2022 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
Adam, Where Are You?
Why were they not driven out Immediately?
Eating the Forbidden Fruit should have cost Adam and his wife to lose Eden immediately.
Had not YHVH ELKM warned Adam that the day you eat of it you shall die?
They have already acquired the notion of Good and Evil,
which are YHVH’s perspectives,
they have already become shameful from their nakedness, so that they covered themselves with leaves.,
they have already become shameful of having sinned,
and yet, they were not driven out of Eden, not yet.
Instead, YHVH ELKM walked “back and forth” before them,
while they hid in the bush, as it says
“And they heard the voice of YHVH ELoKiM
walking back and forth’ ‘mit-ha-lech’ in the Garden, in the breeze of the day.
And Adam and his wife hide themselves from the presence of YHVH ELoKiM,
among the trees of the Garden.” (Genesis 3: 8)
It is difficult to translate the expression “YHVH ELoKiM mit-alech in the Garden.”
It means that YHVH ELKM “bought itself” to walk “back and forth” in the Garden,
as if looking for something.
The Heavenly PARENT was inviting His children, Adam and his wife,
to come forwards, CONFESS, REPENT, and ask FORGIVENES.
Hence YHVH ELKM revealed here a new “faculty” of His –
REPENTANCE followed by FORGIVENESS.
We should note that Forgiveness does not come from ELKM,
who deals with us “measure for measure” in a precise way, with no Mercy.
Forgiveness comes from the presence of YHVH in the Heavenly Court.
Here, still in Eden, YHVH ELKM offered Adam and his wife the option
to confess, repent and ask forgiveness.
Had they done so, they would have been forgiven,
and could have remained in Eden till the Sabbath – without seeing evil on Earth.
But Adam and his wife ‘hide’ in the bush, ashamed, fearful.
So, the PARENT took the initiative and called them up –
“And YHVH ELoKIM called Adam and said to him,
where are you?” (Genesis 3: 9)
This call, “Adam, where are you?”
has become the motto of repentance.
The story is enacted on each Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of Adam.
On that day, once a year, the CREATOR ascends on the Throne of JUDGMENT,
as it was in the Beginning, and He judges us as “Our FATHER, our KING,” like in Eden. And like in Eden, He comes forwards to us, expecting us to come forwards at Him and confess, repent and ask forgiveness.
He gives us TEN DAYS of REPENTANCE, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
But Adam and his wife missed that opportunity offered by YHVH ELKM.
Instead of repenting, Adam blamed his wife, and she the Serpent.
As a result, they were condemned to leave Eden and live on Earth,
where they would face Evil on a personal level of daat,
as the name of the Tree of Knowledge, Daat, implies.
The Temple and Forgiveness
The notion of YHVH’s presence and Repentance,
is the base for the entire institute of the Holy Temple,
its offerings and prayers.
The Temple, where the Shechinah Dwells,
Is the Place on Earth where people of all nations come to confess,
ask forgiveness and offer their prayers and sacrifices,
The person who brought the offering had to confess in the priest’s ears,
yet his wards were directed to G-d.
After the Golden Calf sin, G-d made a concession to Israel,
allowing them to confess and pray along with animal offerings.
Mankind wasn’t ready yet to a spiritual service without offerings.
After the Temple destruction by Rome,
the rabbis said that the offerings could be replaced
by prayers and spiritual service,
Let’s summarize what we’ve learned from the Garden of Eden
On that we’ll focus next class.