Rosh Hashanah

2nd Day


Bereishit 22:1 And it happened after these words that G-d tested Avraham and He said to him, "Avraham," and he said, "Here I am."

Rashi on 22:1 AFTER THESE WORDS. Some of our Sages say (Sanhedrin 89b) [that this happened]: after the words [translating "devarim" as "words"] of satan, who was accusing and saying, "Of every feast that Avraham made, he did not sacrifice before You one bull or one ram!" He [G-d] said to him, "Does he do anything but for his son? Yet, if I were to say to him, ‘Sacrifice him before Me,’ he would not withhold [him]." And some say, "after the words of Yishmael," who was boasting to Yitzchak that he was circumcised at the age of thirteen, and he did not protest. Yitzchak said to him, "With one organ you intimidate me? If the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, ‘Sacrifice yourself before Me,’ I would not hold back."

HERE I AM. This is the reply of the pious. It is an expression of humility and an expression of readiness.

22:2 And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love - Yitzchak - go to the land of Moriya, and bring him up there as an offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you."

Rashi on 22:2 PLEASE TAKE is only an expression of a request. He [G-d] said to him, "I beg of you, pass this test for Me, so that people will not say that the first ones [tests] had no substance."

YOUR SON. [Avraham] said to Him, "I have two sons." He [G-d] said to him, "Your only one." He said to Him, "This one is the only son of his mother, and that one is the only son of his mother." He said to him, "Whom you love." He said to Him, "I love them both." He said to him, "Yitzchak." Now why did He not disclose this to him at the beginning? In order not to confuse him suddenly, lest his mind become distracted and bewildered, and also to endear the commandment to him and to reward him for each and every expression.

TH LAND OF MORIYA. Yerushalayim, and so in 2Divrei HaYamim (3:1): "to build the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim on Mount Moriya." And our Sages explained that [it is called Moriya] because from there [religious] instruction (horaah) goes forth to Yisrael. Onkelos rendered it ["the land of service"] as alluding to the service of the incense, which contained myrrh ["mor" is phonetically similar to Moriya], spikenard, and other spices.

BRING HIM UP. He did not say to him, "Slaughter him," because the Holy One, blessed be He, did not wish him to slaughter him but to bring him up to the mountain, to prepare him for a burnt offering, and as soon as he brought him up [to the mountain], He said to him, "Take him down."

ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS. The Holy One, blessed be He, makes the righteous wonder (other editions: makes the righteous wait), and only afterwards discloses to them [His intentions], and all this is in order to increase their reward. Likewise, (above 12:1): "to the land that I will show you," and likewise, concerning yonah (3:2): "and proclaim upon it the proclamation."

22:3 So Avraham arose early in the morning and he saddled his donkey; he took his two young men with him and Yitzchak, his son; he split the wood for the offering, and stood up and went to the place of which G-d had spoken to him.

Rashi on 22:3 SO...AROSE EARLY. He hastened to [perform] the commandment.

AND HE SADDLED HIS DONKEY and he did not command one of his servants, because love causes a disregard for the standard [of dignified conduct].

HIS TWO YOUNG MEN. Yishmael and Eliezer, for a person of esteem is not permitted to go out on the road without two men, so that if one must ease himself and move to a distance, the second one will remain with him.

HE SPLIT. Hebrew: vayevaka. The Targum renders vetzalach, as in (2Shmuel 19:18): "and they split (vetsalchu) the Yarden," an expression of splitting.

22:4-5 On the third day, Avraham raised his eyes and he saw the place from afar. And Avraham said to his young men, "Stay here by yourselves with the donkey, while I and the lad will go up to here; we will worship and we will return to you."

Rashi on 22:4 ON THE THIRD DAY. Why did He delay from showing it to him immediately? So that people should not say that He confused him and confounded him suddenly and deranged his mind, and if he had had time to think it over, he would not have done it.

AND HE SAW THE PLACE. He saw a cloud attached to the mountain.

AFAR, literally, until there, i.e., a short way to the place that is before us. And the Midrashic interpretation (Tan. ad loc.): I will see where is [the promise] that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me (above 15:5): "So (koh) will be your seed."

WILL RETURN. He prophesied that they would both return, i.e., Avraham prophesied without realizing it.

22:6 And Avraham took the wood for the offering, and placed it on Yitzchak, his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife, and the two of them went together.

Rashi on 22:6 THE KNIFE. Hebrew: hamaachelet, so called because it consumes (ochelet) the flesh, as it is stated (Devarim 32:42): "and My sword will consume (tochal) flesh," and because it renders meat fit for consumption (achilah). Another explanation: This [knife] was maachelet because the people of Yisrael still eat (ochelim) the reward given for it.

AND THE TWO OF THEM WENT TOGETHER. Avraham, who knew that he was going to slaughter his son, was going as willingly and joyfully as Yitzchak, who was unaware of the matter.

22:8 And Avraham said, "G-d will see the lamb for Himself for the offering, my son." And the two of them went together.

Rashi on 22:8 WILL SEE THE LAMB FOR HIMSELF i.e., He will see and choose for Himself the lamb (Targum Yonatan), and if there will be no lamb, my son will be for a burnt offering. And although Yitzchak understood that he was going to be slaughtered, "they both went together," with one accord (literally, with the same heart).

22:9 They arrived at the place which G-d had spoken to him; Avraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood; he bound Yitzchak, his son, and he placed him on the altar atop the wood.

