Parshat HaAkeidah

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TReciting 7 times the Parshat HaAkeidah (Binding of Yitzchak):

he Parshat HaAkeidah describes our potential for Mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice) to Hashem’s service. We often fail to understand how much our efforts are precious in Hashem’s eyes and, indeed, this is what the later sages (Amoraim) attribute the miracles done to the generations of Tannaim. In one instance they cite in Massechet Ta’anit (24b) when a drought came to the world, and Rabbi Yehuda took out one of his shoes to fast. Before he took out the second one, Eliyahu HaNavi came and told him Hashem would destroy the world if he did so. To what merit did they receive such wondrous miracles? The answer is that they truly sacrificed themselves for Hashem on a daily basis. The Akeidat (binding of) Yitzchak is the testimony of our commitment to Hashem and Rav Chaim Palagi writes in Kaf HaChaim that, without it, not a single person would have any of his wishes fulfilled by Hashem.

The great Kabbalist HaRav Avraham Chamui (born in Chalab, Syria) who lived about 180 years ago writes that it is a great practice to recite the Parshat HaAkeidah once, with concentration. He also recommends this segulah of saying it 7 times. According to him, “even if a sword is pointed towards a person’s neck, if he says the Parshat HaAkeidah 7 times, he will be saved.” This is a wondrous segulah for sustenance, finding your spouse, health and many other things.

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 Parshat HaAkeidah

Our God and God of our fathers, remember us favorably before You and be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion from the eternal high heavens. Remember in our behalf, Adonoy, our God: the love of our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants; the covenant, the kindness, and the oath which You swore to our father Abraham on Mount Moriah, and the binding of Isaac, his son on the altar, as it is written in Your Torah.1Genesis 22:1-19.

After these events,2These events refer to the previous nine tests by which God tested Abraham. This was to be the tenth and the most difficult test of all.—Ha’amek Dovor' God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” and he [Abraham] said, “Here I am.” He said, “Please, take your son, your only one,3Isaac was Abraham’s only son by Sarah. whom you love—Isaac— and go to the land of Moriah, and bring him up as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you. Abraham awoke early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took his two attendants4Ishmael and Eliezer.—Rashi' with him, and also his son Isaac. He split the wood of the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went to the place that God had designated to him. On the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place from afar. Abraham said to his attendants, You stay here with the donkey, and I and the boy will go to that place. We will prostrate ourselves [in worship] and return5Abraham unwittingly prophesied that both of them would return.—Rashi' to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and placed it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the knife,6The Hebrew word is ma’acheles (root: אכל = to eat) which means that it renders meat fit for eating through slaughtering the animal. Another interpretation is: his knife is called ma’acheles because we still enjoy (eat) the reward of Abraham’s virtue when he agreed to use it to slaughter his son.—Rashi' and they both went together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “Father,” and he said, “Here I am my son.” He said, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt-offering?” Abraham said, God Himself will show the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went together.7Although Isaac understood that he was going to be slaughtered, “They went together”—with like hearts.—Rashi' They came to the place that God had designated to him, and Abraham built the8The Torah says that he built “the” altar not just “an” altar, to indicate that Abraham rebuilt the same altar which was originally built by Adam and used by Cain, Abel and by Noah.—Targum Yonoson ben Uziel' altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. An angel of Adonoy called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham! Abraham!” and he said, “Here I am.” He [God] said, Do not harm the boy, nor do anything to him; for now I know that you are one who fears God and have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me.” Abraham raised his eyes and beheld a ram9Tradition tells us that this ram was prepared for this purpose from the time of creation. Rashi (in Maseches [/Pirkei%20Avot.5.6 Avos 5:6]) after it had been caught in the thicket by its horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and brought it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. Abraham called the name of that place, Adonoy will see;10The Midrash interprets the following: “God will see the binding of Isaac and through its merit He will pardon Israel every year and rescue them from trouble. It will thus be said, “On this day,” by all generations that the ashes of Isaac are seen by God and serve as our atonement.—Rashi' as it is said [to] this day On Adonoy’s mountain, He will be seen. An angel of Adonoy called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘I have sworn by Myself,’ declares Adonoy, ‘that because you performed this deed, and did not withhold your only son, I will greatly bless you and make your descendants as numerous1111 If these blessings were intended to increase the population of Abraham’s descendants, it was superfluous, since God had previously blessed him for that purpose. God here blessed the descendants of Abraham with the nobility of spirit and courage to fulfill the command to sanctify God even when self-sacrifice is required. Only the nation of Israel, Abraham’s children, were commanded to fulfill this mitzvoh, because of the legacy we inherited from him.—Ha’amek Dovor.' as the stars of the sky and like the sand on the seashore, and your descendants will inherit the gate of their enemies. All the nations of the world will be blessed Through your children, because you heeded My voice.’” Abraham returned to his attendants, and they rose and went together to Beer Sheva, and Abraham dwelt in Beer Sheva.

Master of the Universe! May it be Your will Adonoy, our God and God of our fathers, to recall for our sake the covenant of our fathers. Just as our father, Avraham suppressed his compassion for his only son and would have slaughtered him to do Your will, so may Your compassion suppress Your anger against us; and may Your compassion prevail over Your [other] attributes,1This refers to Hashem’s attribute of stern justice. to deal with us more leniently than the letter of Your law. Deal with us, Adonoy, our God, kindly and with compassion. In Your great goodness, turn Your fierce anger away from Your people, and from Your city, from Your land, and from Your territorial heritage. Fulfill for us, Adonoy, our God, the promise You made, through Your servant Moshe, as was said,2Vayikra 26:42. “I will recall My covenant with Yaakov, also My covenant with Yitzchak, and also My covenant with Avraham will I recall; and I will recall the land.