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Isaac

Reconciling Hagar and Sarah: Feminist Midrash and National Conflict

In Jewish and Muslim interpretation, Hagar and Sarah represent the matriarchs of Abraham’s blessed heirs, the Arabs and the Jews. In classical sources, the break between the two women is never mended, but feminist readers of the Bible, Jewish and Muslim, have used midrash-style poetry to rewrite the ending of their story. Part of this endeavor is the hope of rewriting the contemporary conflict and reconciling between their putative descendants.

Noam Zion

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“Take Your Only Son Isaac” – What Happened to Ishmael?

In the introductory verses of the Akedah (Binding of Isaac), God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son, ignoring the existence of Ishmael. Ishmael’s absence has bothered even the earliest readers of the text, but a documentary approach obviates the problem. The key is understanding the relationship between Abraham and Hagar.

Dr.

Philip Yoo

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Grace Leake

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Abraham Passes the Test of the Akedah But Fails as a Father

The story of the Akedah appears to present Abraham’s actions in a uniformly positive light. However, Isaac’s absence at the end of the story, and Sarah’s death immediately afterwards, suggested to some traditional and modern commentators a criticism of Abraham.

Prof.

Aaron Koller

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Rachel Weeps in Ramah: Of All the Patriarchs, God Listens Only to Her

Rachel weeps over her exiled descendants and God hears her plea (Jer 31:14–16). Expanding on this passage, the rabbis in Midrash Eichah Rabbah envision Jeremiah awakening the patriarchs and Moses to plead with God to have mercy on Israel. Upon their failure to move God, the matriarch Rachel intervenes successfully.

Prof.

Hagith Sivan

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A Monogamous Isaac Prays for His Barren Wife

Midrash Chad Shenati, discovered in the Cairo Genizah, criticizes Abraham for not praying for Sarah and praises Isaac for praying for Rebekah, and gives Rebekah pride of place in its homiletic exposition of the parasha.

Dr.

Shana Strauch-Schick

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Dr.

Moshe Lavee

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The Sacrifice of Isaac in Context

Recovering a Lost Ending of the Akedah

Dr.

Tzemah Yoreh

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Akedah: How Jews and Christians Explained Abraham's Faith

God promised Abraham that Isaac would be his heir, yet God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. What did Abraham believe that allowed him to reconcile this divine contradiction?

Dr.

Devorah Schoenfeld

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Testing Abraham: Justice in Sodom Before Loyalty in the Akedah

Prof. Rabbi

Reuven Kimelman

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Mitigating the Akedah

Rabbinic Exegetes’ Attempts to Explain the Context, Meaning, and Value of the Akedah

Prof.

Isaac Kalimi

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Baby Naming: Biblical Rites and Mother's Rights

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Isaac's Divine Conception?

“The Lord visited Sarah” (Gen 21:1) – When God (and his angels) appears to Abraham to announce the birth of Isaac, the text implies a hidden visit to Sarah. Does this mean, as both Philo and Paul claim, that Isaac was born from a divine conception?

Dr. Rabbi

Samuel Z. Glaser

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