Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner | Jan 13, 2022
© 2022 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
ADULTERY-2/ What is Sin?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1 Primordial Sin
We’ve seen how credible is Moses
Telling us about the Six Days Creation
That can be matched with our Science
How credible is he when telling us
About the creation of Adam,
How our body repeats the entire Evolution
How our body is made layer by layer,
Comprised of a powerful mind that
Can understand Nature, how our
Heart can appreciate Art and compose Art
How we have a Free Will and a powerful SELF
And powerful Sex Drive and a Drive to wield Power,
In short, how precisely he describes our body and mind
In terms that can be easily understood by our generation
And he wrote all that, at the time when all other Nations
Were telling mythical stories about CREATION
And about Adam, that can’t be matched with Scein
Then, having established his credibility in our eyes
Moses introduces the story of Eden that can’t be
Supported by Sceince
As if he is saying to us: Now that you believe
In the truthfulness of my words, listen to the
Rest of my message: about ELHM, YHVH,
And the Story of Eden
These concepts can’t be tested or proven by Science.
They belong to the realm of Morality, a spiritual realm
That is real nevertheless.
You can’t find Eden by Archeology or Geology,
But my message here is no less truthful
than my words about Genesis
Thus, we should look at Genesis as an introduction
To the rest of the Torah.
How amazing it is that the next step after Genesis
Moses introduces the concept of the Primordial Sin
Which is the prototype of all sins.
As if he is saying: now before I am telling you the Torah
Lets’ understand what Sin is!
With that in mind, let’s continue talking about Eden
2 Eden was FORMED on the THIRD Day
Adam was CREATED on Earth on the Sixth Day
The Talmud says that according to the text,
The Garden of Eden was FORMED on the THIRD DAY
Before seeding life on Earth,
On a Day that there was no rain on Earth,
No grass and no tree. This could ONLY be the THIRD DAY
Before seeding any life on earth
So while Earth lacked any tree or grass,
Eden was full of Trees and grass, even animals.
Hence it was a Virtual Garden, a FORMED Garden,
“Hanging” over real Earth
The Garden stretched over the entire Six Days
Till the Sixth Day” afternoon,” when YHVH ELHM
Were about to create Adam
But before making Adam on real Earth,
YHVH ELHM decided to offer Adam
A life in Eden, sparring him the agony
Of life on real Earth.
Hence they (He, in Oneness) formed Adam
And placed him in Eden, to see whether or not
he would arrive at the Sabbath directly from Eden,
without ever living on real Earth.
3 A minimal trial in Eden
In Eden, Adam would still have to withstand
a trial In ELHM’s eyes.
For that, He would be taught what sin is
Eden is, therefore, the place of the Primordial Sin,
The prototype of all sins,
A proper introduction to the Torah
For his trial in Eden, Adam would be given a simple Commandment:
“Do Not Eat from the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil.”
It is an easy trial, just one Commandment to observe!
If Adam complies, he would be deemed Very Good
in both ELHM’s Eyes and in YHVH’s eyes.
In short, in YHVH ELHM’s eyes.
If Adam fails, he would lose Eden,
And be CREATED on the Sixth Day on real Earth
where he would be is exposed to the “Angel of Death.”
It sounds an easy task: For to win, Adam would have to comply
with just one Commandment. But the stakes are high!
For transgressing just one Commandment
would incur very bad consequences.
Here we have arrived at the notion that
The more Commandments G-d gives us,
the more we are protected from failure
4 Two Trees – Two Values
What is Adam’s spiritual Level?
What did he know,
And what couldn’t he know in Eden?
For that, let’s see the special Trees in the Garden
There were many trees in the Garden, as it says:
“And YHVH ELHM caused to sprout from the ground
Every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food
Also, the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden
And the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Genesis 2: 9
Among the many Trees, two stood out:
The Tree of Life,
The Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil
What aspects of G-d’s Judgement did they represent?
5 Tree of Life: ELHM’s Perspectives
Since life in Eden under The Tree of Life
Knew neither Death nor Birth,
And since ELHM is in charge of Death and Birth,
It comes out that Adam in Eden lacked
an important perception of ELHM’s Power
as the Master of Death and Birth
But Adam knew, even before eating the Fruit,
to distinguish Right from Wrong, Truth from Lie,
which are also aspects of ELHM’s Judgment;
Otherwise, he wouldn’t be put on a trial!
Truth, after all, is the hallmark of ELHM’s judgment
His Signature is Truth, emeth
His Nickname if the Absolute Truth.