Rashi on 22:9 HE BOUND his hands and his feet behind him. The hands and the feet tied together is known as akeidah. And that is the meaning of akudim (below 30:39), that their ankles were white; the place where they are bound was discernible.

22:11 And an angel of Hashem called to him from heaven, and said, "Avraham! Avraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

Rashi on 22:11 AVRAHAM! AVRAHAM! This is an expression of affection, that He repeated his name.

22:12 And he said, "Do not send forth your hand at the lad nor do anything to him for now I know that you are G-d-fearing, and you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me."

Rashi on 22:12 DO NOT SEND FORTH YOUR HAND to slaughter [him]. He [Avraham] said to Him, "If so, I have come here in vain. I will inflict a wound on him and extract a little blood." He said to him, "Do not do the slightest thing (meumah) to him." Do not cause him any blemish (mum)!

FOR NOW I KNOW. Said Rabbi Abba: Avraham said to Him, "I will explain my complaint before You. Yesterday, You said to me (above 21:12): ‘for in Yitzchak will be called your seed,’ and You retracted and said (above v2): ‘Take now your son.’ Now You say to me, ‘Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad.’" The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him (Tehillim 89:35): "I shall not profane My covenant, neither shall I alter the utterance of My lips." When I said to you, "Take," I was not altering the utterance of My lips. I did not say to you, "Slaughter him," but, "Bring him up." You have brought him up; [now] take him down.

FOR NOW I KNOW. From now on, I have a response to satan and the nations who wonder what is My love towards you. Now I have a reason (literally an opening of the mouth), for they see "that you fear G-d."

22:13 And Avraham raised his eyes and saw - and behold, a ram! - afterwards, caught in the thicket by its horns; so Avraham went and took the ram and brought it up as an offering instead of his son.

Rashi on 22:13 AND BEHOLD, A RAM! It was prepared for this since the six days of Creation.

AFTERWARDS. After the angel said to him, "Do not stretch forth your hand," he saw it as it [the ram] was caught. And that is why the Targum translates it: "And Avraham lifted his eyes after these [words], i.e., after the angel said, "Do not stretch forth your hand." (Other editions: and according to the Aggadah, "after all the words of the angel and the Shechinah and after Avraham’s arguments").

IN THE THICKET. Hebrew: basvach, a tree.

BY ITS HORNS. For it was running toward Avraham, and satan caused it to be caught and entangled among the trees.

INSTEAD OF HIS SON. Since it is written: "and offered it up for a burnt offering," nothing is missing in the text. Why then [does it say]: "instead of his son"? Over every sacrificial act that he performed, he prayed, "May it be [Your] will that this should be deemed as if it were being done to my son: as if my son were slaughtered, as if his blood were sprinkled, as if my son were flayed, as if he were burnt and reduced to ashes."

22:14 And Avraham called the name of that site "Hashem Yireh," as it is said this day, on the mountain Hashem will be seen.

Rashi on 22:14 HASHEM WILL BE SEEN. Its simple meaning is as the Targum renders: Hashem will choose and see for Himself this place, to cause His Divine Presence to rest therein and for offering sacrifices here.

AS IT IS SAID THIS DAY that [future] generations will say about it, "On this mountain, the Holy One, blessed be He, appears to His people."

THIS DAY future days, like [the words] "until this day," that appear throughout Scripture, for all the future generations who read this verse, will refer "until this day," to the day in which they are living. The Midrash Aggadah (see Bereishit Rabbah 56:9) [explains]: Hashem will see this binding to forgive Yisrael every year and to save them from retribution, in order that it will be said "on this day" in all future generations: "On the mountain of Hashem, Yitzchak's ashes shall be seen, heaped up and standing for atonement."

22:17 that I shall surely bless you and surely increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemy.

Rashi on 22:17 I SHALL SURELY BLESS YOU - one [blessing] for the father and one for the son.

AND SURELY INCREASE - one for the father and one for the son.

22:19 Avraham returned to his young men, and they stood up and went together to Beer-sheva, and Avraham dwelled in Beer-sheva.

Rashi on 22:19 AND AVRAHAM DWELLED IN BEER-SHEVA. This does not mean permanently dwelling, for he was living in Chevron. Twelve years prior to the binding of Yitzchak he left Beer-sheva and went to Chevron, as it is said (above 21:34): "And Avraham dwelt in the land of the Pelishtim for many days," [meaning] more numerous than the first [years] in Chevron, which were twenty-six years, as we explained above.

22:20 And it happened after these matters, that Avraham was told, saying: Behold, Milkah, she, too, has borne children to Nachor, your brother:

Rashi on 22:20 AFTER THESE MATTERS, THAT AVRAHAM WAS TOLD. When he returned from Mount Moriya, Avraham was thinking and saying, "Had my son been slaughtered, he would have died without children. I should have married him to a woman of the daughters of Aner, Eshkol, or Mamre.
The Holy One, blessed be He, announced to him that Rivkah, his mate, had been born, and that is the meaning of "after these matters," i.e., after the thoughts of the matter that came about as a result of the "akeidah."

SHE, TOO. She had [a number of] families equal to the [number of] the families of Avraham. Just as Avraham [engendered] the twelve tribes who emerged from Yaakov - eight were the sons of the wives and four were the sons of maidservants - so were these also, eight sons of the wives and four sons of a concubine.

22:23 And Betuel begot Rivkah. These eight Milkah bore to Nachor, Avraham's brother.

Rashi on 22:23 AND BETUEL BEGOT RIVKAH. All these genealogies were written only for the sake of this verse.

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