Correcting a sin from the days of creation

Was the real sin of Adam and Eve impatience?

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol ,

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
INN: Daniel Malichi

Although Sukkot is already behind us and this Shabbat we begin Parshas Bereishit, we can still remember the Hoshanot that we said just last week. One of the Hoshanot is "אל למושעות" and it is said always on Friday in Sukkot. In it we ask of G-d: "Hoshana (save us) for the three hours." What three house? What is the meaning of this request?

One commentary explains that this phrase refers to three of the hours of the 6th day of creation, as quoted in the Talmud: "Rabbi Yochanan Bar Chanina said: There are twelve hours in the day. In the first hour G-d gathered the ashes (which were used to create Adam), in the second hour He formed a golem, in the third G-d stretched Adam’s limbs, in the fourth G-d granted Adam a soul. In the fifth hour Adam stood on his feet, in the sixth he gave names to the animals, in the seventh Eve was created for him, in the eighth 2 children were born, in the ninth Adam and Eve were ordered not to eat from the Eitz Hadaat, in the tenth they sinned, in the eleventh they were condemned, and in the twelfth they were driven (from the Garden of Eden).”

And now we turn to our Torah portion of the week. As we have learned; the last three hours of the 6th day of Creation are the hours in which Adam HaRishon sinned and ate from the Tree of Knowledge, was condemned, punished, and expelled from Gan Eden.

That's why "Hoshana (save us) for the three hours" is always said on the Friday when it happened. Moreover, the Shach in his commentary on the Torah writes that had Adam waited those three last hours and not eaten from the Eitz HaDaat, he would have been permitted to eat from the Tree of Knowledge on Shabbat.

So we see that the trait which caused Adam to sin was impatience, which made him eat the tree before the allotted time. And to correct his sin we ask of G-d "Hoshana for the three hours" - to grant us the right and merit to correct the sin of Adam.

It seems that many of the commandments of the Torah come to correct the same original sin of impatience. The most prominent is the mitzvah of Orlah, the commandment forbidding eating and enjoying fruit for the first three years after planting, which comes to correct those three hours that Adam did not wait. A year for each hour.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda zt”l taught that patience goes hand in hand with faith.
There are also other commandments which teach us patience, beginning with getting up in the morning. When we awaken we want to jump right into our day but we are commanded to stop and first engage in hand washing, blessings and prayer. And so it continues throughout the day. We need to stop and make the proper blessings before eating. We need to be patient and wait the proper time between eating meat and milk. We need to wait until the end of Shabbat and only then check our email, etc., etc.

The same important virtue of patience is true not only with regard to the commandments of the Torah, but for everything in life. Many times, a person may push for things to occur ahead of the correct time. He does not wait patiently, which may cause him to miss them when the correct time does occur. We can probably all think of examples from our personal lives which reflect this. Several times in life we ​​have failed to achieve our desires and dreams, not because we have pushed them off, but to the contrary, because we tried to achieve them ahead of the correct time, and the time was not yet ripe for things to come to fruition. The attempt to do something prematurely can thwart it from ever materializing.

This is also true at the general level, for all of the people of Israel. Even with regard to redemption, the sages have ordered us not to try to hasten the end. Some people figuratively stand with a stopwatch in front of the L-rd of the world, and expect from Him that things will happen at the pace and time that they want it to happen. They want peace immediately, they want the Temple immediately, etc.

The desire for these things is true and sincere but it needs to be accompanied by patience. Rav Tzvi Yehuda zt”l taught that patience goes hand in hand with faith. Patience does not stem from despair, G-d forbid, but is the belief that G-d causes everything to evolve at the correct and appropriate pace, bringing us towards the complete redemption.

Of course we are commanded to always strive and do, but along with our efforts we are filled with faith in G-d, the ultimate Director, to conduct events in a way that corrects and perfects the entire world. With G-d's help we will merit to be full of blessed accomplishments accompanied by patience of faith, which will bring us to the great day in which the world will return to the Garden of Eden and the level of Adam HaRishon before the sin.

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol is the head of the Barkai Rabbinical Organization and the rabbi of the Shaarei Yonah Menachem community in Modi'in.