Vayera: Chapter 35

"And Elohim tested Abraham"


The Zohar explores the story of the binding of Isaac. The Biblical character of Isaac is a code referring to the Left Column energy, our reactive, self-centered nature. Abraham corresponds to the Right Column, our positive sharing attributes. The story is a metaphor for man's spiritual work, which is to bind and transform his selfish, reactive desires into positive and sharing qualities that embody care and concern for others.


Repeatedly, something in our nature provokes us to indulge in negative behavior, even though it goes against our very will. Likewise, we're compelled to forsake positive actions despite our best intentions to follow through. This uniquely human idiosyncrasy is a depiction of the ongoing conflict between the body's desire to receive and the soul's desire to share. We arouse the inner strength and willpower to bind our own Evil Inclination and negative impulses, known Kabbalistically, as the Desire too Receive for the Self Alone.