Imagine that you are one of the most influential people in the world, the spokesman for G-D in This World. And you’ve been teaching a pagan world that practices like giving up your children are wrong. You yourself have a child, whom you love more than anything else. G-D has promised that through this child you will become the founder of His Chosen Nation.
And then G-D asks you to sacrifice your only son.
It’s not a challenge that anyone can relate to. Certainly not in 2017. But we know that the Torah is eternal. if the Torah goes into such detail about the story of the Akeidah, how Avrohom Ovinu (our father Abraham) was tested in this way, and was stopped by Hashem just as he was about to plunge the knife- it must be relevant to us in some way.
G-D worded his request in a very detailed fashion. ‘take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitzchok’
Why was that necessary?
The Sfas Emess explains that Avrohom had to go through three stages of processing the request.
- ‘Sacrifice your only son’. It would have been easier if Avrohom had other sons. But that was not the case
- ‘Whom you love’- Avrohom might have fallen out with Yitchok. But the Torah speaks about the tremendous love he had for him.
- ‘Yitzchok’. The child whom Hashem promised would be the guarantor of the Jewish People, is now to be sacrificed by his father.
But surely Avrohom would have jumped to do G-D’s will in a heartbeat. Why did he need to go through these stages?
The Gerrer Rebbe explains that Avrohom certainly didn’t need to go through this process. Not for his own sake. But he did it for us. By accepting the challenge the way he did, Avrohom planted the seeds of inner strength in our DNA, giving us the power to overcome our own struggles even thousands of years later.
The next time we are faced with a test, be it praying with more concentration or not shouting at the guy who blocked your driveway, lets remember that we do have the wherewithal to succeed. It’s in our blood.
As heard from Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser. (click here to view a video of the original lecture)