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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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Genesis 3 a Jewish perspective

Posted by Don Paine

A Rabbi shares a new perspective on Genesis three.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is about Good and not good.  The sense of good, not good, good enough and bad are looked at in the context of what the Christian community calls the fall from union with God. Is it a fall, a trip, a planned event?  I call it the "fall into grace" as prior to this event the communion with God was natural and daily.  Now the communion is because God shows up regardless of their behavior as he demonstrates the attributes of mercy and grace, hereto fore unnecessary.  Grace is the way of communion with God


In this video the Rabbi Fohrman offers a different perspective on this "falling" into sin.  The Christian doctrine of Original Sin is introduced in the Christians perspective of this event.  I call it the "fall into Grace" as this event opened the door to God's grace ding visible.  Prior to this their was no need of grace or ,mercy for God and humanity were at one in their communion.  But some thing changed.

The Rabbi saw the action of Eve and Adam as independent acts of defiance.  They were told to eat freely of all the trees in the garden but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Not Good (Evil they were not to eat of for in the day they eat of it they will die.  The part of humanity that does not respect limits imposed on them even if they are for their own good.  They wanted to "masquerade as the master" and so they wore a mask not just over their face by a mask ver their nakedness, fig leaves.  A poorly devised and implemented plan that God in grace and mercy upgraded to animal skins.

The Rabbi related it to a parent giving gifts to a child,  The child is feeling loved by these many gifts so is laying with them with joy and happiness.  The parent wants the child to enjoy (the first positive command in the Torah- "enjoy"), but the parent also wants the child to be appreciative not in a simple or even necessary thank you but in how enjoying they are of the gift.  Being thankful is expressed in that joy. When it is not enough or when the child wants more it is seen is ungrateful and unsatisfied.  It leads to ignoring any prohibition as to get that need of affirmation.  I can have whatever I want.  This moves the child from health=y appreciation for what he has to unhealthy greed and avarice that is unsatisfied by the moor. :By showing the discipline of respecting the prohibition one shows the discipline and resolve to enjoy what God has given"

The tree was there so they could demonstrate their resolve to enjoy what God had given and not need or think they needed more.  It was not the fruit that was good, bad, evil or not good.  It was the choice to set aside focusing on that God has given and rather focus on the restriction or prohibition until defiance kicked in. Having failed at the discipline of enjoying what God had given them they lost their sense of innocence and purity.  It was their perspective that was contaminated and so it is our perspective that needs to be addressed as the "faulty perspective" not the "Fall into Sinfulness".  It could be thought of at the fall into the propensity to lose perspective then act in sinful ways that sin against ourselves not just others and God as did this first act of betrayal.  Indeed betrayal of trust to enjoy what God had given is a true betrayal and the seeds (not respecting limits) of all betrayal.

Thank you Rabbi for your perspective.  I will give mine, augmented by his, in a couple of days.

Thank you for reading.


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