Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner


Ó 2022


ADULTERY-3/Sin, Marriage and Adultery




  • What is the primordial sin?
  • What is the origin of the term  “Our Father in Heavens”?
  • What is the origin of our “Natural Moral Code?”
  • Is marriage of non-Jews sanctified by the Torah?
  • Do we need clergy to sanctified marriage?
  • What are the seven forbidden  sexual relationship?


In the story of Eden, Moses develops the concept of Sin,

as the most proper introduction to the entire Torah


Last class we’ve identified three levels of Sin.

Let’s review them:





1 Sin stains, damages or severs our souls



When the Torah describes the FORMING of Adam in Eden,

It says that the CREATOR, YHVH ELHM, blew

His “Breath of Life,” Neshama, a soul, into Adam’s nostrils.


Our soul, therefore, is connected to the CREATOR’S Lips

Like a spiritual Umbilical Cord.

We need to take care of it,

Make sure it doesn’t get damaged or “dirty”

Make sure it returns intact to the CREATOR

Make all the efforts that it would ascend to higher levels


Sins and merits would affect all the above

Sin would “stain” our soul,

making us look less “aesthetically” in the CREATOR’S eyes


Sin can damage our “cord”, needing repair by repentance

Sin, evilness, would cut our connection to G-d altogether

Beyond repair


On the other hands,

Our merits would “nourish” our soul and make it stronger.

In fact, our merits would “coat” our soul and protect it

and elevate it higher than before, when it returns to G-d.


And here we’ve arrived at the most basic definition of Sin,

 as an action that can either stains, damages or completely severs

our souls’ connection to G-d


The Torah introduces a second level of sin as follows:




2 Sin is to Disregard our Father-In-Heavens’ ADVICE




Soon as Adam is placed in Eden,

the CREATOR-YHVH ELHM- warns him

not to eat from the “Forbidden Fruit,” saying

 “The Day you eat of it You shall die.”


But Adam, at that stage in Eden,

Living under the Tree of Life,

has no clue what “to die” means


Adam therefore resembles a child,

whose parents warn him not to touch a certain tree in the garden

less he would suffer allergy or death.


The child doesn’t fully comprehend the parent’s warning,

since he doesn’t know what allergy or death are,

yet he’d stay away from the forbidden tree,

because he trusts his parents, and he feels their love for him

and he knows that they only wish good for him


Adam, at that stage, is like that child.

Although he couldn’t comprehend his “Father-In-Heavens’ ADVICE,

for he has never witnessed death

yet he’d listen to the warning for he trusts G-d

and he feels G-d’s Love for him.


We too, as G-d’s Children, should abide by G-d’s advises,

For we trust Him, and we know that He would

tell us only what is good for us


So here we have ’ve arrived the second notion of Sin:

Sin is to disregard our Father in Heavens’ advice. 


The Torah introduces a third level of sin:



  1. 3 Sin is Rebellion Against G-d’s Kingship




When YHVH ELHM warns Adam about the Forbidden Fruit

The Torah says that in addition to advising him,

YHVH ELHM also Commanded on him 

On the same Forbidden Fruit.

By this, G-d elevated His Advice to a Command


Hence, giving an advice is not enough.

Adam resembles here a growing child,

a boy, whose parent’s advice wouldn’t be sufficient

to keep him away from misbehavior.


The growing boy would need now an authoritative voice,

such as by a school teacher or a school principal,

or a king, to keep him on track


The boy needs a set of rules, commands,

That clearly instruct him what to do and what not to do


Sin, therefore, is not only to disregard our father’s advice

But also  to transgress the King-of-the-Universe’ Command



Henceforth, Adam would have to –

listen to his Father-In-Heavens’ ADVICE, and

obey the KING’s COMMAND,

In short, listen and obey

Our- Father-Our- King” (avine malkeinu).


Let’s recall that we refer to G-d by that Name,

Our Father, Our King

Only once a year, on Rosh Hashanah,

The annual Anniversary of the creation of Adam



4  Sin is IDOLATRY



Tradition says that in addition to command Adam on the Forbidden Fruit,

YHVH EHM also gave him a set of Six Commandments, namely



Which are henceforth known as Adam’s Six Primordial Commandments

(Noah would latter add the seventh)



So, let’s ask: Which of the six was relevant to Eden?


Out of the Six, only the first one, IDOLATRY,

had any meaning in Eden. For Adam could, by his Fee Will

obey or disobey G-d’s Command about the Forbidden Fruit


And by definition,

disobeying the KING’s Command, is a form of IDOLATRY



In summary so far: if Adam eats from the Forbidden Fruit,

1 He would stain his soul,   

2 He would disregard G-d’s advice

3 He would rebel against G-d’s Command and Kingship

4 He would commit a sort of IDOLATRY


But at that stage, in Eden, besides  violating IDOLATRY,

Adam could not yet violate any of the other Five Commandment


He could not violate ADULTERY when there was no woman,

He could not violate BLOODSHED when there was no death,

He could not violate THEFT where there was no private ownership

He could not violate JUSTICE where there was no society

He would not commit BLASPHEMY living so close to YHVH ELHM


You may ask, then, why did G-d bother to give Adam

the entire Six Commandments in Eden?

The answer is that they were given as potential laws

In case Adam would be driven out to live on Earth.


There, on Earth, the entire Six Commandments would become

fully relevant, and seen by us as our Natural Moral Code

shared by all Mankind


The rabbis also said, that G-d gave Adam the entire Six Commandments in Eden

As a Torah to be learned.


