Abraham binding and Isaac being bound; an expression of love

The Akedah , the binding of Isaac

The sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio c. 1603

The binding of Isaac known as ” the Akedah” has a pivotal place in Jewish tradition. Yet in ordinary terms it is not understandable.

The Zohar teaches the inner roots of the Akedah, and then we begin to see how crucial this great act of both Avraham and Isaac was for all the Jewish people and for humanity as a whole. They worked a great tikkun in the fulfillment of their love for humanity and for God.

The essence of the Akedah is the union and the completion of the vessels of both Avraham and Yitzhak. Avraham embodied the Sephirah of chesed, loving-kindness, whereas Yizhak embodied the Sephirah of Gevurah, of  judgement and the vessel for the revelation of God in the world. But neither could shine until they completed each other. The unification they achieved through the action of the Akedah completed and fulfilled them and paved the way for the coming of Jacob, the final component of the Merkavah, the vehicle for the love of God.

Listen now

From the Perush HaSulam Zohar Vayera paragraph 484 and Berishit 1 paragraphs  356-7

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