Parshat Breish’t 5782: Adam, Chava, The Eitz Hadas… and Shmittah?

Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua Breish’t is being sponsored by Benyamin and Barbara Lemkin of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated in honor of the Jewish heroes who give of themselves for Am Yisrael, and in honor of all the Jews who are making Aliyah and those who assist them. To the Lemkin family, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshat Breish’t 5782: Adam, Chava, The Eitz Hadas… and Shmittah?

by Moshe Burt

After Succot, culminating with the siyum of Simchat Torah, the Torah cycle renews itself with Parshat Breish’t in this year 5782.

With the Communist Chinese corona virus still very much with us, the realization that Hashem is the Ultimate Creator of All must be emphasized and reemphasized yet again. Particularly in light of another year just past, with another inconclusive or borderline Israel election result, an unstable, slap-dash national governing coalition, the continuation of this dread pandemic, and the beginning of a Shmittah year, the realization of Hashem’s Supremacy over ALL needs to be doubled-down upon as we enter 5782.

It was on the sixth day of Creation that Hashem Created man. Torah records:

“Hashem said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures, each according to its kind: cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the land each according to its kind.’ And it was so. Hashem made the beast of the earth according to its kind, and the cattle according to its kind, and every creeping being of the ground according to its kind. And Hashem saw that it was good. And Hashem said, ‘Let us make Man in Our image, after Our likeness. They shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, the whole earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So, Hashem Created Man in His image, in the image of Hashem He Created him; male and female He Created them.” (Sefer Breish’t. Perek 1, posukim 24-27 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Chumash)

The Artscroll Stone Chumash records this note on Sefer Breish’t. Perek 1, posuk 27 (page 9):

“Male and Female” — Although Chava was created later (Sefer Breish’t. Perek 2, posuk 21), she and Adam were created on the same day [Yom Shishi — day six]. (ibid, citing Rashi)

Torah then proceeds to explain that Creation was completed and on the seventh day, Shabbat, that Hashem “abstained on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Hashem Blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His work…” (Sefer Breish’t. Perek 2, posukim 2-3)

Torah then goes on to summarize Hashem’s Creations over the six days, including His Creation of Man. After relating the Creation of Man, Torah tells us that Hashem Created a garden: Eden where Man was placed. Hashem then caused trees to sprout in the garden which were both visually pleasing and held food, including both the Eitz HaChayim (Tree of Life) and the Eitz HaDas (Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad). Torah tells:

“Hashem Keilokim took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden [Gan Eden], to work it and to guard it. And Hashem Keilokim commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of knowledge of Good and Bad, you must not eat thereof; for on the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.'” (Sefer Breish’t. Perek 2, posukim 15-17 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Chumash)

The Artscroll Stone Chumash records this note on Sefer Breish’t. Perek 2, posuk 17 (page 13):

“You shall surely die.” Since Adam lived to the age of 930, it is clear that he was not to die as soon as he ate from the fruit. Rather, he became subject to death, whereas, if he had never sinned, his holiness would have kept him alive forever.

We learn that man, Adam, was placed in the Garden of Eden, and that he and his eizer canegdo – Chava were the last of Hashem’s Creations on Yom HaShishi (the sixth day).

Tehillim, Psalm 90 relates:

“You reduce man to pulp and You say, ‘Repent, O sons of man,’ For even a thousand years in Your eyes are but a bygone yesterday, and like a watch in the night.” (Tehillim, Psalm 90, posukim 3-4 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Sefer Tehillim)

The above posukim seem to this author to relate to the oft-mentioned adage in Judaism that a day is like a thousand years.

Keep in mind the Tehillim, Psalm 90 — a day to Hashem, as it were, is like a thousand years in man’s perspective of time. So we see a certain significance in the number seven: the seventh day is Shabbos, the seventh year is Shmittah and we are in the sixth millennia, with the seventh millennia being a rest for the world, or universe.

Next, this author connects with Parshat Chukas from which we recognize the acceptance of all Torah laws as Chukim — laws whose ultimate reasons are known only to Hashem.

Rabbi Moshe Weissman, in his sefer, “The Midrash Says,” writes regarding Parshat Chukas (Sefer Bamidbar, pages 245-247):

Chukim are not “laws without reasons”; rather their logic is Divine. The greatest among our people were able to understand some of them.

All of this raises a question for this author who wonders: As Adam and Chava were Hashem’s final creations on Yom Shishi, what might Hashem’s deeper reason have been for His Command to Adam that “you must not eat thereof [meaning the Eitz HaDas]?” In this Shmittah year, this author pondered, might there have been a connection between day seven and Shmittah?

However, thinking further, had the Divine logic related to Shmittah, then it would seem that the entirely of Gan Eden: all vegetation, all trees, all fruit from every tree, even the Eitz HaChayim would have been forbidden.

This author raised the issue of Shmittah, visa vi the Eitz HaDas out of recognition of the onset of the Shmittah year and that we should support the farmers in order that they keep Shmittah and let their land lay fallow. In so doing, may we see the era of Moshiach soon, in our time, and with Moshiach, the fulfillment of Hashem’s blessing of sufficient crop in the sixth year to maintain us through the seventh and eighth years.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now free of his parole and restrictions and that he and his ill wife Esther Yocheved bat Rayzl Bracha are finally home in Eretz Yisrael. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of seven years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese corona virus pandemic and all like viruses. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.