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  • Re-examining the choice of Eve

    HI,
    In my opinion based upon some study of the Kabbalah and Rabbinic Commentary - and a bit of original thought, beleive that Eve figured out the true purpose of the garden. They were their to eat of the fruit in spite of the threat of the unknown, ie 'death'. The only failure of Eve was a failing to explain herself and claim responsibility for her actions. As the text says - what happened on the sixth day was 'Very Good'. We were meant to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Life and Knowledge. We were meant to leave the Garden and we were meant to die.

    Staying in the Garden was really not an option - we all have to leave the womb eventually.

    I've just outlined briefly my thesis, I've written a re-telling of the myth of the Garden and it's implications.

    Comments?

  • #2
    I think God knew from the outset that mankind would eventually gain the knowledge of good and evil. (There's a clever, intentional contradiction in the story -- how do you punish someone for doing wrong if they do not know they've done wrong until they've done the wrong.)

    Once mankind gained the knowledge of good and evil, limits to its had to be introduced including limits to lifespan and power (limited by the reality of suffering).

    Gair, do you have links to the Kabbalah and Rabbinic commentary? What about Lilith?

    Comment


    • #3
      All of creation is grated free will. The freedom to choose is the one true freedom that we have. Choices have trade-offs (consequences). Eve made her choice. Adam made a choice too. They made our bed....now we sleep in it and exist among all that is good, as well as all that is evil. If it was predestined for Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree, then that is saying she didn't have a choice in weather or not to eat, but only when....and that sort of negates the whole foundation of "free will".

      Humans are still eating the fruit, and calling it knowledge. The snake is still decieving. And the trade-off is still being made. Nothing much has changed, except that now we are outside of the garden and trying to get back in.

      Unfortunately knowledge is the key that unlocked the EXIT.

      Jesus suffered hell to gain the keys to the ENTRANCE, and he holds them now.

      So the original choice still remains.....choose God or choose the fruit?

      Comment


      • #4
        Within us all is a spirit, a soul. That is who and what we are. That is what will exceed this life where the body will return to the earth from where it came.

        The 'eating of forbidden fruit' is not actually eating that apple but is taking knowledge of evil and other than truth.

        We all as individuals struggle to find that which is correct to this day. Many times we thought some things were correct and beleived in them but to later learn we were wrong and had to mend our ways. We have today all individuals wrestling with the correct choice, some individuals are doing what they think is right but are terribly wrong.

        In the final judgement we learn the right from wrong. It is there we must make those final choices to be admitted to the life hereafter.

        Life is but one learning experience. Yet not all one learns is correct or good. Is that our fault? I doubt it. In almost every case the person was doing what he/she thought was right. But the final meeting with our Maker will be the pivot of what future we may have.

        Comment


        • #5
          Rabid_Clam,
          Nice observation.

          I personally don't beleive in the Adam & Eve story as literal. But it is a good example of how we should live our lives.

          I think what it comes down to is the "Golden Rule." Basically every religion has some form of concept like that:
          "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."
          "Do as thou will, an it harm none..."
          They are all the same concept. That of being aware of our actions and how they effect us and others. So, I find it hard to beleive that a murderer for instance really beleives (s)he is doing good. I think they really are not thinking in that line. BUT, if they were-they would obviusly recognize the flaw in their actions.

          Joe

          Comment


          • #6
            Doc,

            I have suffered the consequences of taking the forbidden fruit, It would have been better if I had never eaten it. But my thoughts cannot linger on a world of might-have-beens.

            Yes, all of us imitate our first parents in this regrettable choice. I am glad that the story didn't end there for Adam and Eve and it hasn't ended there for me.

            I have begun a journey that takes me very close to Paradise at times. Those moments inspire me to perservere on the journey.

            Some time ago, from the crest of a particularly high hill, I saw that this path eventually leads back into the garden.

            I am by no means making my return journey alone. I am getting a lot of help from others I meet along the way.

            Our purpose has never been to disobey God, but having done so, we can approach him for forgiveness and in due time, he will give us to eat from the Tree of Life that grows by the river that proceeds from the throne of God.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Doc,

              I agree we have free will and the freedom to choose - and that all choices have consequences. Rabbi Akiva noted that the Divine has the knowledge of what we will do but that this foreknowledge doesn't negate our ability to choose. From the perspective of the Infinte Divine - assuming you beleive in It, all is 'predestined' all is seen - the Divine exists throughout time. But we live in time - in one linear direction of time. For us it is not predestined. That is what Rabbi Akiva was teaching.

