Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi

Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi
Portrait of Hacham Agassi painted by Mrs Ruth Gila, Beit Meir , Israel

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Binding of Isaac

Beraishit 22.2- בראשית

2.’ And He said, 'Please take your son, your only son, who you love, Isaac, and go for yourself to the Land of the Moriah- וַיֹּאמֶר קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ אֶת יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ אֶת יִצְחָק וְלֶךְ לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה (3548+15 words=3563=17=8); and offer him up there for an Olag-Offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you- וְהַעֲלֵהוּ שָׁם לְעֹלָה עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ(1773=18).

Rashi comments here that Abraham is requested by Hashem. He tells him to pass this trial so that people would not belittle the other trials that Abraham underwent (Sanhedrin 89.b; Tanchuma 22.). The “Ten Trials of Abraham” are detailed at the end of this Parsha.

Rashi adds that the beginning of the verse is written so as Abraham had two sons whom he both loved from separate mothers. Hashem did not reveal Isaac’s name straight away so as not to confuse Abraham and in order to make the commandment more precious to him. For each statement in this verse Abraham received reward (Tanchuma 22; Beraishit Rabbah 55.7).

The verse can be divided so:
·         The gematria of the words “Please take”- קַח נָא is 159+2 words=161=8.
·         The gematria of the words “Your son”- אֶת בִּנְךָ is 473=14=8 or 953=17=8 counting final Kaf as 500.
·         The gematria of the words “Your only one”- אֶת יְחִידְךָ is 453+2 words=14=8 or 933+2 words=17=8 counting final Kaf as 500.
·         The gematria of the words “that you love”- אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ is 909=18.
·         The gematria of the words “who is Isaac”- אֶת יִצְחָק is 609+2 words=611=8.

When Hashem said the words “ who is Isaac”- אֶת יִצְחָק (611) Abraham knew that there was nothing to fear and that it was a test to bring him great reward. This is also why Isaac- a man of 37 years of age- agreed to go.

They were to have the last laugh. This is why he was called Isaac-יִצְחָקwhich means "He shall laugh!

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