Drush on the Akedah, by Esther Ticktin

Rabbi Arthur Waskow


The best contemporary drush on the Akedah that I know is by Esther Ticktin of Fabrangen in Washington, DC:

The two strongest imperatives of Torah are : 1) Rear children; 2) Break idols.

What happens when we turn our children into our idols? (This is what Avraham was doing.) We must break our idolization of them -- kill the image of them we have erected into our idol, since by idolizing them we are blowing off the Breath of Life.

This is what God asked of Avraham: Lift him up to Me: But Av had so totally made Yitz into his idol that he couldn't fathom how to do it without killing him. The lifted knife was the breaking of the idol: That was all God wanted in the first place, that was all God needed.

In my teacher Esther's name -- Shalom, Arthur

Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director, The Shalom Center

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