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Sarah'S Gift: Gender, Agency, And The Sacred

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Chapter Summary

The majority of religious scholars agree that the purpose of the sacrifice of Isaac, the Akedah, is a declaration of faith, "sanctification of the divine name (Kiddush Ha-Shem)." In Abraham's story, Sarah knows nothing about the sacrifice. The Akedah, the binding of Isaac, has a double meaning: literally, it represents the binding of Isaac to the altar; symbolically, it operates within the sacrificial economy of the gift of death that binds man and God. Hence, the Akedah is a contract between the male and the divine, and only the male gains the status of an ethical subject. What is, then, the place of the feminine in the economy of the sacred? What is the place of the feminine in the aporia of faith and responsibility? What is the place of the feminine in the gift of death?

Keywords: Abraham; Akedah; altar; feminine; gift of death; Isaac; Kiddush Ha-Shem; sacred; sacrifice; Sarah



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