Monday, November 7, 2011

A Springtime Akeidah

This week's Parsha contains the tremendously powerful and emotional story of Akeidas Yitzchak. We are taught that Avraham Avinu woke early in the morning and did not hesitate to begin the journey to slaughter his beloved son to his even more beloved God. On the third day Avraham raised his eyes and saw the opportune place from afar. It was at this point that he left his entourage behind and continued the journey with only himself and the son to be the sacrifice, Yitzchak Avinu. (Bereishis 22:3-8)

Rav Yehonasan Eibshitz points out that if Avraham awoke early to travel, then the commandment to perform this task was presumably given the day prior. Additionally, it was on the third day of travel that the place was spotted and, therefore, it is reasonable that Avraham and Yitzchak continued that day's journey and the Akeidah occurred on the following day. Rav Eibshitz also cites a Midrash that tells us that Yitzchak's soul left him during the ordeal and that he was resuscitated back to life. Since Chazal tell us that the truly righteous only die on the anniversary of their birth, the day of the Akeidah must have been Yitzchak's birthday, or the date on which Klal Yisrael would later bring a Korbon Pesach. If true, reasons Rav Eibshitz, then the day of the commandment to designate Yitzchak as a korbon would have been 10 Nissan. This is the date on which many years later Klal Yisrael would be commanded to reserve their sheep to be Korbonos Pesach. Yitzchak, a firstborn to his mother, was designated on this day in order that in later generations the firstborns of Klal Yisrael would be saved from Makkas Bechoros, the killing of the firstborns, because of the mitzvah of Korbon Pesach. (See Tiferes Yehonasan Bereishis 24:4)

As mentioned last week, keep your eye's to the skies, or at least to the bookstores. The Secrets of the Stars should be going ot print this week and hopefully we be in stores in a month or so!

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