God, Abraham, and Isaac: Who is the ‘Hero’ of the Aqeda?

Date: Oct 06, 2021 - Oct 06, 2021

Time: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning

God, Abraham, and Isaac: Who is the ‘Hero’ of the Aqeda?

Part of ScholarStream, a partnership of the Conservative Movement

Wednesday, October 6, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

The story of the “binding of Isaac” (aqeda) in Genesis 22 is a tale of problematic relationships, both between the characters as well as the reader’s relationship with a troubling and alienating story. How can God issue such a shocking and callous command to Abraham, a faithful follower? Why does Abraham comply without objection, in contrast to previous interactions with God? And why does Isaac remain passive and apparently acquiescent with his life at stake? Is there a hero in this story, in the sense of a character who is to be celebrated for his actions, and what are we supposed to learn from him? We will take up those questions in the light of both traditional and modern Jewish commentary. 

With Dr. Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies, JTS

This session is the first in a series of four lectures on Torah Relationships: Biblical stories can inform our understanding of our own relationships. The life lessons of our ancestors influence our personal, communal, and world values.  

Individuals can sign up at a cost of $25 for the series, or for free with a code from a sponsoring congregation. 


From October 2021 through May 2022, JTS is partnering with other Conservative Movement seminaries and institutions to offer eight lecture series featuring outstanding scholars and teachers from across the Movement. Synagogues are invited to become ScholarStream co-sponsors so that their members may enjoy all of the lectures at no charge.