Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner






 Sin is illogical





  1. The Wise Adam




Adam continues to ‘grow’ in Eden.  Like a young boy before puberty,

his libido moves away from his family and is directed to the outside

world.  He swallows encyclopedias, study biology, astronomy and other

brunches oof science passionately.  He gets a telescope to watch the sky

and the galaxies.  He is fascinated by science fiction.


The Torah describes Adam entering that stage.   He becomes WISE.

G-d presents him the animals in the Garden,

asking Adam to name them.

As it is said –


“And out of the ground YHVH ELoKiM FORMED
every beast of the field and every bird of the air,
and He brought it to Adam to see what he would call it.

And whatever Adam called every living creature,

this was its name…” (Genesis 2:19)


Indeed, naming and categorizing the issues before us,

Is the first step in every science, in particular Biology, Medicine,

and other natural sciences.



So wise was Adam at that point, the Torah says,

that every name he gave, was the right name,

the very name that ELHM had intended for it.



Like a boy before puberty,

Adam is now motivated by logic.

He knows right from wrong, a truth from a lie.


At this age, sin receives a new aspect:

Sin is an illogical act, since it incurs bad consequences.



Note for instance that to the ancient Greek,

Who developed the notion of science and philosophy,

a sinner is a fool, unworthy of being associated

with the philosophers.




Thus, we have so far several aspects of Sin:

Sin is to transgress our FATHER-IN -HEAVENS’ advice

Sin is to violate our KING’s commands,

Sin is an illogical act, with bad consequences





  1. Our Father, Our King




On Rosh Hashanah, once a year, we celebrate Adam’s birthday.

On that day, ELKM ascends again on His Throne of Absolute Justice

and passes a judgment on all the creatures in the Universe,

as it was at the Beginning.

And as it was in Eden, He appears to us again as

Our FATHER, avinu,

Our KING,  malkenu,

in short – Avinu Malkenu.

Many of the Rosh Hashanah prayers begin with Avinu Malkenu.


Thus, as we blow the Ram Horn (shofar) to designate the advent of Merciful YHVH

In the Heavenly Court, we pray:


“Please accept the utterance of our lips,

as we are your children (and You are our FATHER)

or we are your slaves (and You are our KING)”


Note that after Yom Kippur, for the rest of the year, we never refer to G-d again

as “Our Father, Our King” – avinu malkeinu.



 3. Naming the CREATOR’s Attributes




Tradition says that,

seeing how wise Adam was at that point,

the Attribute of JUDGMENT, ELHM asked him:

“My son, what name would you give me?”


Adam said:

“Since You are the All-Mighty JUDGE, I’ll call you EeLoHiM.”

Which, indeed, is the Hebrew term for a judge, even a human judge.


ELHM was pleased, since, as the verse says,

every name that Adam gave on that day

was the right Name, the one that ELHM

had intended for Himself


Next, the Attribute of MERCY asked Adam:

“My son, what name would you give me?”


Adam said:

“Though you appear in the story of Genesis only once,

At the junction between the Sixth and the Seventh Days,

I would tell my children eve t


“You were here before everything,

and that You are here now,

and that You will be forever.


“In short, I will call you by the acronym YHVH,

which stands for (in Hebrew) He was, He is, He will be.”


And as the verse attests, YHVH was pleased,

since the Name that Adam gave Her was the right one,

the very Name that YHVH had intended for Him/Herself.


Now that the concept of Sin is established,

The story of Eden continues to unfold.

The Heavenly Parent YHVH ELKM noticed that Adam continued to grow

and became lonely, as a teenager flooded with hormones.


The Parent therefore FORMED for him a company, a woman,

and with her advent, the story takes a sharp turn

and the notion of Sin continues to evolve.

On that we’ll learn next class