By Omri Boehm

Conventional interpretations in either Judaism and Christianity argue that the Akedah offers not just a moral query but additionally a moral answer. yet for the intervention of the angel, Abraham might have killed his son. Obedience to God take priority over morality as humanly conceived. but, the angel of Yhwh that looks to Abraham is a later addition to the textual content; therefore, within the unique narrative Abraham really disobeys the divine command to slay his son, and sacrifices a ram instead.

The first a part of the ebook indicates how the "original" model of the narrative didn't comprise the angelic determine. the second one a part of the ebook re-examines a number of non secular interpretations of the textual content to teach that exegetes similar to Maimonides and his fans did indicate Abraham's disobedience. in accordance with those writers the esoteric layer of the tale in reality announces that disobedience to God's command was once Abraham's precise confirmation of religion. within the 3rd a part of the ebook, Boehm re-opens the philosophical debate among Kant and Kierkegaard. Boehm concludes the e-book via contending that the monotheistic version of religion provided by way of Abraham used to be truly a version of disobedience.

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The first thing that strikes the reader as exceptional in this story is the fact that Isaac was not eventually killed. It has therefore been suggested that the story is intended as a polemic against the ritual of child sacrifice: it presents the well-known tradition of the noble father who sacrifices his son, but changes the outcome. The son survives; God does not will the death of the son. Thus Spiegel writes that "Quite possibly the primary purpose of the Akedah story may have been only this: to attach to a real pillar of the 16.

30 In Berdichevsky's account the angel—a later interpolation—is not the cause of the stopping of the sacrifice but an explanation or, indeed, an interpretation of it. The cause is Abraham. This is further elaborated in Berdichevsky's interpretation of v. "—this source does not know of the angelic speech. " (v. " is not very appropriate. 31 It is noteworthy that even though Berdichevsky here observes the secondary nature of the angelic intervention, he never notices the implications of this observation, namely, that Abraham disobeys.

I shall return to these words in more detail in Chapter 9. 2. In Midrash Rabba (trans. H. Freedman and M. Simon; London: Soncino, 1961), 426. 3. Sarna, Genesis, 151. 36 The Binding of Isaac Like Abraham, Moses too attempts to prevent the deity from carrying out its intention, praying and asking to have mercy on his people: And Moses said to the Lord: "Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by your might you brought these people up from among them. And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land.

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