ADULTERY-5/The Serpent and the Primordial Sin

Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes

© 2018 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
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ADULTERY-5/The Serpent and the Primordial Sin

”And they opened their eyes” (Genesis 2: 1

1: The notion of Sin so far

As the story of Eden is unfolded, sin so far is:
1. Doing something that damages our connection to our CREATOR’S Lips
2. Disregarding the advice of our FATHER IN HEAVENS
3. Disobeying the command  of the KING OF THE UNIVERSE
4. Doing something illogical, foolish, detrimental to our health and welfare

5. Betrayal of the CREATOR’S Love for us

Adam continues to ‘grow’ in Eden, and his perception of Sin grows too.
For that he needs to encounter the Serpent.

 

2: The spiritual level of Adam before the Sin

They were naked and unashamed
The Torah describes the spiritual level of Adam and ‘the woman’ at that stage, as follows:


“And they were both naked, Adam and his wife,
And they were not ashamed…” (Genesis 2: 25)

The  humans  in Eden walked around ‘naked yet unashamed.’ Why unashamed? Different opinions:

Because:
1. They were innocent like children (Seforno.)
2. They knew ’Right from Wrong’ but not yet Good from Evil (RaMBaM.) And there is nothing wrong in nakedness. It is, after all, natural.
3. They resembled beasts, which go  naked yet unashamed of it.
4. They did not yet perceive YHVH’s values,namely Modesty.

All these explanations reflect a basic idea, that the humans were like children, perhaps young teenagers. They went around naked and shameless, because there is nothing to be ashamed from something natural,  Their awareness of YHVH and Her perspectives on nakedness were theoretical, not on the level of Daat.  At that stage they met their counterpart: the Serpent:

 

3: The spiritual level of the Serpent

The Torah describes the ultimate enticer, the Serpent:

“Now the Serpent was the most ‘aa-room’ (naked, or cunning)
Of all the beasts of the field which YHVH ELoKiM had made,
And it said to the woman: Has not ELoKiM told you
that ‘you shall not eat of any tree of the Garden?” (Genesis 2:25, 3:1)

The Serpent too walked around naked and unashamed of it
immediately after describing the naked humans, the Torah presents the  Serpent.  he was aa-room, which means in Hebrew two things:

1. The Serpent was ‘aa-room’, naked and unashamed of it.After all it was a “beast of the field,” as the verse

says, and Beasts are not ashamed of their nakedness.
2. The Serpent was ‘aa-room,’ smart, cunning

In both explanations, the Serpent resembled the humans. It was smart, it could walk on tow legs and it could talk. And like the humans it was naked and unashamed of it.
Hence the humans and the Serpent were, at that stage, in the same spiritual level. .

 

It lacked the perception of YHVH

Moreover, the Serpent lacked the perception of YHVH.  You  can see that clearly from the word it said to the woman:

“And the serpent was the cunning, aaroom from all the beasts of the field

that YHVH ELKM had made

And it said to the woman:

had not ELKM told you do not eat from all the trees in the Garden?

And it told the woman::

Had not ELKM told you do not eat of that fruit and do not eat of it, lest you die,

For ELKM knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes would open

and you would be like ELKM, knowing Good from Evil…” (genesis 3:2-5 )

The verse starts by saying that YHVH ELKM had made the Serpent, yet when it talked to the woman it failed to mention YHVH.  it mentions only ELKM.

Moreover, as smart as it was, the Serpent related the Knowledge of Good and Evil to ELKM only.  This is in contrast to the fact that the term Evil is always in the eyes of  the \merciful YHVH!

Indeed, as a Beast of “the field,” the Serpent COULD NOT KNOW YHVH.  ,

 

What was the Serpent?

When we look at the story of Genesis, we see there that the last creatures listed before creating Adam were the Crawling Creatures to their kinds.  They had been made earlier but they ruled Earth before the appearance of the Homo \sapience. we’ve already said (in our IDOLATRY classes) that science has shown that after the demise of the Dinosaurs the Earth was ruled by giant snakes.  Some so large that two Greyhound buses could easily enter their skeletons.

