Shabbat Bereishit 5774 – Simchat Torah

After Chavah and Adam ate from the tree that was forbidden for them, we are told: וַיִּקְרָא יְקֹוָק אֱלֹקִים אֶל הָאָדָם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַיֶּכָּה, “Hashem called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ ” (Gen. 3,9) The Torah is not a history book. It was given for all generations and for all people.

This question of “Where are you” is something which is meant for us also and we should take it seriously as if it is being asked of us at all times. We should constantly take an accounting of where we are, what do we look for, and how do we try to obtain it.

The first question we should ask ourselves is, “What we seek, is it really what we need and what we want?” The Book of Proverbs tells us: מַיִם גְּנוּבִים יִמְתָּקוּ, “Stolen waters are sweet…” (Proverbs 9,17) We often feel that we must have something only because we know we shouldn’t.

That is what Hashem asked Adam: הֲמִן הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לְבִלְתִּי אֲכָל מִמֶּנּוּ אָכָלְתָּ, “…have you eaten of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen. 3.11) Adam ate from the tree, not so much because he needed it, but because it was forbidden to him.

We must be careful to seek that which we need and not what we feel we want simply because others have it or we are challenged because it is there.

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