The Silence of Sacrifice.
Sometimes, stories present themselves and asked to be put side-by-side. And when that happens, I wish I had a class to teach—well, to share with really.
(1) In Silence | A Radiolab podcast where they go off-book and discuss the silences that happen in the Bible, pregnant pauses in response to episodes where faith seems to spring from cruelty.
Listen here, you can also download it. One of those stories is that of Abraham and Isaac, and how God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son.
The comments on the podcast are pretty interesting, too.
(2) I have always been fascinated by the story of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac.* So I especially loved this in Craig Thompson’s Habibi.
Eid-Ul Adha is a commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Ishmael, an expression of faith. And really, a measure of just how truly demanding faith is.
Silence does sound like an appropriate to such a request. And it is somehow comforting to think that in the end, God sent His only son to sacrifice Himself.
I can’t help asking, what for? Why the need for an offering?
*I first heard of it as an adult from the post 9-11 episode of The West Wing—it’s surprising how my young self didn’t feel the need to question why Hagar and Ishmael had to leave just because Hagar was a slave, even if he really was the first bon son. Oh, the same first son debacle happens to Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob becomes Israel, while Esau goes to be with Uncle Ishmael’s tribe. It is believed that the Prophet Mohammed was a descendant of Ishmael, as Jesus Christ was a descendant of Jacob and Isaac.