Parshat Vayeira deals with one of the most theologically challenging narratives in the Torah, the Akedat Yitzchak. While many Mefarshim have attempted to explain that the true reason behind God’s command to Avaham, “Take your son, your only son, the one you love, Yitzchak, and go to the Land of Moriah, and offer him up as a burnt offering” (Bereshit 22:2) was to teach Avraham and his offspring that God does not desire human sacrifice, I would like to focus on another lesson which could be learned from this episode by looking at the verse “And they went, the two of them, together” (Ibid., 22:6).
Now it’s true, we will never fully grasp the reason behind God’s command to offer up Yitzchak as a sacrifice. However, what we do know is that after Avraham accepted the grim command, the Torah tells us the two of them “walked together,” father and son, side by side, heart with heart.
This is the key to Jewish peoplehood and Jewish success. When the older generation walks with the younger generation, when parents and children move together, side by side, with one heart, when we as a people believe that we have a shared destiny and must work together in order to achieve it, then as our parsha tells us, “I shall surely bless you, and I shall surely increase your offspring like the stars of the sky, and like the sands on the seashore…and all the nations of the world will be blessed through your offspring, because you have listened to My voice” (Ibid., 22:17-18). This, I believe is one lesson we can learn from the Akeidah. Even when God asks us to perform the seemingly impossible and painfully inexplicable, as long as we as a people, as a community, as an older generation and a younger generation walk in step with one another, as long as we move heart with heart, we can overcome any challenge facing us as a people, and together, we can succeed in fulfilling our mandate to be an “Ohr l’Goyim.” a “Light unto the Nations,” teaching “compassionate justice and moral righteousness,” in a world which “walks together" and rises to meet the challenges of the day with the same words Avraham spoke to meet his challenge, "Hineni. Here I am. Here we are." Together, moving as one, for the greater glory of God.