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לעילוי נשמת שמואל אביגדור בן יצחק מאיר
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We are told אפרו של יצחק נראה לפני צבור ומונח על המזבח, the ashes of Yitzchak appear before Me, gathered up, and
placed on the Mizbeach. If Yitzchak wasn’t Shechted, then what are these
ashes of Yitzchak?
The Sefer הרי בשמים brings the Sefer Akeidas Yitzchak
that since Avraham thought to slaughter and burn Yitzchak with a full heart and
such desire, it is as if that was done.
The Sefer אהלי יעקב gives us another answer. Here are his incredible words:
What are the ashes of Yitzchak if he wasn’t Shechted and burned? He
brings from the Kadmonim who ask on that which we daven זכור לנו עקידת יצחק, remember
Akeidas Yitzchak, that there were millions of Akeidas that occurred throughout
exile, Jews that were burned על קידוש ה', sanctifying
Hashem’s name? At Akeidas Yitzchak,
Yitzchak wasn’t killed whereas throughout exile we have had many cases of Jews
being killed. So why is Akeidas Yitzchak what we mention in our Tefilos? When we mention Akeidas Yitzchak in davening it refers
to all Akeidas that happened throughout our history, on all the Jews that gave
up their lives sanctifying Hashem’s name.
It is classified under Akeidas Yitzchak because it is from him that these
people had the power and the will to give up their lives for the honor of
This explains why it says אפרו של יצחק—the ashes of
the Jews killed and burned for the sanctification of Hashem’s name!
Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
also Maharsha to Brachos 62b, s.v. אפרו.
This was authored by R’ Yitzchak Ben Moshe Arama who lived from 1420-1494. The
Sefer Akeidas Yitzchak is a lengthy
philosophical commentary on Chumash, homiletic in style. It is because of this
work that he is frequently called the "Ba'al Akeida" (author of
the Akeida). One of the other Sefarim he authored was Yad
Avshalom (The Hand of Avshalom), a commentary on Mishlei, written in
memory of his son-in-law, Avshalom, who died shortly after his marriage.
The Ba'al Akeida headed a yeshiva in
Zamora, and then served as rabbi for the communities of Tarragona and
Fraga in Aragon. In order to counteract the
effects of conversionist sermons to which the Jews of Aragon were compelled to
listen, he delivered sermons (Drashos) on the principles of Judaism. These
sermons became the basis of his later works and contain interesting data on the
history of the Jews in Spain prior to their expulsion. He later became
rabbi of Calatayud, where he was able to found a yeshiva, revise his Drashos
for publication, and author other works. He also engaged in several public disputations with Christian scholars.
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