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Glory and AgonyIsaac's Sacrifice and National Narrative$
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Yael Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759021

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759021.001.0001

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Binder or Slaughterer? The Rise and Fall of “Abraham”

Binder or Slaughterer? The Rise and Fall of “Abraham”

(p.131) Three Binder or Slaughterer? The Rise and Fall of “Abraham”
Glory and Agony
Stanford University Press

Hebrew literature of the 1940s and '50s overturned historical cultural processes that in late antiquity had slowly shifted both the burden and the merit of the aqedah from the biblical Abraham to the post-biblical Isaac. Abraham was returned to his role as the sacrificing father by the generation that fought for and paid the price for the establishment of the State of Israel. This chapter explores the complex and anguished aqedah story told by this generation. It questions not only the widely accepted reversal hinted in the epigraph to the Interlude, but also its timing: the anchoring of the father–son rupture in 1973, the year that seems to divide Israeli time into a “before” and “after.” The Israeli narratives of the aqedah examined—prose fiction, drama, poetry, critical writings, and historical studies—reveal that the golden age of “the-name-of- the-father” was first undermined not in the wake of the Yom Kippur War (1973), but rather decades before it; certainly before the Six-Day War (1967), and even earlier.

Keywords:   Hebrew literature, aqedah, Israel, Abraham, Isaac

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