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The Akedah According to Isaac

Originally published on, October 3, 2019

This is an old poem of mine... I wasn't planning to post it, but I was just playing at a synagogue for the High Holidays and they told the story of the Binding of Isaac, so I was inspired to share it again :)

* * *

Did you really think I didn’t know? I went with him completely knowing. Not eager, not rejoicing, But knowing – every muscle in my body – That it had to be.

And in a flash of heart-to-heart – One seeker to another – I teased him with my words.

My sandals paced the way, One foot, and then the other, Leather softing on the earth, Every step a little vow.

How could my mother ever understand? I challenged her love for me every day, But so completely did I love her.

It is so: On God’s alter You have to be willing, completely willing; For there will always come a time When Death will surely offer you His jaws, And you must only answer: “Take me.”

For only then –

Yes, only then!

After the knife begins its sharp descent, The angel’s hand will hold you, safe, And Death will be no more; And you will see What you cannot have seen before.


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