Isaac's laughter


December 16, 2022

(Jewish Journal via JNS) — At the start of Dec. 3rd’s Torah reading, Jacob, like his grandfather Abraham before him, leaves the land of his birth for new horizons. Along the way, he is confronted by God, who says to him, “I am Hashem, God of Abraham your father and God of Isaac.”

The commentators note a difficulty with this passage. Generally, God only declares himself “the God of so-and-so” after so-and-so has died. But Isaac is still alive.

Rashi offers an explanation from the Midrash: “Isaac’s eyes had become dim and he was confined to the house, so that he might be regarded as dead.”


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