© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner


ADULTERY-4/The Woman and the Serpent


1: The notion of Sin so far



Adam is like a child growing in Eden. At this point, he is ready for his trial.  He has already acquired several notions of Sin-

  1. Sin is doing something that stains or damages our connection to our CREATOR’S Lips
    2.Sin is to disregard our FATHER IN HEAVENS advice
    3.Sin is to disobey our KING OF THE UNIVERSE’ command
    4. Sin is foolish, illogical, detrimental to our health and welfare


To comply with his PARENT, YHVH ELKM, Adam and his Wife should refrain from violating two Commandments- IDOLATRY and ADULTERY –

IDOLATRY- by listening, obeying, refraining from eating the Forbidden Fruit

ADULTERY– by refraining from any sexual relationship outside their marriage, or from cohabiting with BEASTS,

Deeply, though, violating ADULTERY is tantamount to IDOLATRY , as  a ‘rebellion’ against the FATHER-KING,

But Adam and his wife had to be taught one more aspect of sin.  For that, they had to  encounter the Ultimate Seducer, the Cunning Beast- the Serpent.




2: The spiritual level of Adam before the Sin



Naked yet Unashamed

As Adam’s trial in Eden is unfolded (Adam here is generic, including his Wife) the Torah describes their spiritual level at that stage, as follows:

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

For humans, walking naked unashamed can have several explanations-

  1. They were innocent like children (Seforno.)
  2. They knew Right from Wrong but not yet Good from Evil, and there is nothing Wrong in nakedness (Maimonides).  Nakedness is natural.
  3. They resembled beasts, which go naked, unashamed of it.
  4. They did not yet perceive Modesty, which is a value related to YHVH


Now the Torah turns to describe their Seducer: the Serpent



3: The spiritual level of 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 naked yet unashamed

Having described the naked, unashamed humans, the Torah turns to the Serpent  as “aa-room,” which means both-

  1. ‘Aa-room’, naked, similar to all “beasts of the field.,”
  2. ‘Aa-room,’ smart, cunning, as were the humans. It could speak, walk on two legs, and it was sexually appealing to the human female.

Hence the humans and the Serpent  matched each other at this stage of the story,


It lacked the perception of YHVH

The resemblance between the humans and the snakes is magnified by their perception of the CREATOR.

The Serpent mentions only ELKM, never YHVH.  It makes sense, since beasts, sophisticated as they might be, cannot be aware of YHVH.  Beasts, after all, were made during the Six Days by ELKM alone.  Adam is the only exception.


The woman too does not mention YHVH

 ““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)

Amazingly, the Woman too does not mention YHVH, only ELKM.  Is it because she was talking to the Serpent, the Beast? Or is it because she too, before the sin, was not fully aware of YHVH? That might explain why she and Adam were naked and unashamed of it!

Nowadays, here on Earth, children too are unaware of YHVH’s meaning  As it is said: “For Man’s heart is evil from his childhood.”  Only after puberty we mature enough to perceive YHVH.  For this reason we celebrate Bar Mitzvah – spiritual maturity- of girls at age 12, and boys at age 13.  This will soon become clearer from the stroy


Why wasn’t the Woman (and Adam) aware of YHVH before the sin?

For how could she be aware of MERCY, when she lived in a place that had no  Guilt OR Punishment? (The only punishment would be to be thrown out and live on Earth)

How could she be aware of the COMPASSION , at a Place bereaved of any sorrow, pains, maladies or death?

How could she be aware of FORGIVENESS, when she had never witnessed Forgiveness?

Yes, she might be aware of those  Values of YHVH but only on a theoretical level, far away from any intimate  KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil.

Indeed, the humans and the Serpent were good match.


It was the Merciful YHVH’s concession  

YHVH wouldn’t mind if Her Children – Adam and his Wife – would stay at their spiritual stage forever, remaining unaware of Her full Glory.

To be aware of YHVH’s Full Glory requires the awareness of Her opposite- Evil, Death, cruelty.  And that can be acquired only on real Earth.


Our MOTHER IN HEAVENS – so to speak- would prefer that Her children would stay ‘home’, at Eden, at the Heavenly Uterus of Mankind, never exposed to the Evil and Death outside.

Our MOTHER  IN HEAVENS knows well how difficult it is for Mankind to walk on real Earth, harboring Her values of Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness in our heart.

Our MOTHER IN HEAVENS – so to speak – knows well how challenging it is for Mankind to see the world of ELKM while wearing the prism of YHVH on our eyes.  She would rather spare us the  titanic clash of values between the JUDGE ELKM and the Merciful YHVH.

So, if you ask Her, Our MOTHER IN HEAVENS would say: I don’t mind that my children – Adam and his Wife- stay in Eden unaware of me and my protection. Let them rather stay home, safely and forever.


What was the Serpent?

The last creatures made on the Sixth Day before Adam were “Crawling Creatures to their kinds.” We know that Insect and lizards and snakes came much earlier in the Evolution (On the Fifth Day, we’ve said) yet they RULED the Earth before and after the demise of the Dinosaurs. Skeletons of huge Snakes were recently discovered, some as big as two Greyhound busses side by side. The term Crawling Creatures” covers Spiders, Bees Ants and other “smart” social creatures. Given enough time, they too would develop smart civilizations of their won.


The Serpent in the Virtual Eden presents that putative, smart creature that could have developed as an natural extension of the Crawling creatures. Had the CREATOR not introduced Adam, or had He allowed Evolution to go on uninterrupted, the next creature on Earth would have been a smart, talking Serpent.  Having been made by ELKM alone, it would have been unaware of YHVH altogether.  It would have known no mercy, no compassion, no forgiveness and no holiness. Yet it would have been very CUNNING and NAKED.


Of course- Eden was a virtual garden, and he creatures in it were virtual.  That Serpent was also a virtual creature, being placed there for ADAM’S TRIAL.


The Serpent as the Vehicle of SATAN

Unlike the popular notion of the Serpent, it was not Satan.
Satan in Hebrew is an Angel promoted as a Prosecutor of Mankind – as a species or as individuals- in the Heavenly Court.
Satan therefore is never punished, since it does what it is supposed to do, to prosecute us, to TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT US BEFORE ELKM.

In contrast, the Serpent of Eden was put to judgment and was “punished.   Hence it had a Free will, equal to the humans’ will. It was fully aware of the JUDGE, ELKM, yet unaware of the Merciful YHVH, because it was, after all, a BEAST OF THE FIELDS.

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.

Now it is time to study the Trial itself,