              Since I'm a Jew and not a Christion I need not concern myself with trying to beleive in Christian theology. The Text presents the serpent as a fall guy - one who had no mate and one who was not aloud to explain his actions - God never gives the serpent the chance to speak. I beleive that is because the serpent would have said that he was put in the Garden by God to do exactly what he did. Of course I an now treating this myth as if it were true. it is a act of academic/theologic analysis - I don't beleive it is literally true. So, in the context of the myth - the serpent was put there by God to do what he did - he was set up.

              The deception was God's. God created the Garden to have Eve and Adam decide on their own whether to reamin in the womb or whether to be born and become responsible adults, humans who are part of creation and partners in creation - Tikkun Olam.

              I don't beleive in Jesus and so need not concern myself with the mythology surrounding him. But I understand that according to the New Testament mythology and other Gnostic Gospels he is one who was sent to teach us the true Knowledge.



              Gair


              Originally posted by DoctorSurferDude:
              All of creation is grated free will. The freedom to choose is the one true freedom that we have. Choices have trade-offs (consequences). Eve made her choice. Adam made a choice too. They made our bed....now we sleep in it and exist among all that is good, as well as all that is evil. If it was predestined for Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree, then that is saying she didn't have a choice in weather or not to eat, but only when....and that sort of negates the whole foundation of "free will".

              Humans are still eating the fruit, and calling it knowledge. The snake is still decieving. And the trade-off is still being made. Nothing much has changed, except that now we are outside of the garden and trying to get back in.

              Unfortunately knowledge is the key that unlocked the EXIT.

              Jesus suffered hell to gain the keys to the ENTRANCE, and he holds them now.

              So the original choice still remains.....choose God or choose the fruit?

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Rabid Clam,

                After re-reading this - I realize I don't agree.
                The eating of the Tree is symbolic of learning to think and reason - to know things. It is not evil. Without knowledge we are worthless to our selves, and to our destiny - and if you beleive in the Divine - to our Divine destiny of Tikkun Olam - healing the world.

                Originally posted by Rabid_Clam:
                Within us all is a spirit, a soul. That is who and what we are. That is what will exceed this life where the body will return to the earth from where it came.

                The 'eating of forbidden fruit' is not actually eating that apple but is taking knowledge of evil and other than truth.

                We all as individuals struggle to find that which is correct to this day. Many times we thought some things were correct and beleived in them but to later learn we were wrong and had to mend our ways. We have today all individuals wrestling with the correct choice, some individuals are doing what they think is right but are terribly wrong.

                In the final judgement we learn the right from wrong. It is there we must make those final choices to be admitted to the life hereafter.

                Life is but one learning experience. Yet not all one learns is correct or good. Is that our fault? I doubt it. In almost every case the person was doing what he/she thought was right. But the final meeting with our Maker will be the pivot of what future we may have.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Joe,


                  [quote]Originally posted by WNYjoe17:
                  Rabid_Clam,
                  Nice observation.

                  I personally don't beleive in the Adam & Eve story as literal. But it is a good example of how we should live our lives.

                  I agree. The Bible, all Sacred Scripture is Mythic stories. Teaching tales to explain a specifc perspective on events.

                  I think what it comes down to is the "Golden Rule." Basically every religion has some form of concept like that:
                  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."
                  "Do as thou will, an it harm none..."
                  They are all the same concept. That of being aware of our actions and how they effect us and others. So, I find it hard to beleive that a murderer for instance really beleives (s)he is doing good. I think they really are not thinking in that line. BUT, if they were-they would obviusly recognize the flaw in their actions.

                  Joe
                  I agree. We humans in our contact with the Infinite Divine come away with some similar underlining truths.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gair,

                    Rabbi Akiva seems to have a firm grasp on the seeming paradox between free will and omniscence.

                    Christian theology is often merely an affirmation of Jewish theology so I think you might be making a false dichotomy there.

                    I never heard of Jews calling God deceitful. I think you are out on your own with that myth.

                    I do not believe that the serpent was forced to deceive Eve. It was his fallen nature to be deceitful, but his free will remained intact in some limited fashion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Albinus,


                      [quote]Originally posted by hm0504:
                      I think God knew from the outset that mankind would eventually gain the knowledge of good and evil. (There's a clever, intentional contradiction in the story -- how do you punish someone for doing wrong if they do not know they've done wrong until they've done the wrong.)

                      I agree. I beleive that within the logic of story we were suppose to make a choice and leave the Garden.

                      Once mankind gained the knowledge of good and evil, limits to its had to be introduced including limits to lifespan and power (limited by the reality of suffering).