Therefore, Adam knew
That lying is wrong, that he should only tell the Truth.
That being a liar would make him look Very Bad
in ELHM’s eyes, thereby failing his trial
In short, Adam in Eden knew well the difference between
a Sinner and a Righteous, seen in ELHM’s eyes
Now, what did Adam know about YHVH in Eden
before eating the Forbidden Fruit?
6 The Tree of Knowledge- YHVH values
Since Good and Evil are perspectives seen in YHVH’s eyes,
It comes out that before eating from the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil,
Adam was oblivious to YHVH’s values.
Indeed, living under the Tree of Life,
in a place bereaved of sorrow and death,
There was no meaning to MERCY and COMPASSION.
But Adam could feel, other features of YHVH’s values
like YHVH’s HOLINESS, JOY and LOVE for him
Thus, in summary, Adam had only a partial awareness of
Both YHVH and ELHM;
Each Attribute giving up some of His Power and Glory
for the sake of having Adam living in Eden
sparing him seeing agony and death.
So in Eden
He understood Right from Wrong, Truth from a Lie
And he could feel HaShM’s Holiness and Love for him
Now the Torah describes how
Adam is FORMED in Eden- in love
7 Three Levels of Our Soul
G-d’s Love for him is seen in the way Adam was FORMED
As it is said:
And YHVH ELHM FORMED the Adam from the ground
And he blew into Adam’s nostrils the soul of life, neshama
And Adam became a living being” nefesh, hayah (Genesis 2: 6)
Neshama is the Soul,
Nefesh is a lower level of the Neshama
Chaya is “Life”
Lets’ explain those concepts
The verse describes how
Adam became alive by a kiss from YHVH ELHM’s Lips:
YHVH ELHM blew His Breath into Adam’s nostrils,
Something He did not do with any other creature
The verse mentions here three elements of our soul –
Neshahma, Nefesh, Chaya
what are the differences between them?
The Midrash explains: Imagine a glassblower
blowing his breath into a glass tube, forming a glass vessel.
The part of His Breath farther down the tube is the Chayah
That controls the most basic elements of life in our body
that we share with all living creatures, including Vegetation and Single Cell.
The second part, occupying the middle of the tube, is the Nefesh
That controls our body’s organs, which we share with the rest of the animal Kingdom
The part closer to the CREATOR’S Lips, The Neshama (soul)
is unique to Mankind, connecting us directly to the CREATOR’s Lips
These three levels constitute a “spiritual Umbilical Cord”
that connects our souls to the CREATOR
Why does Moses bother telling us about our Soul?
8 Sin Damages our connection to G-d’s lips
We can enforce our Neshama by our merits,
by obeying to ELHM’s Laws
and by doing YHVH’s work
On the other hand,
We can damage our Nesham Cord
by our Sins, and or by doing “Evil in YHVH’s eyes”
it is said that
The Neshama Cord enters our soul at birth
And departs from us at our death
To sit again at the CREATOR’S Heavenly Throne
Our task in life is to send our Neshama back to our CREATOR
to sit on a higher position at His Throne.
To enjoy a higher level of Joy and Holiness.
We accomplish it, by becoming Very Good in YHVH ELHM”s eyes
Sin would either
stain our Spiritual Umbilical Cord,
damage it, or
sever it altogether from G-d’s lips.
It all depends on the level of sin
how sinner we are in ELHM’s eyes
and how evil we are in YHVBH’s eyes
A milder sin would stain our Neshama,
making it look impure or tainted in YHVH ELHM’s eyes.
We would feel deposed in ELHM’s eyes
And feel ashamed In YHVH’s eyes
This is referred to as the AESTHETIC ASPECT OF SIN
A graver sin, would damage our Spiritual Cord
And might even affect our body.
Such a damage can be repaired
by repentance and starting all over again
A Very Bad sin, like being Evil,
Would sever our connection to G-d altogether
With no chance of repair or repentance
The People of Sodom and Gomorrah
Were “exceedingly Evil in YHVH eyes,”
Meaning- They “knew YHVH yet rebelled against Her,” (Rashi)
doing the opposite of Her values on purpose, in rebellion
so they were OVERTURNED by YHVH
Another example :
The Nation of Amalek, whose Evil was so great
Who attacked Israel our of hatred,
While knowing who YHVH was
Being descendant of Abraham
A close kin to Israe
The Torah in Exodus says that the Amalek’s evil
Was so great, that they “broke,” conceptually
YHVH’s Name to two parts: Y-H and V-H.
