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    Was it Abraham’s Akedah? – Rosh HaShanah

    The binding of Isaac, by A Losenko

    The test that we read about on Rosh HaShanah is called the test of Abraham, though it was Isaac who went through the physical ordeal of being bound, placed on the wood and almost killed.

    Why then do we not speak about the Binding of Abraham? After all, the psychological and spiritual ordeal of Abraham was excruciating, regardless of the pain of Isaac!

    God was looking for a leader who could be trusted to carry the people into the future. If Abraham proved worthy, it would be he whose name would be attached to the people throughout history.

    God was not only looking for a leader. He was looking for a people… and the leader would personify the people. Leo Baeck said, “Every people is a question which God addresses to humanity and every people, from its place, with its special talents and possibilities, must answer for its own sake and for the sake of humanity.”

    The Akedah is the test of Abraham, and through him the test of Israel.

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