Forwarding and binding of isaac


In this paper, I explore two narratives of deception in the Hebrew Bible where, I believe, a deeper truth emerges: While our discussion is not restricted to sexual encounters, the crux of each story does hinge upon knowledge concealed in the recesses of the female body, the site of conception and pregnancy. In the womb, the identity of the father is only known, for certain, by the woman and the omniscient deity.

The simple genealogical passage from father to son in the patriarchal narratives is subject to disequilibrium, an obstruction forwarding and binding of isaac the process of establishing the rightful heir as a result of barrenness ubiquitous among the matriarchsand rivalry between wives or brothers. Drawing on the insights of classic midrash and modern literary readings, I will trace the unique role that women play in determining who should be the recipient of the patriarchal covenant, and who should be the forwarding and binding of isaac of the messianic line.

The overriding questions will forwarding and binding of isaac why these biblical heroines are compelled to choose the indirect route, and why God seems to endorse their ruse. Their marriage is initially marked by a barren period of two decades, [7] after which the patriarch appeals to God and is immediately answered.

The children struggled together within her womb [ be-kirbah ], And she said: If this is so, why do I exist [ lamah zeh anokhi ]? The struggle in the womb foreshadows the events that ensue—the near mortal combat between brothers over birthright and blessing. Yet she does not appeal to her husband, Isaac, before turning to God, as Sarah confronted Abraham with regard to Hagar Gen.

Rebekah expresses a death wish, even as she is in the throes of the intensity of her vital, pregnant self. She not only questions her natal condition, but is the body in which human life uncannily originates. In response to forwarding and binding of isaac plea, God tells her what he does not tell Isaac, and perhaps more importantly what she does not tell Isaac: But the reader, who is privileged along with the omniscient narrator, fills in the gap: She has insight, while Isaac, in favoring Esau, is ironically pur-blind.

The rift between Isaac and Rebekah begins from the moment that the divine oracle introduces a discrepancy between their perspectives. It widens when Isaac, as a blind old man, resolves to bless his son Esau Gen. She merely overhears Forwarding and binding of isaac asking Esau to hunt for game and to prepare savory food for him to eat so that he might bless the heir-apparent before he dies v.

Instead, she resorts to stealth: Jacob will pose as his brother Esau, wearing goatskins as his hairy mantle, and Rebekah assures him that she will bear the consequences.

When she is compelled to send him away, she becomes the recipient of a displaced curse. Given forwarding and binding of isaac consequences that this sacrifice entails, why does she resort to deception? The Veiling of Rebekah. Now Forwarding and binding of isaac was coming from the approach to Beer-lahai-roi [lit. And Isaac went out to meditate [17] in the field at the turn of the evening. The passage opens with explicit geographical markers: The seeing God, El-roiin her forwarding and binding of isaac is identified as the One-Who-Sustains life, El-haiin the naming of the well.

They have both been seen and survived the sighting. When Isaac first sees Rebekah, he is returning from Beer-lahai-roi, perhaps a place he frequents for prayer forwarding and binding of isaac meditation.

He has been talked of and for by Abraham and his servant in negotiating a match from Paddan-aram, but he forwarding and binding of isaac been conspicuously absent until now…this moment of first meeting: He raised his eyes and saw, and, behold, camels were coming! Rebekah raised her eyes and saw Isaac, and she fell [ va-tipol ] from her camel.

This first meeting between Isaac and Rebekah reads like a comedy of errors. Melancholy, the patriarch is cast in the long shadows of early evening, in a meditative stroll, lost in his desert-dwelling mind. She is maudlin, the smell of camels in her nostrils and the grit of sand in her hair, fingers, and toes.

There is no love-at-first-sight. Their eyes do not meet, for he, marked by early myopia, sees the camels in the distance while she sees him and falls from her camel. When she realizes he is the one she is destined to marry, she veils herself, sealing the asymmetry of their first sight with a piece of cloth.

