Burnt offering

burnt offering

It is amazing how many times the story of Abraham and Isaac is offered asĀ THE example of religious commitment. The resonning kind of goes like this:

If Abraham (who was VERY VERY religious) would be willing to sacrifice his one and only son to God, then certainly we can offer some lesser sacrifices… like giving a 10% tithe and committing all of our free time to the church.

People seem, though, to be blind to the fact that the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac is totally absurd. What kind of God would make such a demand on anyone? Certainly no God I would want to have anything to do with.


Burnt offering — 3 Comments

  1. What is interesting about this comic is that it reminds me of the fundamentalist Christian perspective – not the Jewish perspective. One of the reasons Abraham decided to follow G-d was that originally Abraham thought G-d was compassionate and not a god that would require human sacrifice something G-d abhors. Secondly, what the comic fails to mention is that, Abraham did not end up sacrificing Isaac, additionally, after G-d commanded him to bring Isaac to the mount as a burnt offering Abraham wandered for 3 days contemplating what he was going to do. He obviously wasn’t too thrilled with this order. Finally, G-d commanded Abraham not to kill Isaac. The moral of the story? Well, from a very shallow perspective one would say, “Abraham was so devout to G-d, he was willing to offer his own son.” Or maybe from a deeper interpretation and meaning that isn’t so shallow, “G-d’s message was that once you put your love for your fellow human being underneath your love for Me (G-d), to the point where you would kill in My Name, you are not doing My will.”

  2. Actually, I was referring to the Christian perspective on the Abraham story. Thank-you for the Jewish perspective.

  3. Like your son’s amazing, our two year old has adptoed fantastic! and wonderful! and even impossible! Her tendency toward hyperbole is obvious. Also, I do not think that last word means what she thinks it means.

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