Vayera: They Walked Together

Avraham is not the only hero of this story.

Rabbi S. Weiss,

Judaism Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Arutz 7

The centerpiece of our parsha, of course, is the Akeida, the binding and near-sacrifice of Yitzchak. Most
The man who discovered G-d through deductive reasoning, logic and common sense must now put all those aside.
commentators count this episode as the last of Avraham's 10 tests, as well as his most difficult. It's easy to understand why.

Avraham, the man of chesed who spoke up for Sodom's inhabitants, must now accept the harsh sentence pronounced on his beloved Yitzchak. How will he reconcile this act with the G-d of love and kindness, who forbade human-sacrifice? How will he ever again trust the G-d of Truth - who explicitly promised that Yitzchak, and only Yitzchak, will be his heir - but is now taking away that same heir?

Yet, Avraham suppresses his doubt and all the moral dilemmas, and reacts to HaShem's command with emunah sh'lemah. The man who discovered G-d through deductive reasoning, logic and common sense must now put all those aside and activate his sense of pure faith.

But Avraham is not the only hero of this story. Yitzchak - no mere "lad" at age 37 - also submits to HaShem's will. At one point, he asks (sheepishly?), "Where is the lamb for the offering?" But then he accepts Avraham's assurance that "G-d will show us the lamb." No wonder the entire episode is called Akeidat Yitzchak in his name and honor.

As they approach Mt. Moriah, Avraham sees glowing clouds ringing the place of the Akeida, future home of the Beit HaMikdash.

He asks Yitzchak, "Do you see the place?" Yitzchak says yes. Avraham then asks Yishmael and Eliezer, but they see nothing. So they stay behind with the donkey, as father and son go forward. The pasuk then gives the headline for the entire sedra, "And the two of them walked together."
What about the children, the "Yitzchaks" of our people who risk their lives?

This Shabbat is our beloved Ari z.l.'s Bar Mitzvah parsha. I think of all the parents who brought their children to Israel, to live in this "challenging" neighborhood, to fight like lions in our holy army against the enemies of Am Yisrael. These parents deserve enormous credit for answering the command of HaShem to come with their families to Israel, despite all the risks that it entails.

But what about the children, the "Yitzchaks" of our people who risk their lives? They are the ones who face the knife as they selflessly defend us, the ones who "tie" themselves down for several years while other kids their age, in other countries, go on with simpler, safer lives. Somehow, like Yitzchak, they see what the others do not; they perceive the mountain of HaShem that must be climbed.

In their great z'chut, the foundation of the future - and final - Beit HaMikdash is being built. May we and they always walk together.





top