30 November 2015

On Prohibition and Banishment

After viewing the "must see" video on ShiratDevorah on The Clock of Creation Explained in a Video the following came to mind.

The sequence of the Probation, the Sin, the Banishment:

The one period of time that I found missing (albeit there are surely many more) was after Adam and Chava ate from the Tree. Following the theme of the video, let us assume that the Internet is the temporal of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

It could be that the 'Prohibition to Eat' and then the 'Banishment' could refer to the Internet, which has been compared to the "Tree". The Prohibition being, as many Rabbis have warned, is not to have the internet in your home (the family life being the observances of yiddishkeit and the continuation of that life), not to be involved with it.

Why? Chava was not prohibited from seeing or touching the "Tree".

The seeing and touching could be where one is permitted to utilize the internet for parnassah reasons. After all, seeing (viewing blog sites) and touching (writing blog posts) might not be "Forbidden" as long as one has strong discipline (Will) or a strong filter.

However the "Eating" of the "Fruit" of the "Tree" could be compared to actually 'digesting' the evil information that can also be ingested from the internet, which leads one into forbidden areas of life, lifestyles, and obsessions. This corruption leads to banishment from the 'good'.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston explains:

"[The third aspect of the eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has to do with] the mind and knowledge, which are included in the term "eating," as we see in Yechezkel (3:1), Yeshayahu (55:1). We also see this from the words of the rabbis in Shir HaShirim Rabbah, Chapter 1, where they compare words of Torah to water, wine, oil, and honey. Thus, we see that the mind and knowledge is included in the concept of eating, and therefore, He also warned him [when G-d commanded Adam not to eat from the fruit] that he should not contemplate and look at anything to which evil is attached. This was in order that he should not come to look at the ability of the evil forces, to investigate and understand the extent of their strengths, lest he be drawn down after them. For, it is the nature of man to adhere to that which he contemplates, because the mind, the one trying to understand, and the object of understanding become one. Therefore, there is a great danger in looking at and contemplating to that which evil is attached . . . This was the main aspect of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge that G-d warned Adam HaRishon about, and which he transgressed and stumbled in. Thus, though his original sin was accidental, in the end he sinned purposely. (Sha'arei Leshem, page 341)

"In this short paragraph, one of the most important fundamentals about life emerges, and that is the relationship between the eyes and the mind. In fact, so fundamental is the relationship that, even though Chava ate from the Tree first before she gave to Adam to eat, Adam is faulted for the sin. For, as the Leshem explains in great detail, it was Adam HaRishon's looking at the Tree first, that caused him and the world to quickly descend from their exceptionally high spiritual level, and make the simple mistake of eating."

Also the "Banishment" could correlate to the current worldly wave of 'disbelief in a Creator, i.e. G–D, which brings immorality (confusion of the sexes) and a breakdown of societies (confidence in government), hence 'anything goes', the 'I" generation, and 'anti' anything that brings order to creation, hence the breakdown of nations. This we are also seeing in the events of the world. This leaves a vacuum into which hatred, theft, and murder find a home. Think Sodom and Gomorrah

If the digestive system is considered (as in the video) the main area of the human body (the capsule around the neshoma) then eating from the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (i.e. the internet) is equally detrimental to the Jewish body. Because 'eating from the internet' and 'digesting it' creates illness and death. Clinging to the "good" with Emuna and Bitachon and eating only kosher is what nourishes the Jewish body and strengthens the Jewish Neshomah.

However, we must realize the mind – body connection.

"Chava did not have to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil because it was edible; she had plenty of other trees to satisfy any need she had for fruit. Nor did she have to eat from the fruit because it was appealing to her eyes, for that is rarely a reason to eat anything, especially when it is forbidden to do so.

"Rather, the fact that the tree provided wisdom, something that Chava in her heightened state of awareness could appreciate - that was a different story. Especially since she had not died from touching the tree, as Adam had told her she would, and she experienced for the first time intellectual confusion."


This brings me to the idea that at that point in the video, the video itself becomes a victim of the internet.

The part about the creation of Chava (female humans) is troublesome. I think the video could have elucidated the reason why HaShem had created Ish and Ishah. But maybe they were leary to venture into forbidden waters (tongue-in-cheek here). Even though the Lubavitcher Rebbe stated that one of the last tests would be the rectification (if that's the correct term) of the female. The Rebbe allowed women to learn the Talmud, after first having a foundation in Judaism. The Rebbe was very much in favor of the development, education and status of his female Shluchot. I know, because at one time in my life I was involved with Chabad and stood in line for 'dollars'.

I don't think secular emancipation is quite the proper perspective.

Again I go to Rabbi Pinchas Winston:

"If we go back in time to when death first came into the world, we find a similar idea. Whatever rationale Chava used when deciding to violate the mitzvah of abstaining from eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Torah sums it up this way:

"And the woman perceived that the tree was good for eating and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a means to wisdom, and she took of its fruit and ate. (Bereishis 3:6)

"Chava did not have to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil because it was edible; she had plenty of other trees to satisfy any need she had for fruit. Nor did she have to eat from the fruit because it was appealing to her eyes, for that is rarely a reason to eat anything, especially when it is forbidden to do so.

