Sacrifice of Isaac

In selecting my message to you this week, I looked through some of my favorites books for inspiration. I decided that for the next few weeks, I would share with you some thoughts that I rely on to guide me in righteous and mindful living. As we prepare for our interfaith gathering in South County on January 18, these words especially resonated with me this week:

A child of seven was reading in school the chapter which tells of the sacrifice of Isaac:

Isaac was on the way to Mount Moriah with his father; then he lay on the altar, bound, waiting to be sacrificed. My heart began to beat even faster; it actually sobbed with pity for Isaac. Behold, Abraham now lifted the knife. And now my heart froze within me with fright. Suddenly, the voice of the angel was heard: “Abraham, lay not your hand upon the lad, for now I know that you fear God.” And here I broke out in tears and wept aloud. “Why are you crying?” asked the Rabbi. “You know that Isaac was not killed.”

And I said to him, still weeping, “But Rabbi, supposing the angel had come a second too late?”

The Rabbi comforted me and calmed me by telling me that an angel cannot come late. An angel cannot come late, but we, made of flesh and blood, may be.

I Asked for Wonder, Abraham Joshua Heschel.