא טובא מדוע יחס הכתוב נסיון דעקידה לאברהם הלא יותר היה נסיון ליצחק וכדאי' קושיא זו בזהר שהרי יצחק הי' אז בן ל"ז שנה, ...


9

This is discussed by Abarbanel (Bereshis 22). He explains previous commentators as understanding that Avraham's pain in killing his own son, although less than Yitzchak's pain of actually being killed, would last throughout the rest of his life, and thus would have been much worse than Yitzchak's pain. In his words: ואם כן יצחק שמסר עצמו לשחיטה עם היות ...


9

Hashem tells Yechezkel that his wife is going to die, and that he specifically shouldn't observe several of the practices of aveilus (Yechezkel 24:16-17). It's a machlokes whether the first day's aveilus is Min Hatorah or Miderabanan (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 398), but either way these laws are part of Torah.


8

I hope you'll accept my memory lapse as to who said it, but I once saw one of the mefarshim say that by Sedom, Avraham was "tipped" as to the fact that he should advocate, as he figured "why else would G-d be telling me if not that I am supposed to do something about it?" (Similar as to how Moshe knew to "argue" with Hashem about destroying the Jewish people ...


8

One of the sources that I quoted in this answer, a commentary by R. Yitzchak Meir Alter, indeed asserts that the Binding of Isaac took place on the first day of Passover, 15 Nissan. Below is the original Hebrew text in which he wrote this: Chiddushei HaRim Al HaTorah, Parshat Vayeira יצחק אבינו ע"ה נעקד בפסח ונעקדו עמו כל נשמות ישראל ונטהרו וזכו לקשר ...


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Eliyahu at Har Carmel. Standard halachic opinion is that sacrifices away from the Temple were forbidden. So Eliyahu was either directly told to break this, or decided on his own and that decision was then endorsed by the resulting fire. Rambam seems to understand the first way. See the Hilchos Yesodei HaTora 9:3 where he says that Eliyahu was acting under ...


7

From wikipedia: Adult female sheep are referred to as ewes, intact males as rams or occasionally tups, castrated males as wethers, and younger sheep as lambs. This is basically what we're seeing in Hebrew too, though the word for lamb -- seh -- can mean "a young animal" which you then specify, see Deuteronomy 14:4 which says "a sheep seh or a goat seh." ...


7

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likkutei Sichos Volume 20, Vayera #3) said that the difference between the two tests was that in the first test, Avraham did what any normal "holy" person would do. He lived his whole life to spread G-dliness, and here is the ultimate way to show how much you believe in G-d - That you are willing to give up your life for it. The ...


6

The Mishna in Avot (chapter 5) lists the Ram as being created especially for being sacrificed by Abraham, and so it didn't belong to anyone. This opinion is also brought by Rashi on Gen. 22:13. Radak, on the other hand, says that it probably belonged to someone and that, if Abraham would have found that man, he would pay him for the ram, since you can't ...


6

I don't know if this is the only time that we learn halacha for shechita from the Binding of Isaac, but according to the Simlah Chadasha (6:5), we learn that the shechita knife must be unattached from the ground in order to be eligible to use for shechita, from the Akeidah. His source (ultimately), is the gemara, Chulin 16a: יתיב רב אחוריה דרבי חייא ורבי ...


6

In a note to the Rada"l's commentary on the Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer (Chapter 31), the Rada"l addresses this issue. He points out the Midrash that Rashi (Bereshit 22:1) quotes: And some say,“ after the words of Ishmael,” who was boasting to Isaac that he was circumcised at the age of thirteen, and he did not protest. Isaac said to him,“ With one organ you ...


6

Leviticus Rabbah (parsha 1) states that the angel called but the utterance spoke: באברהם כתיב ויקרא מלאך ה' אל אברהם המלאך קורא והדבור מדבר R. Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg understands this to mean that the angel only called out Abraham's name, but the actual rest of the command to desist was spoken by God Himself: נראה דעתם כי האמירה היתה מפי הקדוש ברוך ...


6

It was used because "Ma'acheles" means knife (see Bereishis 22:6 with Mefarshim), as quoted from Rashi above (first Pshat), Onkelos, Rashbam, R' Avraham Ben Harambam, and many, many others. Therefore, the Passuk is telling us that Avraham took a knife to slaughter his son. Based on a quick search, the word "Sakin", or knife, does not appear in Tanach. Ma'...


