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Sefer Bereishis — Bereishis

INSIGHT: HaShem’s question, “Where are you?!”

Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences

Suddenly, Adam and Chavah heard HaShem’s voice, and they tried to hide behind some trees.

HaShem called to Adam, “Ayeka” – Where are you?”

Adam said, “I am so ashamed. So very ashamed.”

“Ashamed?! Why? Did you eat from the Tree of Knowledge?”

“The woman you gave to me… she handed me a fruit and I ate it.”

HaShem said to Chavah, “What did you do?”

Chavah said, “The snake tricked me! So I ate the fruit.”

None of them accepted responsibility, so HaShem punished all of them.

To the snake HaShem said, “Because of your sin, you will be cursed. You will no longer have legs, instead you will crawl on your belly. You’ll eat dust for breakfast, lunch and supper! People will always be your enemy. You will try to poison them, but they will be able to step on you and kill you!” HaShem also took away the snake’s power of speech.

“As for you Chavah,” HaShem declared, “when you give birth it will be with great difficulty and much pain.”

And finally, to Adam, HaShem said, “If you had only listened to my commandment, you would have been able to live forever in Gan Eden! Now you and Chavah MUST GO – EXIT! And from this day on, you no longer will have ready, delicious fresh fruits. Instead, you will have to labor so very hard to grow your own food – by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread.”

Shazak insight

HaShem’s question, “Where are you?!”

HaShem called to Adam, ‘Ayeka’ – Where are you?

Why is that?! Didn’t HaShem, who sees everything know exactly where Adam was?!

Rashi explains, that HaShem knew, but it was just a nice way to start a conversation with Adam, instead of immediately accusing him of doing something wrong. This was the perfect way to give Adam a chance to think a bit and admit his guilt.

That’s the simple explanation, but our wise Rabbis revealed to us some other underlying secret messages. Let’s see if you get this one:

  1. HaShem was really telling him, “How could you, Adam, have stooped so low, from being the most important one in Gan Eden to being exiled from it? And now what has become of you? You are nothing more than a lowly creature who would obey a snake rather than Me; the Creator of the entire world! ‘Ayeka’ – Where are you…What’s become of you?!”
  1. Here’s another explanation:

With some vowel switching, the word ‘Ayeka’ can also be read ‘Aicha’, which is a cry of sadness and mourning. (Aicha is the book we read on the saddest day of the year – Tisha B’Av.) It was as if HaShem Himself was crying because Adam had a great downfall in Gan Eden.

SHAZAK
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