Is there a tradition that the Biblical Isaac was mentally challenged?

Years ago, I had a friend who attended rabbinical school. We often discussed our very different religious traditions and, in passing, she mentioned that there was a tradition that Isaac was mentally challenged or had somethinglike Down’s syndrome - he wasn’t allowed to pick his own wife (unlike his son Jacob), he was easily fooled, Rebecca and (eventually) Jacob seem to make his major decisions for him, Abraham seems to convince him to go along with the sacrifice, etc. My google-fu must be weak, or she was putting me on, because I can’t find anything. Any help?

I think she was putting you on. There are many rabbinic traditions about Isaac, but nothing about him being mentally disabled. To the contrary, they have explnations for everything he did.

I’ve definitely heard that a recent rabbi (not as a long tradition) proposed that Jacob was developmentally disabled, although I can’t for the life of me remember who said this. (He was roundly rejected by all other opinions, FWIW.) I’ve never heard this WRT Isaac.

Isaac almost certainly couldn’t have had Down syndrome. It usually causes sterility in males. Jacob couldn’t have had it for the same reason.

If anything, regarding Jacob, he’s traditionally considered a clever bastard.

I’ve definitely heard that. Isaac (not Jacab) is always passive, never active. After Sarah dies there is a major change, I can’t remember what, but it sounded like she took care of him and after that he was unable to function properly. I’ve never heard Down syndrome, but that the shock of the near-sacrifice left him unable to fully function, although I’ve also heard that the fact that he went along with it was a sign of his not being all there.

This is the first I’ve heard of it. Issac would not have been considered a suitable offering if he was developmentally challenged, as valid sacrifices had to be unblemished.