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April 23, 2014 | 23rd Nisan 5774

Lesson 4: Abraham, Ishma'il and Isaac

Muslims and Jews share a common ancestor in the figure of Abraham. Abraham plays an essential role in the formation of both faith communities. But while bringing these communities together in one ancestor, the story of Abraham can also be quite divisive as each religion vies for the unique status as the favored children of Abraham and brings to mind ideas such as "chosenness". In studying the story of Abraham, it is particularly interesting to look at the moment in which he is tested to take his son and sacrifice him to God. Considered to be Isaac in the Torah and Isma'il in the Qur'an, the identity of the son is highly contested. In studying these traditions together, we can come to a greater understanding of one another's traditions, learning both where we come together and where we may disagree.

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