Chapter 21 of Genesis, the birth of Isaac, opens the Torah reading on day 1 of Rosh Hashanah. Isaac’s birth prompts Sarah to turn on her maid servant Hagar, the mother of Abraham’s first son, Ishmael. In this first segment, Dr. David Neiman translates these chapters from the original Hebrew and places these dramatic events in historical context:
The moral conflict intensifies on day 2 of Rosh Hashanah with Chapter 22, the sacrifice of Isaac. Dr. Neiman recounts these chapters and discusses the tradition of child sacrifice practiced in the region during Abraham’s lifetime.