Let My People Know

"What did Abraham think as he led his son Isaac to the sacrifice?"


Scriptural style is almost always objective and distant.

The heroes and heroines in the Scriptures are not idealized but are seen, as it were, from above, in a way that is both more comprehensive and, at the same time, more detached than the standard historical chronicle. 

The narrative is also as factual as possible, with no attempt to penetrate the psyche of the characters or to analyze their motives. 

The techniques and tricks of dramatists, the revealing monologue, the intimate conversation to explain dreams and longings, a chorus providing background details are all absent in the Scriptures. 

It is this almost dry style that gives the Biblical story its impact. 

Here, every sentence, every action counts, indicating by means of the most subtle allusions occurrences whose significance resounds in the souls of men and in the world at large. 

We see the events, but their implications remain obscure.

We see the outcome of the events, without ever knowing clearly anything of their internal mechanisms. 

What did Abraham think as he led his son Isaac to the sacrifice? 

How did Moses feel when the Almighty revealed Himself? 

We can only guess at the answers to these questions.

In the Scriptures, no word is said about them. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From the Introduction to Biblical Images by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz