gershon hepner (5 3 38 / leipzig)
Abraham Not İbrahim
Though Muslims who're deluded dream
that, aka'd as Ibrahim,
Abraham walked to Moriah
with sharp knife and then lit a fire
beneath the son of Hagar, Ish-
mael. This was not the wish
of God recorded in the Bible,
and seems to me a Muslim libel.
The facts are not obscure, but clear,
though not what people wish to hear
if they, while being schizophrenic,
are trying to be ecumenic.
The man who told God: 'Here I am! '
was very surely Abraham,
not Ibrahim, which is a fact
no fair man ever should retract.
The argument that Jews have got it wrong
based on claims they falsified
a text that was created long
before their Torah texticide,
is one that strains imagination,
and part of Islam's great polemic
against the ancient Hebrew nation.
This polemic is systemic
among the Muslims who have claimed
that Jewish texts have been distorted,
for such a lie already blamed
by Maimon's son when he exhorted
the Jews to be less ecumenic
towards the Muslims than towards
what seemed to him less pathogenic,
Christians, even though their Lord's
a human in a Trinity.
Maimonides allows that Jews
to teach all their divinity,
to Christians, since they don't accuse
the Jews of messing with their Text
as Muslims do as when they make
the claim that Maimon's son so vexed,
more of a crime than a mistake.
This poem was inspired by Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, by Jon D. Levenson (Princeton University Press) , which was reviewed by Martin S. Jaffee in the Winter 2013 JRB ('Father Abraham') . In the book Levenson points out that Abraham has had many personae not only in Jewish sources, but in Paul, where he becomes the archetype of Christian faith in the salvation of the uncircumcised, and Islam, where as Ibrahim he becomes the founder of the first Mosque (the Meccan Kaaba) and leads Ishmael, not Isaac, to a near-sacrifice which in Genesis 22 involves Abraham and Isaac-although in Genesis 21 Abraham reluctantly agrees to send Ishmael to his near-death when he condones Sarah's expulsion of his mother Hagar together with her son.
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