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Bereshit 5782

September 19, 2021

Rabbi Geier


Bereshit 5782

BS"D || Rabbi Geier

Bereshit 5782

Does anyone remember what happened after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Gan Eden, paradise? Some may mention one or two characters, but do you remember well what happened?

The history of Creation with all its mysteries is so fascinating that we are enraptured with the images of the objects and the manifestations of power that are present in the first 7 days. And above all, the spirit of God that flies over and watches from day 1, or day 0 if you will.

The theme of the vigilant God who sees and judges everything, we just almost felt it on our skins with the Yamim Norayim. But it precedes us from the moment of Creation (or before that?) In its role of ensuring that we all behave properly.

And then the concept of guilt returns. Because if there is someone who watches our behavior, it is because at some point the warning or the challenge or whatever, arises to mark what we are doing.

Once outside Gan Eden, what appears is the story of those two brothers that we have known since our each own childhood that no one should imitate. Those who, for reasons not very clear in the story, confront each other and one ends up killing the other. Yes, Cain and Abel.

There is an interesting dispute between Rashi and Nahmanides about Cain.

In the story, the Creator condemns Cain, after "learning" that he had killed his brother for uncertain reasons. God asserts that from that moment on he will be cursed and that the land that his brother's blood received from his hand will not be favorable to him and that he will be wandering in it. Cain only manages to answer "Great is my crime to bear" (Bereshit 4: 13), and then the controversy arises: according to Rashi, the enormous biblical exegete, Cain claims in this simple sentence to God that how can it be that being Him a just and merciful God who forgives the faults of those who sincerely repent, cannot he be forgiven of his sin?

The Ramban, on the other hand, thinks that in that sentence Cain is admitting the enormous gravity of his fault. There is no question mark in his sentence, but rather an exclamation almost of surprise at what he just did.

It is a different view of "evil Cain." There are those who see in him the first man who "takes charge" of his mistake. In fact up to that point, Adam literally blamed Eve for having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Chavah, for her part, put the blame on the snake.

Perhaps Cain had no choice in his thoughtful soliloquy with God and SHOULD take over. But as it were, he is the first being that in an almost mature way assumes his guilt and the burden.

According to the midrash, Cain found his father after being put on trial by God, and he asked him: "What happened to your judgment?" And the fratricide replied that he had done teshuvah and managed to make peace with the Creator.

Bereshit Rabbah, in his chapter 22 recounts that the first man took his head realizing the different consequences if he had not been stubborn and immature and said: “So great is the power of teshuvah ... and I didn't knew about it…". 

Assuming that we must change things, recognizing it and executing the change, reviewing our judgments—those we make with our environment—is the principle that opens the doors to innumerable possible worlds, better than the one we generate by remaining untouched in the face of a wrong posture.

Let's just think about the Gan Eden we would live in if only Adam had accepted his mistake and made it in the right way, with his own Teshuvah.

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