Paradise lost

The real sin that caused Adam to be banished from the Garden of Eden.

Danny Ginsbourg, | updated: 13:44

Judaism Rose Wolf Sefer Torah Dedication
Rose Wolf Sefer Torah Dedication

We read in our parsha, that though  the trees and herbs were created on the third day(1:9),’the trees of the field were not yet on the earth, and all the herb of the field had not yet sprouted, for Hashem had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to work the soil’(2:9)’.

Rashi comments:’And why did Hashem not send rain? Because ‘there was no man to work the soil’, and, so, אין מכיר בטובתם של גשמים: there was no-one to recognize the goodness of the rains; and, when man was created, and prayed for rain, knowing it to be essential for the existence of the world, the rains fell, and the trees and the herbs, grew’.

The Maharal derives a very important ‘article of faith’, from Rashi’s comment, saying:Since the rains were ‘withheld’ דייקא because there was yet no man, who could recognize Hashem’ gift, we learn that it is FORBIDDEN to do a favour, for an ungrateful person (as only when man prayed for rain, recognizing that it was a ‘gift’ from Hashem, did Hashem cause rain to fall).

Tragically, as we read later in our parsha, this very same man: אדם הראשון, proved to be an ingrate, ‘blaming’ his transgression on Hashem (Avoda Zara 5:), saying to Hashem:(3:12) Chava, ‘the woman who You gave to be with me- she gave me of the tree, and I ate’:You, Hashem, are therefore the cause of my transgression!

And, as the Maharal laid down, as ‘punishment’ for his ingratitude,  he was expelled from Gan Eden, where all his needs were provided by Hashem, without any toil being required of him; and, it was decreed that(3:19) henceforth ‘by the sweat of his brow’ would he earn his bread.

And yet, despite the many acts of ingratitude of Bnei Israel, the descendants of Adam Harishon, Hashem, in His infinite chesed, always ‘was grateful’ for a ‘chesed’, as He called it, of Bnei Israel.

As the prophet declares:(Yirmiyahu 2:2):’I recall for you the kindness of your youth, your following Me into the wilderness’.

After all the miracles and חסדים that He had wrought for Bnei Israel, Hashem deemed that they had ‘done Him a chesed’, by following Him out of Egypt, into the desert, trusting wholly that He would sustain them!

A truly Divine lesson in הכרת הטוב!

A parting thought: How much better would our world-and our lives-be if we were always grateful for all that we receive each and every day, from our spouses, our family, our friends, and- above all- from Hashem.

לרפואת נועם בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עצמו.