Monday, October 23, 2006

Can you trust a woman?

We've just read the story of Adam, Eve, the Serpent and the forbidden fruit. G-d chastises Adam for having eaten transgressed His command and Adam replies: "She made me do it!"

For many people, the Torah portrays Eve (and all women) as fickle and gullible and dragging men down with them in their dodgy exploits.

You'd be surprised then to see how G-d instructed Moses to deal with teaching Torah to the people. At Mt. Sinai, G-d tells him to address the women first.

The Zohar, Judaism's fundamental Kabbalistic work, makes a startling observation about this. When G-d gave his first commandment to people, He addressed the man in the story and relied on him to convey the message to the woman.

It didn't work.

While G-d had said don't eat from the tree, Adam felt he needed to tell his wife not to touch the tree. It was to be a disastrous precaution. The snake pushed Eve against the tree saying "You see, you touched it and didn't die; if you eat it's fruit, you won't die either". We all know what happened next.

So, when it came to entrusting humans with His Divine plan for the world, G-d told Moses to instruct the women first.

G-d says: "If the women have the facts, I can rely on them to keep the men on track too".


Anonymous said...

Now, that's a different take! I always thought that Judaism blamed the woman for bringing death to the world etc. etc. for making Adam eat the apple.

Rabbi S said...

BTW, it wasn't an apple either : ) Jewish sources debate if it was wheat, a fig, grapes or even an etrog.

The apple wasn't a Jewish idea.