The Fall of Adam in the Jewish Perception 3

A Comparative Analysis on, “The Original Sin”

The last to be punished was Adam. Adam in the Torahs account tried to blame Eve and by him doing that women were looked at as being evil. His punishment: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (1)

 Now this ends the punishments for all that were involved in the events in Eden. There is no mention of man being inherit sinners and being damned. Our Jewish brothers have every right not to believe in “original sin” because like they have said, “it is unfounded.” And to show how Merciful and Loving God is, He has said: Surely, if you improve yourself you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, sin rests at the door. Its desire is toward you, yet you can conquer it. (2)

The Rabbis have summed up the mercy of God in their commentary of this verse, they have said, “Sin rests at the door. At the entrance to your grave, your sin will be kept, i.e., punishment will await you in the future world unless you repent. If you succumb to your to your Evil inclination, punishment and evil will be as ever present as if they lived in the doorway of your house….its desire…the Evil inclination desires continually to entice you, yet you can conquer it – you can mend your ways and cast off your sin. Thus God taught Cain that Man can always repent and God will forgive Him.” (3) There is just no mention of God teaching this to Adam.

The final verses to be discussed here are concerning the creation of man. There are two account of mans creation the first is and it took place on the sixth day: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (4)

 The Rabbis have recorded in the commentary; Let us make man. This preamble indicates that Man was created with great deliberation and wisdom. God did not say, “Let the earth bring forth.” As He did with the other creatures; instead, Man was brought into being with the deepest involvement of Divine Providence and wisdom. And God said to the ministering angels, who had been created on the second day of Creation of the world, ‘Let us make man.”

When Moses (p.b.u.h.) wrote the Torah and came to this verse (let us make) which is plural and implies that there is more than one Creator, he said: “Sovereign of the Universe! Why do You furnish a pretext for heretics to maintain that there is a plurality of divinities? “Write!” God replied. “Whoever wishes to err will err…Instead, let them learn from their Creator Who created all, yet when He came to create Man He took counsel with the ministering angels.” Thus, God taught that one should always consult others before embarking upon major new initiatives, and He was not deterred by the possibility that some might choose to find a sacrilegious implication in the verse. The implication of God’s response, “Whoever wishes to err,” is that one who sincerely seeks the truth will see it; one who is looks for an excuse to blaspheme will find it.

In Our image, i.e., in Our mold, meaning that God had prepared the mold with which He would now shape man. After Our likeness. With the power of understanding and intellect. So God created. Just as Man is unique, so the manner of his creation was unique and exalted. Throughout the chapter God brought all things into being with an utterance, but He created Man with his own hands, as it were.

In His image, in the image of God. Among all living creatures, Man alone is endowed – like his Creator – with morality, reason and free will. He can know and love God and can hold spiritual communion with Him; and Man alone can guide his actions through reasons. It is in this sense that the Torah describes Man as being created in God’s image and likeness. (5) Just as a side note, remember, God is non-physical. Any mention of God's body is considered to be metaphorical.

To comment briefly on this commentary, I believe that this rules out any thought that the Jews could ever consider a man as being God. The commentators did an excellent job in explaining, “Made in the image of God,” especially when they say that God has no body or shape. This information will prove very useful in the upcoming sections. The other reference to the creation of Man is:  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (6)

 The commentators have said that; “He blew into the nostrils the soul of life. This soul made a Man a living being. Accordingly, the life that is unique to Man and which only God could “blow” into him is the rational soul that includes the power of intelligent speech. This is what elevates a human above animal life; the ability, and therefore the responsibility, to use his intelligence in God’s service” (7). Man was created for the same reason as all of creation and that is to worship God. God says “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day”. (8) This was after the creation of man. God has also said of sin:  you can conquer it. (9)  If Adam’s son was told that he can conquer sin and Adam is the “Father of us all” why can’t I?

Conclusion of Jewish Perception

The Jews are strict monotheist. They have shown themselves to trust the One God. And that God is just; he didn’t say that mankind was damned because of Adam. In their doctrine the Jews do show where God is forgiving but the Torah fails to direct Adam and mankind towards acts of worship that would bring us back to God. These things are implied but not stated in the Torah. The Torah gave very little information about the Serpent and why he wanted to lead Adam astray.

The Jews perceives Adam as a repentant sinner. They say that his sins caused the rest of mankind to share the fate of his punishment, but we don’t inherit his sin. This disproves the “original sin concept”. The Rabbis’ commentary shows us how our Jewish brothers view these issues. They truly go deep with their traditions in explaining their points of view. This proves why we need to turn to them when trying to understand the Torah. We need to turn to them because it was revealed to them and also explain to them. We pray that God enlightens us all.  

Continue in the next article: ( The Fall of Adam (p.b.u.h) in Christian Perception 1 )

NOTES:

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1. Gen. 3:17-19

2. Gen. 4:7

3. Chumash page 21

4. Gen. 1:26-27

5. Chumash page 8

6. Gen 2:7

7. Chumash page 11

8.  Gen 1:31

9. Gen 4:7