"Rather, the fact that the tree provided wisdom, something that Chava in her heightened state of awareness could appreciate - that was a different story. Especially since she had not died from touching the tree, as Adam had told her she would, and she experienced for the first time intellectual confusion."  [yes, i know this is a repeat – for a purpose]

HaShem told Avraham (chessed) to "listen to Sarah" (Bina, wisdom) this is the wisdom that attracted Chava to the "Tree".  This is indeed a complicated subject matter.

Some Wisdom from the Lubavitcher Rebbe from :
Putting [Jewish] Women in the Picture

"In an oft-quoted passage from a talk on Jewish education for women given in 1990, the Rebbe reinterprets the basic Talmudic and halachic sources regarding women’s Torah study, draws out the practical implications, exhorts women to increase their study and teaching, and asks for the community at large to support this endeavor. He further asks: why has this increase in Torah learning for women occurred specifically in the recent era? On the one hand, the Rebbe answers, there is the traditional idea that each generation further from the divine revelation at Sinai is on a “lower” level, and so there is an increasingly greater need to bolster it. The Rebbe described the increase in Torah study by women as one of the “positive innovations of the later generations”Nevertheless, he continues, the result has been a great good, an increase in Torah study; and this increase in Torah study by women he emphatically describes as one of the “positive innovations of the later generations.

"From another perspective, each generation further away from Sinai is also closer to the final redemption and the messianic era. And so, the Rebbe adds, we could say we have merited the increase in Torah study for women precisely because of that proximity: it is part of the preparation for—and already a taste of—redemption. A defining characteristic of the messianic era is a great increase in knowledge and wisdom; and so we now already have a “taste” of it, just as there is a halachah (Torah law) that before Shabbat one is to taste each of the special dishes to be enjoyed at the Shabbat meal.4 (This also connects to the idea the Rebbe often repeated, that different parts of Torah are revealed in the times appropriate for them. Hence, he explained, only in recent generations has the esoteric “soul” of Torah—kabbalah and chassidism—been revealed and become increasingly accessible to the masses. Even though these latter generations might be on a lower level than previous ones, they also have a greater responsibility, for they are to purify and complete the final galut (exile) and open the way to redemption. Hence the most sublime parts and secrets of Torah are revealed in the latter generations, and they already begin to “taste” of the Torah of the messianic era.)

"Kabbalistic and chassidic teachings have a special understanding of the role of the feminine in the era of redemption and the world to come. Then, say the classical sources, all the “feminine” aspects of the world will emerge from their concealment and diminution in the unredeemed world, and rise to the highest stature.5 That is the deeper reason—says the Rebbe—that in our generation the innovations and increase in Torah study connect to and are emphasized in relation to women. The effect of their study is also great, for as the Talmud says in a well-known line: “In the merit of the righteous women of that generation were the Jews redeemed from Egypt.”6 And so, the Rebbe concludes, in the merit of the righteous women of our generation, may the full and complete redemption come."

"Footnotes:
3. “Al Devar Chiyuv Neshei Yisrael be-Chinuch uve-Limmud ha-Torah 5750 [1990]” in Sefer ha-Sichot, vol. 2 (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Kehot, 1992), pp. 455–459.

4. See the Rebbe’s discourse on the nature of chassidic philosophy and its innovations entitled Inyanah Shel Torat ha-Chassidut (and the appendix printed there, a discourse given on the last day of Passover 1970) on the timing of revealing new insights and aspects of Torah. It is translated into English in the volume On the Essence of Chassidus (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Kehot, 1978).

5. That is the deeper meaning of the famous verse from Proverbs (12:4), “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband,” and from the prophet Jeremiah (31:21), “The woman will encircle the man.” The crown, symbolizing the highest kabbalistic sefirah (divine attribute) of Keter, sits on top of and encircles the head. Similarly, in the prophecy of Jeremiah, “the woman encircling the man” signifies the highest level of divine revelation, in the mode of a “circle” (makkif). In a circle, all points are equidistant from the center, as opposed to the hierarchical structure of a line. A circle also symbolizes what encompasses and can’t be contained and delimited. There are hints to this in the wedding ceremony, where the bride indeed encircles the groom, and in the language of the wedding blessings. See further the chassidic discourse of R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi in his Torah Ohr, end of Parshat Vayigash, and his commentary on the siddur and the wedding blessings for the relation of male and female in the messianic era and the world to come.

6. Sotah 11b."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

CP

Awesome! Have been trying to figure out what the verse meant about a woman encircling a man for years. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. The reason that the Torah itself states that H' created the woman so that man should not be alone. She is just is other half. Woman has always been on a higher spiritual level than the man (of course, righteous women).

Neshama said...

Thank you anonymous, but remember 'name' or 'initials of your choice'.

You gave me a textbook definition for the reason behind half the population of the world. Could you do better than that?