Monday, October 03, 2011

RH highlight: A conversation with our HH rabbi

Fortunately for us, we had the pleasure of hosting our local synagogue's High Holiday rabbi for dinner on Erev Shabbat Shuvah. What a discussion we got into regarding Akeidat Yitzchak/the Binding of Isaac (which we read on the second day of Rosh HaShanah)! My husband tried to justify the actions of Avraham Avinu/Abraham our Father by saying that Molech worship, typical of that time and place, demanded child sacrifice, so Avraham simply assumed that HaShem expected him to prove his faith in the same fashion. But the rabbi disputed this assertion, insisting that, up until then, HaShem had expected Avraham to believe and behave differently from the surrounding pagans. So I piped in that not only was Avraham's behavior out of character, in that he'd previously argued with HaShem to spare Tz'dom and Amora (Sodom and Gemorrah), but HaShem's behaviour was out of character as well. Why on earth (or in heaven) would HaShem want to stoop to the level of a pagan god and demand child sacrifice?

It's really too bad that our congregation can't afford to hire a rabbi on a regular basis. I think that our High Holiday rabbi is really an excellent speaker and thinker, not only in front of a congregation, but around a Shabbos table, as well. I'm looking forward to hearing him speak on Yom Kippur.

For another interesting discussion regarding the Akeidah, I recommend this d'var Torah by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.


Anonymous jdub said...

interesting. At my daughter's bat mitzvah, I spoke about akeidat yitzhak and made the point that post-AY, God never speaks directly to Avraham. I think God was disappointed with Avraham for not putting up a fight. Avraham was willing to argue on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah but wouldn't lift a finger against human sacrifice of his own son. I used it to suggest that God expects us to react to injustice and not passively accept it.

Tue Oct 04, 11:08:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Mikvah Bound said...

Funny, our HH rabbi argued that Abraham was all too happy to carry out the task. That Abraham might have argued with G-d, but that he always, always obeyed, eventually. The angel called out twice because he was so bent on following G-d's law that he forgot to listen. That is our task as Jews, according to her, to listen to G-d's instructions. To realize we aren't all knowing, that we may not understand it all the first time we hear it, that G-d may always be offering clarification.

Tue Oct 04, 04:36:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mikvah Bound, apparently, I’ve been down this road before, and ended up agreeing with JDub then, too.

Tue Oct 04, 05:11:00 PM 2011  

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