Sunday, November 12, 2006

What really happened to Yitzchak?

I don't usually read DovBear, but I came across this title, The Rape(?) of Yitzchak, and I couldn't resist a peek.

Before reading it, I wondered if it had to do with the "sacrifice," since I find that "title" annoyingly inaccurate, since Issak wasn't sacrificed. On Shabbat at our שיעור נשים, which has now been going on for 25 years (each week a different speaker in a different home), Rabbi Amnon Chedri brought up an interpretation that the entire incident of the angel-guests visiting Avraham and informing him that a son would be born to very elderly Sarah and him, at the beginning of Parshat Vayera was really a "dream" in Avraham's mind, a "nivu'ah," prophesy--message from G-d. That made me wonder if the "Akeidat Yitzchak," "Sacrifice" of Issac could have the same status.

Back to DovBear...
His post is about מצחק, "mitzchek," whatever Yishmael was doing with/to Yitzchak. It could have had been something perverse/sexual, which is why Sarah was so adamant to have Yishmael banished and not just punished.

And while we're discussing Hebrew-English, I'll mention the word I find poorly translated:

Genesis Chapter 3
א וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הָיָה עָרוּם, מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים; וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה, אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman: 'Yea, hath God said: Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'

I think that עָרוּם "erum" should be translated as "seductive."

Now isn't it amazing how for thousands of years, we Jews have been going over the same Bible and always finding something new and interesting?


Soccer Dad said...

Isn't Rabbi Chedri's lesson what the Rambam says. According the Rambam, I believe, all contact with angels occurs in dreams.

Batya said...

Yes, I think that's whom he quoted. Without being to take notes, I don't give details.