Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The akeda, the binding of Isaac

The Days of Awe, the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, are upon us.
On the second day of Rosh Hashana the Torah portion read in the synagogue is from Genesis 22. The binding of Isaac!

The sculpture portrays Abraham's hand covering the mouth of Isaac while his other hand grips the knife with which he was commanded to slay his beloved son.

One face of the rock has the altar on which Isaac was bound. But mercifully, there also appears the ram with the curved horns, caught in the thicket, which God sent as a substitute sacrifice.

Engraved in Hebrew on the back is pahad Yitzhak, meaning Isaac's fear.
And above the words, a dove.
The rock stands in the Municipal Garden, between the Jerusalem City Hall and Jaffa Road.
The artist is the same man who did the giant mural in the Post Office.
Like our patriarch whom God tested, the artist is also named Avraham. Avraham Ofek created this sculpture in 1987, after he had lost his own daughter, and just a few years before he died of a long and painful illness.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Awesome sculpture!

Dimple said...

It is such a moving story. Abraham had a lot of faith to obey God in this, knowing that through Isaac his seed was to be called. And God was faithful to provide a substitute sacrifice, praise Him!

Cloudia said...

What a dense work of art, Dina!

Sweet New Year to You, Sister


Comfort Spiral

Jama said...

This is similar to the muslim's prophet Ibrahim who sacrifice his son when commanded by GOD who substitute it with a goat. This practice of sacrificing a goat is still in practice during the celebrations of Eid ul Adha. That's when the muslims around the world made a pilgrimage to the Holy land of Mecca.

It is a very wonderful piece of art.

Rocky Mountain Retreat said...

What a great sculpture indeed. A wonderful story.

Reader Wil said...

Losing a child is the most terrible thing that could happen to a parent.This sculpture is so impressive and great! Thank you for sharing.

Stine said...

The sculpture is an interesting interpretation that helps us viewers imagine Isaac's terror and Abraham's anguish.

FA said...

This is fascinating. Thanks for walking us through it.

Kay said...

What a terrible way to be tested. It feels cruel to me but I guess it would be the supreme test.