The Akedah in Israeli Poetry and Art

Resource Kit by
Neta Stahl

Module Content



The story of the Akedah, or the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22), is a prominent motif in Israeli literature and art. This account of a divine test of sacrifice and devotion has inspired many to explore the tension between one’s capacity for self-sacrifice and one’s doubts about its worthiness and consequences. What is the meaning of such sacrifice, and what is the cost? These are prominent themes in Israeli artistic interpretations of the story. (It is worth noting that in Hebrew the word korban means both “sacrifice” and “victim.”)

The materials in this resource kit introduce teachers to various artistic treatments of this story and help them explore the ways in which artists and writers have reimagined the biblical myth in terms of contemporary Israeli reality. Using at least one of the visual works along with two or three poems is recommended. To use the full kit, allow for at least five meetings of 45 minutes each.