I want speak, today, about the העקידה. Not just about עקידת יצחק. I want speak about our עקידה.
The meaning of the word עקידה is “to put the sacrifice on the altar (מזבח)” . But, since עקידת יצחק, the word עקידה become a notion. Idea.
And I want speak about this notion.
The last thing that I did in Israel , before we arrived here , was to visit my friend’s mother.
My friend was killed in the army a little more than three years ago. It happened near Ramalla and he was killed on the day that my firstborn-son started to להניח תפילין.
Before I left her house, she looked in my eyes and said quietly :
“We are not a religious family , but when you will stand before הקב”ה on ראש השנה ask him
Why the sacrifice that I gave him , was not enough for him?
Why do we need to pay so much blood and suffering to live in our county or even just to live?
And tell him that I ,Robbi, gave my son David as a עקידה,it was really עקידה, not like יצחק almost was.”
I asked her – what does she mean ? And she answer me whisperly:
“Now I belong to here, I have here a tomb , I gave my עקידה”
Since this meeting ,I think all the time about the meaning of the עקידה.
I think that the story about העקידהwrote for teach us something about our עקידה.
אברהם commanded to sacrifice his son. It wasn’s unusual. In the past, the best practice of ע”ז was to bring your son to the god (“להעביר בנו למולך”).
But for אברהם it was very difficult . He had left the ע”ז for work the קב”ה. he wanted be anther men. He want a spritsail God and now he got a God that need sacrifice like the ע”ז.
Moreover, the קב”ה promised him “ביצחק יקרא לך זרע” – יצחק will be the
continuation of עמ”י and now he commanded to kill him.
Lets see ,what אברהם did with command that so contrast his world-view.
I want look just about one word “הנני” . the simple translation for this word is “here I am” ,but it’s not exact. The correct translation need to be “I am ready”.
In the story of the עקידה, אברהם said three times “הנני”
- The first time was before the act of the עקידה. when the קב”הcommanded him to take יצחקto the העקידה.
ויהי אחר הדברים האלה והאלהים ניסה את אברהם ויאמר אליו אברהם ויאמר הנני
- The second time was in the act ,when יצחקasked where is the sacrifice
ויאמר יצחק לאברהם אביו ויאמר אבי ויאמר הנני בני ויאמר הנה האש והעצים ואיה השה
- The last time was when the angel stopped him ,and said him not sacrifice יצחק.
ויקרא אליו מלאך ה’ מן השמים ויאמר אברהם אברהם ויאמר הנני
What אברהם did when he stand before the difficulty? he said “הנני”. He said “I’m ready” , and the most deep meaning of “הנני” is “I ready to give myself”,“take me”.
This is big lesson: if you what to grow-up , if you want to change the reality, than you must give something from yourself. You must to be there. Not outside.
This is the double meaning of “הנני”- I’m ready to give and I’m here, I belong here.
אברהם did it three times:
- In the time of the wavering ,before the action.
- In the time of the action , when every thing was not clear.
- And when he had to stop. Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch said that this time is’t the most difficult.
Sometimes it’s very comfortable to go – according something or someone – without question , without thinking .like a blind person.
To know when to go, and when to stop, it’s very difficult.
You need choose your way every time. You can’t go in the way without control.
it’s clear that the thing that we feel belong them , is things that we get with a lot of hard work. For example: grow kids , learning , career …
Robbi ,my friend’s mother, said: “now I belong to here” because she gave the most expensive thing that the person can give.
Of course , the price not must be a terrible thing , but without effort we get nothing.
Now we must ask ourselves:
what we ready to give ? what we agree to do for change ? and most important question – do we ,do it because we must do it or because we are belong to this way ,to this new realty ?
The ability to give yourself and say “here I am” (הנני) is the only way to do a real something .
And now, in the days of תשובה,in the time which every one of us, is standing alone infront the קב”ה, lets ask ourselves : can I say “הנני”?
This שבת called שבת תשובה because we read in the הפטרה:
.שובה ישראל עד ה’ אלהיך come-back to קב”ה , come-back to our basis, to our natural pureness.
the first thing of this process is to say : הנני.
Here I am , and I’m ready .
Now ,after we said הנני, הקב”ה can says to us : סלחתי כדבריך
יה”ר שביום הכיפורים הבא נזכה להיות בבית המקדש
and to see the the piece of scarlet that become to white and say to us:
even your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
“אם יהיו חטאיכם כשנים – כשלג ילבינו, אם יאדימו כתולע – כצמר יהיו”