Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why were Adam HaRishon and Eve (Chava) kicked out of Gan Eden (Paradise) ?


I cannot help it but Adam and Eve (Chava) always arouse my sympathy. In the end, they didn’t keep the commandment G – d gave them and this simply makes them so human. Others may be upset about their “messing around” but I can understand them.
Their most famous sin was eating from the Tree of Knowledge (Etz HaDa’at Tov veRah) but, according to Rabbinic commentaries, the two “first” humans had caused problems before. The issue with the tree was just the top of the iceberg.

No human being is able to define the Tree of Knowledge. In fact, the entire creation episode the Torah is telling us in Bereshit (Genesis) contains plenty of symbolic language. What was Gan Eden ? Definitely not a tropical place where Adam walked around like Tarzan. Many commentaries claim that Paradise was nothing but an extremely high soul level within Adam and Eve. Fact is that the two didn’t eat an apple but either another fruit (the Talmud gives a whole list of fruits) or they did something completely different and the entire tree – story is just a metaphor. 

Let us assume that Adam and Eve ate from the Etz HaDa’at or whatever they did wrong. Immediately after they sinned, they highest soul levels simply left them. One of the highest souls guaranteeing them eternal life vanished and from one moment to the next, they found themselves in a mortal life.

The question is why G – d had to take them out of the Garden right away ? Chassidut (Chassidism) teaches a deep insight into the matter and, among others, Rabbi Yaakov Koppel (a student of the Baal Shem Tov) gives an explanation in his book “Sha’are’i Gan Eden – Gates of Paradise”: Imagine the two sinned and suddenly they were mortal because their highest soul level had left them. What could Adam and Eve have done now ? Answer: Destroying even more by eating from the Etz Chaim (Tree of Life). This would have caused an even greater disaster and in order to prevent this, G – d kicked them both out of Gan Eden. 

"Sefer Adam HaRishon" lists the plants in Gan Eden according to the Torah Codes. Read more on the subject HERE !

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