Post-Akeda Genealogical Report

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Decades after departing for Canaan and his last contact with family, Abraham receives word that his brother Nahor has become a father and now has more than a dozen descendants (Gen. 22). After so long out of touch with them, why does Abraham suddenly get this genealogical message specifically at that time following Akedat Yitzhak? While God may have wanted him notified about Rivka as a potential spouse for Yitzhak, He does not prophetically instruct the reporter to go convey that information.  One wonders: What was the human-level trigger that sent him to Abraham, dozens of years after the latter left Haran? In our Summer 2020 issue Ami Hordes offered a careful parsing of the biblical chronology of events leading up to the report. What results is a possible answer both to this question, and to why Abraham, although aware of Rivka, did not send his servant – seeking her hand for Yitzhak – directly to his brother’s family.

Read this now open-access essay for Parashat Va’era

[Published on November 1, 2020]

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