Akedat Yitzchak

The ‘Akeydah

by R. Gidon Rothstein R. Yitzchak Arama’s View of the ‘Akeydah Itself Last time, R. Arama set up the ‘Akeydah as an opportunity for Avraham to show his readiness to listen to Hashem on a most difficult task. Now, he fleshes out some of the challenges Avraham faced in building his way to proving his readiness. Questions About the ‘Akeydah Like his contemporary, Abarbanel, R. Arama ...

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To Discuss Hashem’s Knowledge, Remember Not to Think of Hashem in Human Terms

by R. Gidon Rothstein My summaries of R. Arama’s ‘Akeydat Yitzchak minimize a remarkable aspect of the work, his ability to yoke his expression of his philosophical worldview to his consecutive reading of the Torah. In a way which reminds me of Sefer Ha-Chinuch’s structuring his presentation of mitzvot by the order in which they appear in the Torah, R. ...

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The Sins We Condone, The Sins to Which We Turn a Blind Eye

by R. Gidon Rothstein Last time, R. Arama wondered why Sodom was punished harshly and quickly, when the Jews in general, and the people of Giv’a particularly, were treated more gently. In this week of comfort from our recently relived destruction, I hope his answers show us ways to put our communities on more solid footing. Sodom’s Path From Temptation ...

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Why People Circumcise Themselves, and the Benefits They Gain

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzchak, Eighteenth Sha’ar, Second Part Humans Should Take the World to Its Next Level Tanchuma Tazria records a conversation between Turnus Rufus (a Roman officer) and R. Akiva. However they get there, R. Akiva ends up telling Turnus Rufus the foreskin cut off during circumcision is excess (R. Arama compared it to hair or fingernails, body ...

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People as the Purpose of Creation

by R. Gidon Rothstein ‘Akedat Yitzchak , Eighteenth Sha’ar People as the Purpose of Creation R. Arama says this sha’ar will explain the purpose of creation, then adds asher navochu bo rabim, which has confused many. He will also explain how milah, circumcision, completes man’s perfection. In support of the point, he opens with Nedarim 31b-32a, where a string oftannaim speak of the greatness of circumcision. ...

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