As we return to the beginning of the Torah, I’m reminded of some very important lessons that we learn in first few chapters of Genesis. In the Adam and Eve story, we all know that Eve is tempted by the serpent and both Adam and Eve, eventually, eat an apple from the Tree of Life. And we’re led to believe that G-d becomes angry because of their disobedience.
But I question whether this is the real message of the story. Think about it. G-d puts the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden of Eden and says this is one thing they may not touch or enjoy. Does G-d really think they will not be tempted to disobey, at some point?
Later, Adam hides in the bushes and G-d asks, “Where are you?” Does G-d really not know where Adam is hiding? Does G-d really not know what Adam has done, when asking, “What have you done?” Finally, when confronted by G-d, Adam points the finger at Eve saying that it was her fault. And Eve blames the serpent.
I believe the real reason G-d is angry has nothing to do with disobedience. It’s about taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Yes, there are reasons we do certain things. Yes, we sometimes make bad choices that can be explained by unfortunate circumstances or were motivated by the actions of another. However, at the end of the day, we do make our own choices and it’s on us to own up and take responsibility for those choices…good or bad.
While you’re pondering the message of my article, please also take a look at the upcoming calendar of events at TBA. There’s something for everyone! And I look forward to seeing you at Movie Night, Bowling, softball, the Mystery Dinner, Family Promise, Torah study, or Shabbat services. Remember that Temple Beth Ami is the place to be!
Shana Tova Shabbat Shalom Mazel Tov