Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 22, v. 4: "Va'yar es hamokome" - Rashi (Tanchuma #23) says that Avrohom knew it was the right location because he saw a cloud upon the mountain. Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer says that he saw a pillar of fire upon the mountain. Rashi (Tanchuma #22) on verse 4 says that Avrohom waited until the third day so that people should not say that he had such extreme zeal that he did not thoroughly think through the matter and acted while in a frenzy. Thus, Avrohom acted with cool calm reasoning. This is the cloud, a body of evaporated water, symbolizing cold. At the same time he surely acted with great enthusiasm and fervour. This is the pillar of fire. There is no disagreement between Rashi (Tanchuma) and Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 12: "Ki atoh yodati ki y'rei Elokim atoh" - How is it that just now it became conclusive that Avrohom was truly G-d fearing? Avrohom saw that Hashem would not accept Yitzchok as a sacrifice. He placed the fault squarely on his own shoulders and immediately repented for any sins that he had. "Atoh" (with the letter Ayin) refers to teshuvoh. Avrohom's blaming himself and immediately repenting clearly shows that he was G-d fearing. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 13: "Ayil achar ne'echaz basvach" - Hashem showed Avrohom that there was another sacrifice. This is the daily struggle and entanglement with the evil inclination. To come out on top requires much sacrifice. (Chozeh of Lublin)

Ch. 22, v. 14: "Vayikra Avrohom shem hamokome hahu Hashem Yi'reh" - This could have been the blackest day in Avrohom's life, the day his son was slaughtered. Not only did this not happen, but it was the cause for much blessing. To implant this lesson Avrohom named the place Hashem Yi'reh, "he will see Hashem," the Holy Name of mercy. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 14: "Asher yei'o'mer ha'yom" - The parsha of the Akeidoh is read on Rosh Hashonoh. Perhaps it is alluded to in these words. The Holy Zohar writes that "ha'yom" refers to Rosh Hashonoh. These words shall be said on "ha'yom." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 17: "Uch'chole asher al sfas ha'yom" - Just as wave after wave thunders down upon the sand of the seashore, and yet the sand remains, so too, your descendants will withstand and outlive those who attempt to ch"v annihilate them. (Rabbi Chaim of Tchernovitz in B'eir Mayim Chaim)

Ch. 22, v. 19: "Va'yoshov Avrohom el n'orov" - Avrohom returned to his youth. He remained a kind person, and his character was not tainted in the slightest with cruelty, even though he was ready and eager to sacrifice his son. (Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kosov in Ahavas Sholo'm)

Ch. 22, v. 20: "Va'y'hi acha'rei hadvorim ho'eileh" - Rashi writes that Avrohom felt guilty for not having found a wife for Yitzchok. Avrohom thought that if he would have already found a wife for Yitzchok and Yitzchok would have had children then he would have been allowed to slaughter Yitzchok, as there would be surviving grandchildren through whom the promise of descendants would have been fulfilled. Hashem let him know that Yitzchok's life mate was just born, and Avrohom was not at fault in the slightest. (Rabbi Yechezkeil of Kuzhmir in Divrei Yisroel)

Ch. 22, v. 24: "Ufilagsho ushmoh R'umoh" - At first glance a concubine seems like a true wife, but in fact isn't. So too, there is false modesty, when one acts demurely, but makes sure everyone notices it. "R'umoh" is a combination of "r'u," "see," and "mah," that I am "what," negligible (as in "V'Aharon MAH hu"). This is the same as a concubine. (Baal Shem Tov)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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