The Abyss Stares Back

Samain and the Fallow Moon

Got a workout in. Some more work on the bagel table. Here’s a couple of quotes I’m using as resource material:

“Paul Ricoeur speaks of the vertigo of “being already born that reveals to me the non-necessity of being here.”” Zornberg, p. 127

“The problem of Sarah’s death is, profoundly, the problem of her life, of chayei Sarah-of the contingency of the already born, the all but dead. Her perception of moral vertigo is displaced onto Isaac’s kime’at shelo nisbhat* experience. In a real sense, as the Sages put it, “His ashes remain piled on the altar.” Zornberg, p.128 *“a little thing decided his fate”

I’m going for the big fish in this bagel table plan. Our own vertigo about our own non-necessity of being here. The abyss into which we all stare. And the reasons to live on in spite of the vertigo.

“And Isaac brought her (Rebecca) to the tent of Sarah his mother, and he took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for the loss of his mother.” Gen. 24:67

Isaac has his own vertigo as Sarah’s only child, the child of her 99th year. He was also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham to make his descendants like the stars in the sky, the sand on a beach. In spite of both of these his own father, Abraham, agreed to and would have carried out his sacrifice. Could he trust any love from his father?

When Sarah dies, Isaac must have been devastated. She dies before he returns from the Akedah, so he has no chance to talk with her, get her healing. I imagine the abyss was staring back at him. When he finds sexual satisfaction and love with Rebecca though, he is comforted. Perhaps that’s where we all find the courage to stare into the abyss of our own horrors, the non-necessity of our being here: intimacy and commitment.

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