Her Name, Moses says, would be “fulfilled”
When Amalek and its kind would be wiped out
From the face of Earth
These two examples show y how
Evil behavior can not only
stain or damage our Cord Connection to our CREATOR
but rather sever it altogether beyond repai
9 The most Basic Definition of Sin
Here we’ve arrived at the most basic notion of Sin:
Sin is an action that damages our Spiritual Umbilical Cord
that connects us to our CREATOR’S Lip
Now the Torah proceeds to add another definition of Sin:
Sin is to disregard
Our heavenly Father’s Advice
As soon as Adam was FORMED, YHVH ELHM
gives him a WARNING, an ADVISE, saying:
“And YHVH ELoKiM Commanded on the Adam, saying,
Of every tree of the Garden you may freely eat,
But of the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil you shall not eat of it,
For on the Day that you eat of it you shall DIE.” (Genesis 2:16-1
Here YHVH ELHM warns Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge
less something terrible would happen to him
as it is said: “The day you eat it you shall die!”
But as we know, Adam at that stage could not
comprehend the warning “You shall die”.
For he had never witnessed death, under the Tree of Life!
Yet YHVH ELHM – his Heavenly PARENTS, so to speak
expected him to obey, nevertheless, their ADVICE
Not unlike a small child or a toddler growing in his parent’s home
Who warn him:
“do not touch the poison ivy out there in the garden
for the moment you touch it you’d get an allergic reaction and even die! “
The child does not comprehend the meaning of his parent’s words,
he does not know what allergy or “death” are,
yet he abides by their warning, their advice,
and avoids the poison ivy out of his TRUST in them
being aware of their Love to him
and also driven by his desire not to hurt their feeling
or raise their anger at him
Adam, at that stage in Eden is like such a child.
Though he does not yet know what “death” is,
Yet he would listen to his PARENT’S advise
and avoid the Forbidden Fruits.
out of TRUST and Love to his Heavenly Father.
So here we’ve arrived at the Second, higher definition of Sin:
Sin is to disregard our FATHER IN HEAVES’s Advice
So far, we have two definitions of Sin
1 Sin is an act that damages our soul’s connection to the CREATOR
2 Sin is to disregard our FATHER IN HEAVES’s Advice
The Torah proceeds to introduce a higher meaning of Sin
10 Sin is to disobey G-d’s Command
Let’s read again the warning verse-
And YHVH ELoKiM Commanded on the Adam, saying,
Of every tree of the Garden you may freely eat .
But of the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil you shall not eat of it,
For on the Day that you eat of it you shall DIE.” (Genesis 2:16-1
The rabbis noticed that the word “Commanded” here is superfluous.
It could have simply say: “ELHM told” Adam.”
Tradition therefore says that, indeed,
YHVH ELKM gave Adam here a COMMAND
to stay away from the Forbidden Tree
raising the level of the warning from
an ADVICE to a COMMAND
YHVH ELHM also gave Adam here another Six Commandments:
Which constitute the “Primordial Six Commandments of Adam”
that all Mankind are aware from birth,
as if they are NATURAL MORAL CODE
No person on Earth may claim he is unaware
Of these basic Moral Code
That we’ve inherited from Edwen!
They are so prevalent, that many philosophers
Have recognized them as our Natural Moral Code.
But the truth is that there is nothing Natural about them.
They are “gifts” from our CREATOR
Given to us way back in Eden
For our welfare and benefit
In addition of advising Adam about the Forbidden Fruit,
The Heavenly Parent – YHVH ELHM – Commanded him
to avoid the Tree
and also to abide to by the Six Commandments,
The emphasis here is on the world Commanded Vs Advice
You wouldn’t Command a child. You’d advise him.
You’d command a grown-up boy, or a young lad
who understands AUTHORITY
Such a grown son would not listen to the Parent’s advice,
But would response top authority
Such as a School Principle, or a King
Hence by Commanding Adam, YHVH ELHM
Related to him not only as a Heavenly FATHER
But also as a Heavenly KING,
in short as Our FATEHR our KING, “avinu malkenu”
A term we use in prying to G-d once a year, on Rosh Hashanah,
the Annual Anniversary of the creation of Adam
Hence, we have so far three definitions of Sin:
- Sin is an act that damages our soul’s connection to G-d
- Sin is to disregard our Loving Heavenly FATEHR’s ADVICE
- Sin is to disobey our HEAVENLY FATHER-KING’S COMMAND
The stage is set up for the next level of Sin.
On that we’ll learn next class