The Sacrifices of Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac

Vayera | Rosh Hashanah By :  Aaron Koller Adjunct Professor of Talmud, JTS and Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Yeshiva University Posted On Sep 12, 2023 / 5783

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With Dr. Aaron Koller 

In the Torah readings for Rosh Hashanah, we read about the dissolution of Abraham’s family. First Ishmael is banished and nearly dies in the desert; Hagar leaves the household where she has lived for decades; and finally God commands Abraham to sacrifice his remaining son, Isaac. How do these stories come together, and how do they contribute to the ‘biography’ of the first patriarch? We see how these linked narratives develop some of the themes of Genesis—and why they are appropriate for the New Year. 


The Torah of the New Year

Join JTS faculty for a close reading of several of the biblical texts that we read during the fall holiday season. Discover new insights into these readings and reflect on what meanings they hold for us today.