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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"And these are the offspring of Isaac son of Abraham--- Abraham begot Isaac" (25:19)

It seems that the words ,"Abraham begot Isaac", are extra since the verse already stated , "Isaac son of Abraham" ? What is the Torah teaching us? I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem , as follows: The words , "Abraham begot Isaac", are stated because they are actually related to the "Akaida" when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1--20). (Please refer to that chapter). Hashem had only tested Abraham, and Isaac was not actually sacrificed. However, Isaac was in a sense "reborn" from the experience. How so? Many people go through life with the attitude of "eat, drink and be merry" without really giving much thought to their spiritual well being. Which for some is reasonable since the future is seemingly so far away, why should they even consider their place in the after life. Yet, Isaac was given a glimpse to his mortality. He was given the ability to view this transitory world as means and an opportunity to acquire for himself a portion in the world to come with the performance of good deeds. Isaac almost departed from this world, but was rescued and "reborn".Isaac had a unique opportunity to see the world as it really is...... when confronted with his own mortality. Since Abraham took part in this experience, the verse is telling "Abraham begot Isaac" to emphasize the rebirth that took place at the "Akaida". In Eccleiastes 9:10 , it states the following:" Do whatever you (man) can while you still have the strength, for in the grave where you are going, there is nothing that you can do, reckon with knowledge and wisdom".The Yalkut Shimoni on this verse explains , "as long as the candle is still lit oil can be added, but once the candle is out it is to no avail for oil to be added". This means that now is the opportunity to do good deeds when a person is still alive and physically functional.Through the "Akaida", Isaac was given the opportunity to fully appreciate the intensity demonstrated by this verse. We must all try to live to the fullest, and grab the opportunities presented to us . We must fill our days with good deeds.........................This should not ,G-d Forbid, depress us.............Little by little we must change for the better..................Have a good Shabbos


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