                      Gair, do you have links to the Kabbalah and Rabbinic commentary? What about Lilith?
                      I'm in the middle of moving and so my books are packed away. I do have sources to cite and books to recomend. Not much on the web on this topic as I present it. As for Lilith I also see her as choosing the path of the individual - not wanting to have children and be a partner of Adam. She like Eve gained insight into the nature of the Tree of Life and Knowlege and she used it to leave the Garden - so the Rabbinic Midrash explain.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Trailscout,

                        Originally posted by Trailscout:
                        Doc,

                        I have suffered the consequences of taking the forbidden fruit, It would have been better if I had never eaten it. But my thoughts cannot linger on a world of might-have-beens.

                        Yes, all of us imitate our first parents in this regrettable choice.
                        At least for me the choice of eating the fruit from the Tree of Life and Knowledge is not a mistake but as the Test says "It was Very Good". The lesson of this myth is that we were meant to have knowledge and to make choices.



                        Our purpose has never been to disobey God, but having done so, we can approach him for forgiveness and in due time, he will give us to eat from the Tree of Life that grows by the river that proceeds from the throne of God.
                        I see the lesson of the myth as saying that we didn't disobey the Divine but that Eve did what we were meant to do - eat of the fruit, make choices, she just failed to acknowledge her descion. Failed to take responsiblity for her act. That is what we must do. We must leave the womb of Eden to be partneres in creation - that is the teaching of Tikkun Olam - to Heal the World.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Adam and Eve were already partners in creation before the fall. They were to tend the garden and all that that implied.

                          Eve chose (for a while) not to be a partner with God in creation, but to be a partner with Satan in disobedience and disbelief of the Creator.

                          Those who love the Holy One of Israel will one day eat from the Tree of Life. That was the original plan in Eden, but humanity has been diverted for a while. Messiah must come to heal the world. Not to dissuade you from doing what you can for now, but the greater work is yet to come.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trailscout:
                            Gair,

                            Rabbi Akiva seems to have a firm grasp on the seeming paradox between free will and omniscence.

                            Christian theology is often merely an affirmation of Jewish theology so I think you might be making a false dichotomy there.

                            I never heard of Jews calling God deceitful. I think you are out on your own with that myth.

                            I do not believe that the serpent was forced to deceive Eve. It was his fallen nature to be deceitful, but his free will remained intact in some limited fashion.
                            You are correct that though I base my ideas on Rabbinic tradition in the end it is my own presentation.

                            I didn't say the serpent was force to do anything - I just said I thought he was asked by God to do what he did.

                            My conclusions of the 'deciet' of God comes from asking why according to the text and the commentary on the text is the serpent the only male creature without a mate? Why did God so create only a male serpent - according to the commentary on the text he was a like Adam in his physiology - he walked on two legs and looked similar to him - had all the necessary working parts. According to the commmentary it is only afterwards that God makes the serpent into the form that snakes now have.

                            The second question is why did not God give ask the serpent to explain his actions? God asked Eve and Adam. God gave them a chance to talk and explain. Why not give the serpent a chance. My answer to that is God didn't want the serpent to say what he was told by God after he was created. Hence the deception.

                            Just my opinion. Definately not a Christian idea, but not too far removed from Rabbinic teaching in that it is based on the teachings. I just push it to new places.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Trailscout,


                              Originally posted by Trailscout:
                              Adam and Eve were already partners in creation before the fall. They were to tend the garden and all that that implied.

                              Eve chose (for a while) not to be a partner with God in creation, but to be a partner with Satan in disobedience and disbelief of the Creator.

                              Those who love the Holy One of Israel will one day eat from the Tree of Life. That was the original plan in Eden, but humanity has been diverted for a while. Messiah must come to heal the world. Not to dissuade you from doing what you can for now, but the greater work is yet to come.
                              I being Jewish don't beleive in the Christian mtyh and rewritting Jewish teachings. According to Jewish tradition the Messiah's purpose is not to heal the world - that is all human's responsibility.

                              According to Jewish thinking we all eat from the tree of life and knowledge now. We were never meant to stay in the womb of Eden.

                              My re-examining the text shows that Eve was doing what the Divine wanted - she and we were meant to eat from the tree. The serpent was not 'The Satan' but a creature who was given a role to play to prod Eve and Adam to eat from the tree and thus do what God meant us to do.

                              The Christian teachings are just a re-working of the prior Jewish teachings. All sacred scriptures are all a collabarative effort of Divine and human - Divinily inspired but human in the end.

                              I don't mean to sound harsh - I appologize if I do. I just mean that my opinion, your opinion, the writers of the New Testament and the Rabbis - are all equal. We are all humans trying to figure out who and why we are here. We all connect to the Divine but as the Rabbinic teaching says - The Torah is written in the lanugage of men. The Infinite Divine gives us infinte input but what we do withit is our human finite output.

                              Comment

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