Now had ELKM decided to continue the same line of Evolution, without consulting YHVH, ELKM would have introduces new social creatures as an extension of the Snakes. This new creature could well be smart, could have talked, develop society and civilization like Man.  Give the spiders or the ants few more millions years and you would see that happening.  These putative civilizations of crawling creatures could develop in time their own computers an space ships.  They could be very smart, like Man.  But one thing they would lack forever: the perception of the Merciful YHVH. Why? Because ELKM would not consult YHVH to make them “in Our Form and Our Image.”

And as we’ve learned, ELKM did not wish to pursue that rout anymore.  He did not wish to continue making creatures as before, unaware of YHVH.  He would have rather destroy the world, than seeing it without YHVH dwelling in it.

So what was the Serpent? It was that putative possible creature, that ELKM would have created on Earth had he not consulted YHVH to make Adam.  The Serpent lived only in the virtual Garden of Eden, as a possible alternative to the humans.

This is why the Serpent could talk, walk and think like a human, even seen sexually attractive to the woman.            .

 

4: The Serpent matched the woman

Was the woman too oblivious to YHVH?

Surprisingly, the ‘woman’ too did not mention YHVH to the Serpent, as it says:


“And the woman said to the Serpent,
we may eat from the fruits of the Trees of the Garden,
but of the fruits of the Tree which is in the midst of the Garden,
ELoKiM has said you shall not eat of it.” (Genesis 3:2-3)

The Serpent matched the Woman

Did she omit the name YHVH on purpose, because she was speaking to a beast?
Or did she identify with the Serpent due to her love?
Or did she herself, like the Serpent, lack before eating the fruit the full awareness of YHVH?

The Serpent as the Vehicle of SATAN

Unlike the popular notion of the Serpent, it was not Satan.
Satan in Hebrew is the Angel whose task is to prosecutor us in the Heavenly Court.
Satan is never punished, since it fulfills his task.  The Serpent, in contrast, was judged at the end and punished.  Hence it had a Free will, equal to the humans’ will. it only lacked the perception of the Merciful YHVH.. ,
The rabbis have described the Serpent as the ‘vehicle of Satan’, or ‘the camel on which Satan rides’ (Midrash.) It was a tool for Satan.

5: The lying serpent


“And it said to the woman: Has not ELoKiM said
You shall not eat of any tree of the Garden?” (Genesis 2:25, 3:1)
And the woman said to the Serpent,
we may eat from the fruits of the Trees of the Garden,
but of the fruits of the Tree which is in the midst of the Garden,
ELoKiM has said you shall not eat of it.” (Genesis 3:2-3)

And the Serpent said to the woman, you shall not surely die,
for ELoKiM knows that on the day you eat of it
then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be like ELoKiM
knowing Good and Evil…” (Genesis 3: 4-5)

The lying Serpent
The cunning Serpent lied to the woman.  It said:  :

1. “Has not ELoKiM said..” One can’t see it in the English translation, but the Serpent began with “aa-f” expressing a great wonder: How COULD ELoKiM say this to you!”  The Serpent sounded as if ELoKiM had deprived the humans from something good.

2: “Has not ELoKiM said…” it omitted YHVH.

3: “You shall NOT die…’ The Serpent openly lied. Eating the fruit would incur the death penalty, thereby encountering evil.

4: “You shall be like ELoKiM knowing Good and Evil…” The Serpent failed to appreciate that Evil is not a perspective of ELKM , but rather that of YHVH.

5:The Serpent depicted ‘Knowing Evil’ as a REWARD, rather than a BURDEN. The entire idea of Eden was to spare Adam the awareness of Evil.

6: The Serpent twisted ELKM’s intention, as if ELKM feared competition.

7: The Serpent took advantage of the fact that the woman had not heard YHVH ELKM warning herself.  The Serpent therefore told her not to touch the fruit. When she did and nothing happened, she could easliy be convinced that ELKM had not told them the truth, .

