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Adam, the first man
By Avi Lazerson
This week’s parsha is Berashit, the first one of the book of
Genesis. We start with the creation of the world, mankind and the
eventual banishment of man from the Garden of Eden Mankind is
punished through the sin of Adam and Eve. What needs
clarification here is how could Adam have eaten from the forbidden
tree and cause death to come to the world?
We know that Adam
was created more or less as a spiritual being in a physical body.
The evil inclination was outside of him. What this means is that
Adam could look into the world and see what was good and bad. In other
words, if Adam was walking in the forest and saw a deep pit, he did not
have to experience falling into it to know that it was dangerous.
He understood from the outside that it was dangerous. After
he ate from the forbidden fruit, this inclination became inside of him
instead of being outside of him, making decision making more difficult.
He now had to
utilize a much higher
level of free choice to know if he was making the correct desicion.
How could Adam make such a fatal mistake?
Did he think that he knew more than God!
Adam figured that if this inclination was part of him on the inside, he
would be able to reach a higher level of spiritual purification when he chose good.
These inclinations that we possess try and work very
hard to constantly challenge our instincts and desires. Our whole lives
depend upon how we use these challenges and what greatness we have the
ability to reach.
On one hand, Adam is right. These challenges allow us
to reach levels that may not have been possible had the world been set up
the other way. On the other hand, God had a purpose for not wanting the
evil inclination to become a part of us. For one thing, it could
overpower us and totally annhialate what our true purpose is in this
world and could make sure we never see it.
We see that our ancestors, Noach, Abraham, Yitzhak, Yaakov
and many others did things in their lives in order to try and fix the
damage that Adam caused. The more mitzvot we do and the nicer we are to
our fellow man allows us to make little fixings in a broken world that
will bring us back to the world that was before the sin of Adam and Eve!!
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom!
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