September 1, 2011
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And Abraham lifted up his
eyes, and looked,
and behold behind him a ram
caught in the thicket by his horns.

The jackal whines when he is
every fool has folly enough
for despondency,
and only the wise man can
tear the veil of being
with his

In Talmud it is said
that he who humiliates another before the word shall lose his portion of
paradise. Yet God humiliated Abraham
before Isaac. And that was only the beginning. think of the generations of pious Jews who trusted in God to rescue them from their enemies. Therefore, in my opinion, His only escape, and the reason He continues to reign in the world to come, is that Isaac forces himself to laugh, making light of this betrayal. Yes, Isaac knows that his father has been fooled and humiliated, by a God who cares more for obedience than love. But if he laughs at the entire world, treating it as absurdity top to bottom, including God, then God won’t be punished, won’t lose sovereignty. And if for a moment Isaac should cease to laugh, in that moment the universe would be annihilated.

Alicia Ostriker

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1 Comment

  1. I suggest that when ever evaluating Isaacs actions or reactions take into consideration the possibility that he was a Down Syndrome child. Considering the age of his parents and the loveing yet simple personal development I have suspected this for a long time.The image of Isaac as a link in the chain of Jewish evolution makes for a humanistic of inclusion
    of all types.

    Posted by
    Irv Silberman
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