 

6: Which Commandments they transgressed?

She accepted the lie

“And when the woman saw that
the tree was good for food
And that it was a delight to the eyes
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
She took of its fruits and did eat it
and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat it.”(Genesis 3: 6)

She first looked at the fruit, then ate of it, then enjoyed it.  Sin always comes on gradually, step by step.  Not only she committed the sin, she also enticed her husband to do the same.  Being a Serpent is infectious.
A sinner would entices others to join, to spread his guilt. .

What sin they committed, exactly?

They surely violated IDOLATRY by disobeying their FATHER-KING’s Advice and Command.

If you accept the notion that the married woman cohabited privately with the Serpent, she did commit a sort of ADULTERY, whether or not she did sleep with it.

To fill the gap, tradition says that Adam too had sexual relationship with the putative, beautiful  Lilith, the  female counterpart of the Serpent.

Now having violated the only two Commandments that were relevant to them in Eden, the humans lost their right to stay there.
We too may lose our right to live here on Earth, once we’ve violated the Seven Commandments of Noah that relate to us.

 

7: Their eyes opened, and they saw what?

.The effect of the eating was dramatic:


“And the eyes of both of them were opened
And they knew that they were naked
And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3: 7)

“And their eyes were opened…” What exactly did they see? What did they gain? What could they gain by sinning?
Many commentaries are bothered by  the notion that Adam and his wife GAINED something by their sin, that their eyes opened. They should have, rather, LOOS  something!

Indeed, they lost the right to live in Eden.  But what new insight did they gain?

You may say that they gained what is hinted in the name of the Forbidden Fruit: the Knowledge (Daat)  Of Good and Evil, not on theoretical level but rather on the practical level of Daat.

But that explanation is not quite true, since at that point they still lived in Eden.  They did not yet  encounter the Angel of Death .  So what did they see now in Eden by the eating the Fruit?

The Torah in fact tells us exactly what they saw.  . .

 

8: why did they cover their nakedness?

The eating caused their eyes to open up and cover their nakedness, by fig leaves. This Twas the first awareness of YHVH that they COULD feel in Eden, while living under the Tree of Life protected from Evil.

It means that YHVH, our Mother In Heavens so to speak, hates and despises nakedness. It is against Her Holiness.

Note that In ELKM eyes, nakedness is natural, nothing to be ashamed from. Indeed, before the eating they knew ‘right from wrong’ which are ELKM’s criteria, and they walked around naked and unashamed of it.

It is only by acquiring the perception of YHVH, that they suddenly became ashamed of their nakedness.

.It means that in Eden, the only ‘evil’ in YHVH eyes, the only thing She hates and despises, is nakedness.

Moreover, their nakedness recalled their ADULTERY.  .

Tradition says that here on Earth, the  human heart  opens up to accept YHVH not before  puberty, when our heart opens up to sexual love.  It comes for a boy at age 13 and for a girl at age 12.  This is also the time their can accept the yoke of the Torah.  One can’t accept the Torha without accepting YHVH.

 

9: A new level of Sin

By this events Adam gained a new level  of Sin: as something shameful in YHVH eyes. Sin is something that taint us in Her loving eyes.  Sin is unaesthetic,

So far Adam learned in Eden  the following notions of Sin:

(1) As something that severs our spiritual umbilical cord that connects us to the CREATOR’S lips

(2) A violation of our FATHER IN HEAVENS advice

(3) A violation of our KING Command

(4) Something not right, something foolish that has bad consequences

(5) A betrayal of our CREATOR (YHVH) Love for us

(6) Something unaesthetic in YHVH eyes, that makes Her disappointed by us. .

At that pint in the story,  Adam and his wife are still living in Eden. Despite their sin they were not yet driven out to live on Earth. It seems that they had to learn one more aspect of YHVH in Eden, before driven out. And that is : YHVH FORGIVENESS. .

 

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Read also: “Genesis Vs. Science, Can They Match?” By Zvi Aviner, at www.smashwords.com

 

END OF ADULTERY CLASS 5