By: Rav Shlomo Friedman
The Satan's Response and the Response to the Satan- An Insight on theֲ עקידה
Rashi comments at the beginning of the account of the Akeida-
ֲ אחר הדברים האלה - אחר דבריו של שטן שהיה מקטרג ואומר, מכל סעודה שעשה אברהם לא הקריב לפניך פר אחד או איל אחד. אמר לו, כלום לא עשה אלא בשביל בנו, אילו הייתי אומר לו זבח או ולפני, לא היה מעכב.
The Satan thus reacts to the celebration that Avraham made, with an attempt to question the righteousness of Avraham. The Satan points out that Avraham didn't bother to bring any sacrifice on the occasion of the birth of his son or at the subsequent celebration. God responds that Avraham would even be willing to sacrifice his son if called upon to do so. The question arises that the Satan's attack wasn't directly answered. Why in fact did Avrahamֲ notֲ bring any sacrifice to celebrate the great miracle?
Perhaps one can suggest the following.ֲ
The feast that Avraham made wasֲ ביום הגמל את יצחק. Tosfot onֲ מסכת שבת דף ק"לֲ quotes from theֲ פרקי דרבי אלעזרֲ that the party was a celebration of theֲ ברית מילהֲ ֲ of Yitzchak.ֲ ביום הגמל את יצחק,ֲ ביום ה' ג'ֲ מל את יצחק דהיינו ביום השמיני, דמילה כמנין ה גֲ
(Although the celebration only took place when Yitzchak was weaned, it has been suggested that Avraham delayed the party to prove that the act ofֲ מילהֲ would not endanger the life of Yitzchak and perhaps even cause his death.)
Furthermore, we need to keep in mind that the concept ofֲ ברית מילהֲ is associated with the concept of bringing aֲ קרבן.ֲ This is the implication of theֲ מדרשֲ that the Ramban quotes towards the end of the firstֲ פסוקֲ on the Parshaֲ ועוד אמרו, מזבח אדמה תעשה לי, ומה אם זה שבנה מזבח לשמי הריני נגלה עליו ומברכו, אברהם שמל עצמו לשמי על אחת כמה וכמה. We also remember theֲ הרחמןֲ that added at the end ofֲ ברכת המזוןֲ at the meal of theֲ מילה. We hint to theֲ פסוקֲ inֲ אמורֲ which is referring to the acceptability of a newborn animal as a sacrifice on the eighth day when we sayֲ מיום השמיני והלאה ירצה דמו.
The connection between the concept of aֲ קרבןֲ andֲ ברית מילהֲ perhaps is the following. The concept of a sacrifice according to the Ramban at the beginning ofֲ ספר ויקראֲ is meant to be a vicarious experience The individual offering theֲ קרבןֲ is to view the animal being brought as a replacement of himself. Thus, in effect everyֲ קרבןֲ is meant to be an act of self-sacrifice. The concept of circumcision is not all that different.ֲ ֲ רמב"ןֲ quotes from theֲ רד"קֲ that the lesson ofֲ מילהֲ is that one should seek to control and direct his desires to be usedֲ in a proper, holy fashion. After all theֲ מילהֲ is done on the part of the body associated with a strongֲ תאוהֲ and the circumcision is symbolic of curbing and controlling the desire.
Keeping this all-in mind, one might suggest that the answer to the Satan's question as to why Avraham did not bring a sacrifice, is that in fact Avrahamֲ didֲ bring one. Theֲ sacrificeֲ was Yitzchak!ֲ When Avraham did theֲ מילהֲ on his son he was making a statement that Yitzchak and all his desires and his entire existenceֲ would be committed to fulfilling the will of God and that is what a sacrifice is all about.ֲ This lesson was lost on the Satan, and thus Avraham was told to bring Yitzchakֲ as an actual offering. In reality, the Akeida done by Avraham was bringing to fruition theֲ קרבןֲ concept that was incipient at the time of theֲ מילה.ֲ ֲ
For hundreds of years our nation is under attack from those that feel that the merit of the circumcision and the righteousness of Avraham will bring them success. Ifֲ weֲ are fully aware of the lesson of theֲ מילהֲ and live our livesֲ with the commitment to the ways of God and His will, we have good reason to assume that God willֲ protect His people from our bloodthirsty wickedֲ enemies, and will fulfill the promise made after the Akeidaֲ ויירש זרעך את שער אויביו.
Shiur ID: 9319