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Friday, November 7

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayeira

When HaShem instructs Avraham to take Yitzchak and perform the akeidah, He commands (22:2), "Please take your son, your only son, that you love, Yitzchak..." Rashi writes that HaShem did not want to take Avraham by surprise and thus progressed gradually as he commanded him to bring his son as a sacrifice.

Ohr HaChayim offers an interesting insight on this pasuk. He suggests that the three terms used to refer to Yitzchak, binchayechidecha, and asher ahavta correspond to three forms of love we are commanded to show HaShem. Every day in the shema, we read (Devarim 6:5) that we must love HaShem with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our resources or possessions.  The first reference, "your son," corresponds to the commandment of bechol levavecha, with all your heart, as there is no love, writes Ohr HaChayim, like the love one has for his son. Yitzchak is referred to as his only son in correlation to bechol nafshecha, with all your soul. Sacrificing Yitzchak would have left Avraham essentially childless which is tantamount to death as stated in the gemara (Nedarim 64b). Finally, Avraham loved Yitzchak more than all of his possessions and thus, asher ahavta, the son that you love, is a manifestation of bechol me'odecha. We therefore observe from this pasuk that Avraham, in carrying out the akeidah, fulfilled every necessary component of ahavas HaShem.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

AstroTorah: The Mysterious Midrash by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: Lot's Twilight Escape by R' Ari Storch

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