Moshe Kempinski

The world is plagued by the passion for solutions and easy answers. All the events and predicaments of the world are measured by first defining the solutions and then attempting to achieve those solutions in sixty minutes minus commercials. The world has become so focused on destinations that they forget the journey. They are so driven by results that they lose the ability to concentrate on the process. That is the reason that every solution concocted by the world blows up again and again. The world is in a rush to nowhere and in a panic to find shortcuts

As a result the world remains confused and in chaos.

It is that chaos that G-d eliminated in a step by step process in the creation of the world.

“In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep”( Genesis 1:1-2)

G-d begins with creation of light and then began the individuation and particularization of his creation. In the midst of that creation we read of the creation of the fruit trees.

“And G-d said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof: upon the earth. ” (Gen. 1:11).

Yet we see that the earth responds in a somewhat different fashion than G-d’s command;

“And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and G-d saw that it was good” (Gen 1: 12).The earth produced “trees producing fruit”as opposed to “fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind”

The Midrash teaches that the original and ideal creation was that the trees themselves (their bark and trunk) would taste like the fruit that it produced, ”fruit-trees bearing fruit” Yet instead, the earth fashioned trees that only produced fruit.

Yet G- d “saw that it was good.” G-d purposely created a reality at odds with its ideal, a tension filled imperfect world. Rav Kook explained that one of the basic failings of our limited perception of reality is that we generally aspire to the goal and ignore the process of attaining that goal. Man often focuses on the fruit of the tree and ignores the sweetness of the tree that bore the fruit.

Yet that disconnect becomes even more problematic when we begin to search out shortcuts to get the fruit.

It is a Biblical axiom that if one wants to truly understand the nature and deep meaning behind a sin or a failing in the bible study the Divine punishment that results. Hashem does not punish for punishments sake. Every punishment is instruction.

When Hashem places Adam and Eve in the garden He gives them clear instructions;

Now Hashem G-d took the man, and He placed him in the Garden of Eden to tend it and to guard it. And Hashem G-d commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”( Genesis 2:15-17)

Adam and Eve on the other hand chose to seize the fruit immediately. They felt impassioned to seize and obtain the fruit of the Knowledge of good and evil despite the disobedience that it entailed.

“And the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise; so she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.( Genesis 3:6)

If the failing only had to do with disobedience the resulting punishment would have been clearly focused on that disobedience. Instead G-d declares the following;

To the woman He said, “I shall surely increase your sorrow and your pregnancy; in pain you shall bear children. ….” And to man He said, “….cursed be the ground for your sake; with toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life. And it will cause thorns and thistles to grow for you, and you shall eat the herbs of the field. With the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, for you were taken therefrom, for dust you are, and to dust you will return.( Genesis3:16-19)”

This new state of mortal reality and existence would compel Adam , Eve and their descendants to be very focused on the process of achieving their goals without the fixation on the goal and destination. “Bread and sustenance” would not come easily and “childbirth” would involve patience pain and prayer. It would be a lesson that would have to be learned and relearned throughout the existence of mankind.

When that lesson would be forgotten or ignored the world returns to chaos. That is what we have witnessed in the Middle East and we are watching sweep Europe and all the western countries.

The world will need to be reminded by watching the step by step forward journey of a people scorned by many in the world. It is the faithful and obedient of this people that will reveal the secret of growing in the journey and the avoiding of shortcuts. The world will witness a people who despite persecution and physical danger will continue forward singing “ an eternal people have no fear of the long voyage”.

“All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, “It is true.” “You are My witnesses,” declares Hashem, ( Isaiah 43:9-10)

LeRefuat Yehudit bat Golda Yocheved

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