Thursday, October 15, 2009

PARSHA - Bereishis. Adam/Yetzer Horah

This week's Torah portion, Bereishit (Genesis), is the first portion of the entire Torah. It recounts the entire story of Creation and tells, among other things, about the creation of the first people.

We read that Adam was commanded by G-d not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. But Adam ate the fruit! According to the Midrash, the command not to eat the fruit was given for only three hours.

When we consider that Adam was created by G-d, Himself, and heard the command from G-d, it seems amazing that he couldn't control himself for a mere three hours.

We learn from this episode the strength of the yetzer hara--that aspect of our psyche which encourages us to go against G-d's will. The yetzer hara may camouflage its aim by trying to convince us that a commandment is too difficult or unimportant. Nevertheless, its real intention is to persuade us to go against G-d's will. Therefore, the more important a certain command is for a particular person, the harder the yetzer hara will try to dissuade the individual from performing the command. Even if the commandment is a very easy one, the yetzer hara will make it seem extremely difficult.

Thus, we can understand how Adam was tempted to eat the forbidden fruit. The yetzer hara employed its most compelling arguments to convince Adam to sin.

We have all been imbued with the strength to overcome the yetzer hara's arguments. We can be sure though, that when we draw on our G-d-given inner strength we will be victorious!

Candle lighting time for L.A. is 6:00pm