What does she see in Isaac that so alarms her, sets her off balance? And why does she then veil herself? And from that moment onward, fear was imprinted in her heart…. The Netziv suggests that this moment forwarding and binding of isaac prescient of the gap between husband and wife that would hold from that first meeting onward. Rebekah is shrouded in her own modesty, a mere pawn in the divine game where the main players—Isaac, Jacob, and Esau—wrangle over blessing and birthright.

Yet the veiling of the bride was not a symbol of modesty in the Ancient Near East, as a woman did not remain veiled after marriage. Rather, it is a sign of betrothal. The Ancient Near Eastern sources suggest that it was the groom or his family who veiled the bride, as in the bedeken ceremony today. Why is Rebekah not veiled in Haran by the servant? In drawing the scarf down over her face, she maintains the asymmetry of sight at their first meeting: The scarf, perhaps made of a gauzy material, porous to light and air, allows her to continue seeing the other while her face is obscured to him.

It anticipates the three acts in which Rebekah strikes out on her own, beyond the purview of her husband: Call it feminine wile. The veil gives her the gift of privacy, the ability to know an inner world wholly her own, free from the forwarding and binding of isaac eye of the outside world and free of social norms.

It opens the interior eye. And through the gauze, the blurring of lines, a crack of light breaks through. The Bridge between Rebekah and Tamar. Goats, masks, and clothing as betrayal in Hebrew: Yet it is the veiling of women that presents the most evocative parallel between the stories. The midrash draws out the resonances: The narratives of Judah and Tamar Gen.

It tells us how the nefarious Judah, who initiated the scheme to sell his brother into slavery, became the hero who offered himself instead of Benjamin, as surety for his brother Gen. Initially, Judah treats her unconscionably. When Forwarding and binding of isaac saw her, he took her for a harlot; for she had covered her face. Then she went on her way. This scene takes place at the entrance to Enaim, perhaps at a crossroads [36] marked by a spring or well. Yet the name also connotes a double irony.

Eventually there will be a re -cognition of what took place there as the mask allows a deeper truth to emerge. As Zvi Jagendorf points out, the irony is also palpable in the realm of sexual knowledge: He may even know her carnally without any awareness whatsoever.

She may know the man that mis-takes her. But she knows him, and the gap in their levels of awareness ultimately brings about a true moral recognition. The pledge, of course, is pivotal to the plot. The Act of Forwarding and binding of isaac Haker Na.

Then turning point arrives: In this way, she enables him to make the shift towards acknowledging his responsibility without shame. He does so with respect to Tamar, in admitting that he had neglected her by forwarding and binding of isaac giving her to his son Shelah Gen.

Either one is right or forwarding and binding of isaac is wrong! The insight of maternity, engendered at conception and in pregnancy, lies at the core of the alliance between God and women.

For the men, the forwarding and binding of isaac of the deception only comes in hindsight. So the best laid plans of man go astray, until woman intervenes in subterfuge. Throughout this paper, midrash has served not only as a literary tool to tease out the parallel plots, motifs, and key terms, but also as an answer to the theological question: Jacob supplants Esau and Judah supplants Reuben as the progenitor of kings.

Through the breach, Rebekah and Tamar, in cahoots with God, heal the break in continuity and enable the light of the next generation to shine through. I conclude with an adaptation of a line from a Leonard Cohen song: Collins Society for Biblical Literature Tales of Sex and Masquerade Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Indiana University Press, Sternberg, however, ignored the gender aspect to this drama—and this is where I pick up the thread.

Schocken Books God, however, seems to favor the younger son: The former refers to the principle that the firstborn is favored in some way Deut.

The obvious question is: Jacob was later reunited with his father after his long sojourn in Haran 22 years and buried him in Kiriath-arba Hebron. His lifespan extends even beyond the other patriarchs, Abraham and Jacob.

According to classic rabbinic exegesis, Jacob was 63 when he stole the blessing, so Isaac must have been see Rashi on Gen. Schocken Books ], See also Rashi on Gen. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

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