Adam and Eve, retold

    October-November 2009            
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Adam and the Darkness

By Ted Roberts

Can you imagine Adam - G-d's first human creation in Eden's green meadow? See him, newly minted. His fresh body gleaming and his mind totally empty of facts, attitudes, opinions - as empty as Eden is of thorn bushes - ready to begin its lifelong task of accumulation of data and weaving that data into an intellect. He turns slowly 360 degrees, a full circle, and takes in grass and forests, and flowers, and mountains, and brooks, all covered by a blue dome.

As he registers every throb of the new creation in the lush, green grass of Eden and wonders at his consciousness - as flimsy as the few white clouds that sail above him, he chances to look straight up at that copper disc that illuminates his new world. He looks closer and sees the songbirds. And look, there are small creatures in the grass and larger ones hopping and bounding amongst the trees. Truly, a brave new world full of creatures unlike himself for him to understand - he who at birth has no identity and a head full of inexperience.

Still sitting on the green Savannah and swiveling his head in all directions, because the Lord of creation has put a potion called curiosity into his bloodstream: so much to see that it took many hours to inscribe it all in his heretofore blank brain like nectar waits for the honeybee.

Then among his recording of his surroundings, he made an alarming observation. That bright orange thing was no longer straight ahead. The trees on the far horizon appeared to consume it. And he could no longer see the sharp outlines of trees and mountains. In fact, the creatures that had been joyfully bounding in the woods were no longer visible to him. Darkness was replacing light. He trembled. Even a partially stocked brain knew that somehow darkness meant blindness and blindness was death. And as the trees pulled more and more of the light below the horizon, Adam's blindness increased. He rose to run to escape this danger, but he fell over a large boulder. He rose and resumed his running - somewhere there must be light. He was cold and blind and fearful all at once.

And the Lord G-d saw his fear and took pity on him. Ah, a light for the night, thought the mind of G-d wherein dwells all the mechanisms of the universe. Therefore, he flung the full moon into the midnight sky. Adam stopped. Now at least he could see the river, which lay in his path. But still the garden's beauty no longer emboldened him. So, the lord flung millions of points of light into the sky. They helped but a little.

The good Lord, who made the heart of Adam, understood the heart of Adam. This fear of nighttime blindness needed more than moon and stars.

The Creator spoke in Adam's ear this story of day and night. How they revolve like all things in nature; life and death, the seasons, the great architecture of the galaxies. But Adam's mind could not accommodate the voice of his maker. It was like talking to the beasts. He needed one of his own kind. The ragged hole of fear in Adam's soul could only be filled by a helpmate. Thus, Adam slept and G-d made Eve.

She stood beside him and pointed to the horizon where the earth had swallowed the sun. Her eyes expressed no fear, only wonder. They sank to the grass in each other's arms - huddled like two babes. Neither knew anything except the warmth of the other. They watched and waited. Their fearful eyes focused on the Pine tree where they had last seen the sun. Would it ever return to bless them with light and warmth? They dozed, frightful, but full of the need to sleep. Then Eve, feeling a warmth at her back and noticing the lightening of the black sky, laughed the first exultant laugh of creation and put her hand to Adam's face in order to turn it to the life giving light behind them. "It returns, it returns," she whispered with awe; but not where it was eaten by the earth. They stand, they face the rising sun, and then they lift their faces to heaven - wherein the laws of nature are made - to thank He who gave them life and light and warmth. Around them all living things hummed a hymn of hope.

Ted Roberts, The Scribbler on the Roof
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from the October-November 2009 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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