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    The real story

    Akedat Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac, is one of the best known of all the Biblical stories, not only because of its intrinsic interest but because it figures as the Torah reading for the second day of Rosh HaShanah.

    There can hardly be a rabbi anywhere who has not devoted sermon after sermon to the lesson of the episode and attempted an explanation of why it is linked with Rosh HaShanah.

    A well-known clergyman makes this contribution to the discussion: “Perhaps (it is) to make the point that the real story of humanity is a story of parents and children, husbands and wives, not of kings and wars”. Actually, the whole Book of Genesis teaches this lesson.

    To me it is summed up by the memory of a synagogue member who said to me on Shabbat B’reshit, “Why do we have all those ‘begats’?”

    I offered an off-the-cuff answer, but the view quoted above certainly fits in – it shows that the beginning and end of human history is human beings and the bond that ties (or sometimes unties) the generations.

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