#217 The Akedah

by Rebecca Davidson Wolf

The truth is, there was no angel.

The truth is, I stood upon the mountain and I raised my knife and no one called out to me. I looked down on my son, my only son, and saw in his face my father’s when he returned to the shop and saw the damage I had done. I was a young man then, a proud man, full of my own self-righteousness. And now I was old, and still smashing, still destroying family bonds in aid of some other goal.

That was not my great moment of faithfulness, of devotion to God. No. I thought in that moment that I would rather have back all the old idols, motionless and useless and unresponsive, if it meant I could keep my son. I would rather false gods than one who asked that of me.

I saw a ram, and cut the bonds, and told Isaac I had heard an angel’s cry. I knew, or should have known, that by then, by the time I had stood with a knife over his throat, it could not be repaired between us, but I thought perhaps I could leave him with a love for God if not for me.

The truth is, God did bless me afterwards, though not quite for the reasons I pretend. But it was hard, the hardest thing, for me to bless God in return.

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