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The Wood of Abraham and Isaac

During morning prayers, Jews read the story of the Binding of Isaac, The Akedah, from Genesis 22 in the Torah (Old Testament)

Each day, the reading of The Akedah, in which father and son journey together to a mountain designated by God, brings us many gifts. We watch as Abraham gathers the wood upon which he will offer his son up. Abraham builds an alter of this wood and places his most precious creation upon it, ready to sacrifice him to God.

Contemplating this wood, I have lately been seeing the metaphor of connection to our lives. The species of wood we gather is made up of the precious relationship to family and friends, the livelihoods we choose and the ways we use our time, as the days of our lives are spent.

Like the story in scripture, we are often aflame with passion and other powerful emotions for the stories of our lives and those we have chosen to populate these stories.

Certainly, the tale of Abraham and Isaac reminds us to select the wood carefully upon which our life is to be irrevocably consumed. In the story too is a reminder of the power in dedicating one’s purpose and actions to a will higher than we are sometimes given to know. In doing so, we are linked across the eons to those who came before us and to the seed that has yet to spring forth.

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