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Excerpt from Dafna Izenberg's Prize-Winning Essay "The Promised Language"

I was seven or eight years old when I learned the story of Akedat Yitzchak. It appears in Genesis 22, where God instructs Abraham to take his son Isaac up a mountain and make of him a burnt offering. Abraham complies, or seems to, binding Isaac to an alter and preparing to slit his throat. An angel materializes and tells Abraham, “Don’t do it! You passed the test. God knows that you believe in Him.” Then a ram appears, and Abraham releases Isaac, sacrifices the ram, and down the mountain go father and son.


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