This is what the verse says that Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden

To “till it and preserve it.”  It means to lean the positive and negative

G-d’s Commandments, what to do and what not to do.


Now the Torah introduces even higher level of Sin:




 5: Sin is illogical, foolish




After Commanding Adam about the Forbidden Tree,

The Torah describes how wise Adam became.

G-d presents him the animals in the garden

and asks 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)


So wise was Adam, the Torah says,

That every name he gave, was the right name,

the very name that ELHM had intended for it


That, of course, is not a surprise to us,

as we remember that ELHM had Consulted

His own Wisdom and Science and made

Adam’s mind according


Indeed, naming and categorizing issues are

the first step in every science, in particular

Biology and other natural sciences


Adam therefore resembles here a growing young teenager

who becomes smarter, whose interest and libido

turns away from his family to the outside world.


Such a young adolescent – around 13 –

tends to immerse himself in science,

like biology and astronomy, watching the sky for hours

reading avidly entire scientific encyclopedias.


To such teenager, giving orders, regulations

and commandments in an authoritative fashion

would meet with denial, rejection,

and would not be as effective as ever before.


The teacher needs now to explain the logic

behind these rules and regulations and commandments,

why keeping them is good for our lives

and why violating them is bad for our lives


The teacher knows that the young teenager

Has become smart enough to distinguish

between Good and Bad, Right and Wrong,

Between Truth and Lie


Adam, at that stage of the story, has reached that level

where he knows Right from Wrong, Truth from Lie

So that he could now withstand a meaningful trial.


And to the wiser Adam, violating any of G-d commandment



are not only a rebellion against G-d’s Kingship,

or a rejecting our Father in Heavens’ Love,


But rather a wrong, foolish action that would certainly

result with bad consequences, to his own detrimental.


Violating the Commandments are perceived now as inherently bad

destroying the person’s life as well as the entire society


On the other hand, aboding by G-d’s Laws is perceived

as a right thing to do, the smart way to live with.


And here we’ve arrived at the fourth aspect of Sin:   

 As an illogical foolish action, that a wise person

Should avoid for his own goodness    


 The ancient Greek, for instance, based their moral code

On that notion. To them, a sinner is just a fool,

Unworthy of association with the philosophers.



6 Naming the CREATOR



Tradition also says that at that point,

When Adam proved himself so wise,

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:

“What name would you give me?”


Adam said:

“Though you appear in the story of Genesis only once

and only as an Acronym, I would tell everyone that


“You were here before everything

that You are here now,

and that You will be forever.”


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

Which stands for He was, He is, He will be.”


And as the verse attests, YHVH was pleased,

since that Name that Adam gave 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.


Adam enters a new phase in his life-

puberty. He is longing for a spouse, as the verse says


And YHVH ELoKiM said,
it is not good for Adam to be alone,
I’ll make him a help to match him…


G-d, YHVH ELHM as two cherubs

Wing touching Wing In “Heavenly Love”

Understands Adam’s loneliness and forms him a bride

as it says:

And YHVH EloKiM caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept
And He took one of his SIDES and closed up the flesh in its place

And YHVH ELKM built a woman out of the SIDE which He had taken from Adam
And He brought her to Adam, and Adam said:

This is now a bone from my bones, a flesh of my flesh
She shall be called a Woman for she was taken from Man” (Genesis 2: 21-23)


The Woman, not yet called Eve,

was F0RMED from Adam’s side, tzela,

as a ‘helper against him.’

The Hebrew word tzela is translated as ‘a rib’.

But tzela is the Hebrew term for a side,

Such as the “side of a building,”

Like the “tzela of the Tabernacle.”

Indeed, the rib comprises the side of Adam’s chest


The Midrash says that Adam was originally bi-sexual

and G-d “split” him into a male and a female


Today we may say that

Adam, as a male, was made with XY chromosome,

And G-d split it into XX and made the Woman


And, as the Woman is FORMED,

G-d, YHVH ELHM, immediately introduces   Marriage

And with it, the ADULTERY Commandment in details

as it says





“Therefore, Man leaves his father
and his mother,
cleaves to his wife
so that they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24)


The verse says that Man clings to his Wife

and they become “One Flesh”.


Here, “one Flesh” also refers to “The One G-d”

who dwells between a man and a woman,

so that they become a family


Hence, If G-d is not present in their marriage,

It would fall apart


Hence Marriage, for all Mankind

Marriage according to Moses is not merely

a social contract between a man and a woman

but rather a sacred institution blessed by G-d.




The Seven Forbidden Sexual Relationships



The same verse that introduces Marriage,

also introduces ADULTERY

As it says:


 “Therefore, Man should (sexually) leave…”
1. “His father” and his father’s wives (…..
even if she is not your mother)
2. “And his mother…. (and her mother and sisters)
3. “And his sisters ….(from his mother)
4. “And his daughters … (
and her daughters and so on)
5. “And cleaves to his wife,” …(
not to someone else’ wife)
6. “So that they become one flesh,” …(No homosexuality)

  1. “One flesh,”… (No bestiality)



 By this, ADULTERY becomes relevant to their life in Eden.

Adam and the Woman would henceforth need

to abide by two Commandments:

 IDOLATRY – refrain from eating the Forbidden Fruit,

ADULTERY – if another potential attractive partner is available

Such as the ultimate Seducer, the Serpent