INSIGHT: Brother-Ache!

The First Crime!

The First Crime!

That made Kayin extremely jealous!

HaShem said to Kayin, “Kayin, why are you angry and sad? It’s true that your sacrifice was not accepted, but you can surely do better next time! If you try to improve, I will forgive you.”

But Kayin didn’t want to hear about it. He went to his brother and said, “Hey, Hevel! It’s not fair! HaShem accepted your sacrifice, but not mine!”

Kayin worked himself up into such a rage until he took a knife and started to stab Hevel with it. He kept stabbing him until, finally, with one last blow to the neck, he killed his brother!

HaShem called out to Kayin, “Where is your brother, Hevel?”

Kayin replied, “How should I know? Am I my brother’s keeper?

“What have you done, Kayin?!” exclaimed HaShem. “Not only did you kill your brother, but also all of his future descendants!”

This would have amounted to billions of people that would have come from Hevel in future generations!

HaShem continued. “Kayin, I will punish you for your awful crime. From now on, the ground will be even more cursed because of you! When you work the land, you will only harvest a little bit. And from this day on, you will be a wanderer, without a home.”

“Oh, HaShem!” said Kayin. “I did a terrible thing! And now I’m afraid that when I travel from place to place, wild animals will kill me.”

“You must repent and change your ways for the better!” warned HaShem. “If you do this, and if your children and your children’s children remain good for 7 generations, then I will not destroy you. Also, in the meantime, to protect you from being harmed by animals, I will mark your forehead with a letter of My holy name.”

Kayin headed east, and settled for a while in the land of Nod.

Shazak insight


In Hebrew a brother is called ach – אָח.

Kayin and Hevel were the first Achim – אַחִים – in the world. Unfortunately, Kayin killed Hevel in a fit of jealousy.

Indeed, sometimes “brother relationships” or shall we say “ach relationships,” can be a major pain – a big ACHE!

Indeed, there is a connection between the Hebrew word ach and the English word ache:

  1. HaShem tells the prophet Yechezkel to call out in disgust, “ACH,” when he sees improper behavior (Yechezkel 6:11).
  2. The Talmud says that King Achashveirosh’s name comes from 2 words – אַח רֹאשׁ – (brother head), since he gave Bnei Yisrael a major headache!

That’s why when someone is injured, they may call out, “ACH! It hurts!”

Of course, not every ach – אָח – is such a pain. Most of them are pretty nice. In fact, Achvah – אַחֲוָה – is the term used for a special kind of love: brotherly love.

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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