To what extent should a parent influence, direct or channel a child’s life? Can a parent go too far? The Akeida , the binding of Isaac , is seen by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as a model for the above important question. In his book “The Genesis of Justice”, Alan Dershowitz writes : “No biblical narrative is more dramatic , more poignant and more confusing than G-d’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac…… No one can read the story of the Akeida literally and accept it as a guide for human action. It cries out for explanation, for reflection and for concern. It provides no answers, only eternally unanswerable questions, and in that respect it is the perfect tool for teaching the realities, limitations and imperfections of both divine and human justice.”
The sedra Vayera also contains the story of Sodom and Gemorrah , which presents an intriguing scenario for psychiatrists. Did Lot‘s wife develop a paralysing post traumatic depression or was she depressed before the disaster? asks Israeli psychiatrist Ilan Kutz. He also asks were Lot‘s daughters immediately pregnant because of previous incest, a characteristic feature of life in Sodom?