Genesis: The Beginning of Desire

By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg | Go to book overview

VA-YERA


Language and Silence

The demand for sacrifice

Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test. He said to him, " Abraham," and he answered, "Here I am." And He said, "Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you." (22:1-2)

Aḥat ha-devarim ha'eleh--"And it was after these things" (or, in the JPS translation, "Some time afterward"): the subject of this chapter is to be the culmination of Abraham's life. Here, God demands of Abraham (pleads with him, in Rashi's reading of the word na that modulates God's demand1) that he take his beloved son, Isaac (yeḥidkha, lit., your only one) and offer him as a sacrifice. As a burnt offering, Isaac will--technically -- be consumed totally; emotionally, existentially, this will leave Abraham with nothing to show for his life. "After these things" places the Akedah test in the sequence of Abraham's life; it suggests, too, that what is at stake is a judgment on Abraham's whole history.

The Talmud, however, understands the opening clause very specifically:

"After these things": after the words of Satan, as it is written, "The child grew up and was weaned, and [ Abraham ] held a great feast" [21:8]. Satan said to God, "This old man--You granted him fruit of the womb when he was a hundred years old. And yet of all the feasts that he made, he did not have a single turtle dove or a young bird to sacrifice to You!" God answered him, "He has done nothing that was not for his son -- and if I were to say to him, 'Sacrifice your son to Me,' he would immediately obey." Immediately after that, "God tested Abraham."2

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Genesis: The Beginning of Desire
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • The Pivoting Point 3
  • Kindness and Ecstasy 37
  • Travails of Faith 72
  • Language and Silence 97
  • Vertigo -- the Residue of the Akedah 123
  • Sincerity and Authenticity 144
  • Dispersions 180
  • The Quest for Wholeness 216
  • Re-Membering the Dismembered 243
  • The Absence of the Imagination 284
  • The Pit and the Rope 314
  • The Beginning of Desire 352
  • Index of Sources 431
  • General Index 441
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 460

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.