October 14th, 2021

The portion of Lech Lecha begins with an instruction – “Lech Lecha” – God directs Abraham to leave his family and birthplace, and go to a land that God will show him. This same formulation – “Lech Lecha” – introduces God’s instruction to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac at the end of Parshat Vayera. The Midrash correlates these two ‘tests’, noting that it is unclear which of the two is considered the greater test.

Rabbi Dunner challenges the notion that sacrificing a son is even remotely comparable to leaving one’s home country and immigrating elsewhere. Then, using a majestic Nesivos Sholom as the backdrop for this fascinating shiur, Rabbi Dunner reveals how the Midrash makes perfect sense, and why Abraham’s earliest test was far more challenging than it may first have appeared.

Image: Scenes from the Story of Abraham, British, mid-17th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (not on display). See: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/229007

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