Abraham's Struggle With Loyalty

Why Did Abraham Bind Isaac?

Rabbi David Fohrman

Rabbi David Fohrman



The binding of Isaac (in Hebrew: the Akeidah) is one of the most difficult stories in the entire Bible. Why did God ask Abraham to bind his son as an offering? How could Abraham even entertain the idea of killing Isaac? The Torah says that God was testing Abraham, but is this kind of blind loyalty really what God wants from us?

In this video, Rabbi Fohrman picks apart a brief dialogue that took place between Abraham and Isaac as they ascended the mountain. This deeper look into the words exchanged by father and son — and the silences between them — points us to the crux of Abraham’s test and how he withstood it. You may well have been misunderstanding the binding of Isaac all of this time: it was about far more than Abraham’s obedience to God.