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Covenant & Conversation

Chayei Sarah

Between the intention and the fact, the dream and the reality, lies struggle, opposition, and the fallibility of the human will. It is all too easy, having tried and failed, to conclude that nothing ultimately can be achieved, that the world is as it is, and that all human endeavour is destined to end in failure.
Were He not to create humanity there would be no-one in the universe capable of understanding that he or she was created and that G‑d exists.
There are words that change the world, none more so than two sentences that appear in the first chapter of the Torah.
What exactly was the first sin? What was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil? Is this kind of knowledge a bad thing such that it had to be forbidden, and was only acquired through sin? Isn’t knowing the difference between good and evil essential to being human? Isn’t it one of the highest forms of knowledge? Surely G‑d would want humans to have it? Why then did He forbid the fruit that produced it?
What went wrong? How did evil enter the picture, setting in motion the drama of which the Torah – in a sense, the whole of history – is a record?
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