October 26, 2010
The biblical story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac always disturbed me…until now.
Rabbi Mordechai Finley of Ohr HaTorah in Venice Beach, CA gave an incredible sermon on the story of sacrificing Isaac. Here’s my attempt to summarize:
First, God does not actually ask Abraham to kill Issac. The exact translation is God tells him to make “an offering.” While one can assume that means sacrifice, it’s not the word God uses. God only wants an “offer.” And when Abraham finally starts to go through with it, it’s not God who stops him. It’s an angel. I always read this story literally but Finley argues that this a pivotal point in the bible where God changes. God actually evolves (in our eyes) at this very moment.
First think about existence this way…
In the first dimension, two points make a line. The way that we get to the second dimension is we take a third point by placing it at a 90 degree angle to the line, which makes a plane. Then to get to the third dimension, we put a plane at a 90 degree angle to the flat plane and that creates 3 dimensional space. With me so far?
So now you and I are in 3D space together. So tell me…how do we get to the 4th dimension? Where do you put the next 90 degree angle?
There’s only one way to go… within ourselves.
And that’s where God goes in this story….The reason the voice is an angel rather than “the voice of God.” is because the angel is actually a metaphor for the voice within where we can now connect with God. The bible actually makes the point to question who is your true God? Look deeper and be careful, because the act of obedience itself could be a sin.
In other words, “Never let your morals get in the way of doing the right thing.” – Isaac Asimov