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    Isaac was left out – Vayyera

    Isaac and the wells, from a 1906 Bible card

    The three patriarchs are often mentioned in one breath.

    At the opening of the Amidah we praise “the-God-of-Abraham-the-God-of-Isaac-and-the-God-of-Jacob”.

    Yet Isaac is often the poor man out.

    At crucial moments God calls to Abraham and Jacob by doubling their names – “Abraham! Abraham! Jacob! Jacob!”

    Isaac is not doubled, perhaps because he is less dynamic than his father or son, and he is the bridge between two stronger personalities.

    As an imitator, he “dug anew the water wells which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham” (Gen. 26:18). Though the Akedah is the Binding of Isaac, its focus is on Abraham (Gen. 22:1). Though it is Isaac whose life is in danger, his role seems to be subsidiary.

    He goes along with Abraham (Gen. 22:6, 8) but he is dominated by his father.

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