This Trial: Ribo on the Akeydah

The nadir of VaYerah, this week’s Torah portion, the Torah, and Humanity is when Avraham is asked to sacrifice his child. It is hard to imagine anything worse. There is nothing I love more than my children. I would do anything to protect them, it is hard to imagine hurting them, let alone killing any of them. This request for sacrifice is understood to be the 10th and hardest of Avraham’s Nisyonot– trials. It is hard to relate to this test. How do I make sense of it?

I was thinking of these Nisyonot when listening to Ishai Ribo’s Nisayon Hazeh– this trial. I just love it. Enjoy:

Ribo sings:

This trial/challenge is not quite so simple it just seems naïve, landing on me heavily this challenge still does not fade. I require some help, to little much (very much) forgiveness.

I can only assume that the severity, if not the absurdity, of this trial required Avraham to ask for some help and even forgiveness. That part of the story is painfully missing. In many ways I would to place Winnifred Crane Wygal’s Serenity Prayer into Avraham’s mouth. He wrote:

Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.

Similarly at the end of the song Ribo sings:

And give me the wisdom to understand it all because only you are able to give me the wisdom to change, to improve, to repair.

The zenith of these trial’s is Avraham’s capacity to know what he could not change and live with the consequences. I hope that none of us have to contend with trials or ordeals like this in our lives. But we all can learn to ask for the wisdom and serenity to do better. We all need to change, improve, and repair ourselves and the world.

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