Had Adam and Eve NOT "sinned"
By Shlomoh Sherman
June 13, 2003
Regarding Adam and Eve, what happened in subsequent generations had nothing to do with them. It is the Christian viewpoint that their "original sin" tainted the rest of us but that is only the Christian interpretation.
Jews do not believe it for two major reasons. 1. The TANACH says in too many places that a person shall die for his own sin, NOT those of his father, and even if you repeat the verse that says that the sins of the fathers rest on the children, it is ONLY to the third generation "of them that hate Me", not forever. So if the third generation does not hate Him, the sins do not rest on them. 2. Jews do not believe that there is such a thing called "Sin" with a capital S which is some kind of "free floating" defilement attaching to people at birth. That is a Christian concept. Judaism has no such concept. In Judaism, there are "sins" with a lower case s, individual acts of error that are atoned for or not. In any event, they do not pass on to another person. They are the INDIVIDUAL'S CHOICE, THE INDIVIDUAL'S RESPONSIBILITY. If Adam sinned, its not my sin. To say that after millenia, Adam's sin is mine is the theology of an INSANE Deity, and an Abusive Parent which I believe Biblical Religion has created for G-d's Image.
Now, that aside, if Adam had not sinned, what would humanity be like? Divorce would not have entered in, true, but neither would marriage. Marriage and divorce are INSTITUTIONS like any other human institution that emerged out of necessity once it was established that human SOCIETY had to exist outside of Paradise. Look at the whole story of Eden. It is quite interesting FOR WHAT IT DOES NOT SAY AS MUCH AS FOR WHAT IT DOES SAY. IT IS INTERESTING FOR WHAT IT IMPLIES.
Two Trees are created and placed right in the middle of Paradise where they cannot be missed by man. Each Tree is a major source of Power for anyone who eats of them. So they are really SuperTrees that EMPOWER! One will give its eater ETERNAL LIFE - IMMORTALITY. The other will make its eater "like G-d" in KNOWLEDGE. It is stated thus in 2 places. The snake says, "On the day you eat of it, you will become like G-d", and afterwards, G-d Himself says, "Behold the man and woman have become like one of Us."
You have to ask yourself why G-d would place these two trees IN THEIR MIDST? If you say it was a test of obedience, then you would be repeating the most awful CYNICISM of Biblical Religion. Nowhere in the Bible does it say OR imply that the Trees were placed there as a test, and the Bible being what it is, usually DOES state that something or other is being done by G-d as a test. Here in Genesis there is no such thing. So aside from the POSSIBILITY that they are there as a test, there are OTHER possibilities, and we can never know EXACTLY what they were because we are never EXPLICITLY told, and if you say that you have heard that it was as a test, then THAT IS NOT BIBLICAL; IT IS ONLY "THE TRADITION OF MEN".
Now let's explore another possibility. One Tree is the Tree Of Life and the Second is the Tree of Knowledge. Bear in mind that EACH of these Trees has the POWER TO MAKE ITS CONSUMER LIKE G-D! Yes, not only are they Trees but they are FRUIT Tress, INTENDED to be eaten from - otherwise they fullfill no purpose other than the nasty prank of a Monsterous G-d which I do not believe. So no matter WHICH Tree they eat from, they are bound to become like G-d AND THAT, I BELIVE, WAS G-D'S INTENT ANYWAY SINCE SHE CREATED THEM IN HER IMAGE.
What does being created in the Image of G-d mean anyway but to be a DUPLICATE of that G-d. We can never prove that G-d created the world to be STATIC. We have to believe that the world was created to be in a state of growth, not of stagnation. We are bound to believe that the world was created to be a thing of perpetual BECOMING, not of BEING, unless you say that the constant state of BECOMING is one sign of our punishment, and being one sign of our bliss.
Yes, the state of BEING would have been ours if the OTHER CHOICE had been made. The other choice would have been TO EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE WHICH G-D DID NOT FORBID. NOWHERE is it written that man cannot eat of the Tree of Life. Yet man does not make any move to eat of it. There are two Trees and they are CONTRASTED with each other.
The Tree of Life = the Tree of Ignorance.
The Tree of Knowledge = the Tree of Death.
"On the day that you eat thereof, you will die." What is the corrolary? On the day that you eat of the Tree of Life, you will live! Doesn't G-d say, "Lest they eat of it and live forever"? Man is given a choice and G-d lets him know that he has a choice by putting the two Trees there to begin with, only G-d IS NICER HERE THAN ELSEWHERE. He says, "Look, you can be like Me in one of two ways but not both. Only *I* can be like Me in all ways; that's what makes Me Me. You can only be LIKE Me, in my IMAGE. You can GROW to become more like Me if you eat of these Trees, BUT I AM WARNING YOU, If you eat of the Tree of Knowledge, you will die; if you eat of the Tree of Life, you will live as ignorant beings who never sin and who never learn and who never grow but are eternally dumb children. Now which will you choose?"
Then G-d sends His buddy, the Snake into the scene. The SNAKE is the personification of INFINITE POSSIBILITIES. He is a devilish fellow because HE is an INDEPENDENT THINKER. G-d made him that way. "He is the most CUNNING of all G-d's creatures. The Hebrew word AROM, translated as "cunning" is a very powerfull word. It really means "naked"! What is naked? OPEN! UNABASHED! DEVOID OF ANY COVERUP. "Naked" is the OPPOSITE of "lying" which is what Biblical Religion says about him, that he is a liar. He DOESN'T lie. He tells the truth! "Did G-d say if you eat of this Tree that you will die? You will NOT die on this day if you eat it. G-d knows full well that if you eat of it, YOU WILL BECOME LIKE HIM!"
How much more truthfull can you get? I can just hear the rest of the dialog from Mr Snake. "Look! Do you want to be children all your life or do you want to grow up and be like Daddy? Don't you want to be powerfull and creative? Don't you want to be able to think for yourselves, or do you want to be automatons? If you eat this now, yes you will die but you will have immortality in your children. You will be like G-d, creating man in your own image and thru your children you will live forever. If you don't eat this knowledge, your only other choice is to eat of the Tree of Life and have a very shallow boring existence forever where there is no marriage, no divorce, no creativity, no growth; where there is nothing but staying here and being gardeners forever with no real life.
Oh yes, you will pay a price for your knowledge because whoever increases knowledge, increases pain. But so what? It will be worth it. Later, Moses will come along and give you another choice - to chose the DIVINE LAW and chose Life, but right now, if you want my advice, choose death and live a real life."
Right on, Mr Snake, our buddy! It IS worth it. All of our institutions are worth it - marriages, divorces, confirmations, funerals, births, circumcisions! ALL WORTH IT! And without that first act of HEROISM, NOT SIN! HEROISM OF CHOICE which is the real greatness of the human race, there would be NOTHING WORTH LIVING FOR! We ARE the IMAGE OF G-D because we are EMPOWERED by our choices, and I am sure that G-d, wherever She may live, is really proud of us. For G-d so loved the world that He gave us His DIVINE LAW and the FREEDOM of CHOICE that makes us who we are.
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