5

I asked a fellow in Shul this morning this question, and he showed me a fascinating Medrash Raba. Medrash Raba Vayeira 56 third line from the top. Avaraham prayed at Mount Moriah after he was told not to sacrifice Yitzchak that Hashem should have Mercy on the Jews even if due to sin they are not deserving of it . ר' יוחנן אמר: אמר לפניו רבון העולמים בשעה ...


5

Yes this was very different because it was a direct command from Hashem. Don't forget, a Navi cannot ignore his nevuah. The difference between this and Sedom was that from Avraham's perspective there was no reason for Hashem to warn him about the impending destruction except to get him to pray, so he did. By the Akeida he was commanded to carry out the ...


5

Rashi vayeira 22:6 (based on Midrash Rabba Gen. 56:3): המאכלת: סכין, על שם שאוכלת את הבשר, כמה דתימא (דברים לב מב) וחרבי תאכל בשר, ושמכשרת בשר לאכילה. דבר אחר זאת נקראת מאכלת, על שם שישראל אוכלים מתן שכרה: Translation (courtesy of Chabad): the knife: Heb. הַמַאֲכֶלֶת, so called because it consumes (אוֹכֶלֶת) the flesh, as it is stated (Deut. 32:42):“and ...


5

The Talmud (Chullin 5a) states: לימא מסייע ליה והעורבים מביאים לו לחם ובשר בבקר ולחם ובשר בערב ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב מבי טבחי דאחאב על פי הדבור שאני Can we say that the following supports his [R. ‘Anan's] view? It is written: And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and Rab Judah explained ...


4

In Braishis 22 we read And an angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven. And he said, "By Myself have I sworn, says the Lord, that because you have done this thing and you did not withhold your son, your only one, That I will surely bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the ...


4

Rashi on 22:8 says their 'walking together' shows he was ok with it. A rundown of those pesukim by request: With rashi. Verse 6 they walked together meaning both were equally happy. Avraham who knew what was to happen was as happy as Yitzchok in his blissful lack of knowledge of what was to transpire. Verse 7: due to Avraham's actions, Yitchok gets ...


4

According to B'reishit Rabbah, Yitzchak not only knew but approved and cooperated. (All quotes here are from the Soncino translation.) 56:4 tells how Samael interfered, first by trying to dissuade Avraham and then turning to Yitzchak: Seeing that he could achieve nought with [Avraham], he approached Isaac and said: ‘Son of an unhappy mother! He goes to ...


3

Here's what Avraham Schick in אשד נחלים writes: כלומר מסבת ראות המלאכים כי מעיניהם ירדו דמעה לעיניו וע״כ כהו בימי הזקנה • והדבר בעצמו צריך ביאור איך יצוייר דמעה במלאכי׳ עליונים רוחניים • ומדוע דווקא נזלו לתוך עינו דווקא • והנראה בזה דהנה יצחק בעצמו מרוב אהבתו את ה׳ לא פחד לבו ולא נמצא בלבו רחמים על עצמו • אבל מעצם נפשו אשר היא אדוקה במלאכים ...


3

Rambam, Laws of one who Injures or Damages, 2:7: ז המבעית את חברו--אף על פי שחלה מן הפחד, הרי זה פטור מדיני אדם; וחייב בדיני שמיים: והוא שלא נגע בו, אלא כגון שצעק מאחוריו או נתראה לו באפילה וכיוצא בזה. וכן אם צעק באוזנו, וחירשו--פטור מדיני אדם; וחייב בדיני שמיים. אחזו, ותקע באוזנו וחירשו, או שנגע בו, ודחפו בעת שהבעיתו, או שאחז בבגדיו וכיוצא בדברים אלו-...


3

Get specific names. The point of much commentary is that the test was to go against his nature and be willing just as Yitzchak (especially if he was 37) had to be willing to be sacrificed. However, Yitzchak's characteristic was strength and it was not as much of a test because once he died it would be over. Avraham would have to live with it and it violated ...


3

This is a really important question. It seems one should expect that objective morals always overrule what someone believes to be commands from God since it could be that they are wrong or mistaken... Your question is based on two premises. The first is that an ethic independent of God's will exists. As can be seen in the comments section, this is not a ...


3

I'd heard Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald comment that after the Akeida, the relationship between Avraham and Yitzchak was somewhat -- distanced.


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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 ...


3

R' Yaakov Kaminetzky has a long discussion about this. Part of what he says is that the akeida went against Avraham's nature, which was chessed/kindness. Yitzchak's attribute was gevurah and is closely related to self-sacrifice, so this test was really "right up his alley." Therefore, it was a harder test for Avraham, as it opposed his nature.


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