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The Legacy of the Tree of All Knowledge

One Yom Kippur, a rabbi was warning his congregation about the fragility of life, and that everyone in the congregation will someday die. ... That is the great lesson and gift of this week’s parashah, B’reishit with its iconic tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

D'var Torah By: 
An Honest Person in the Garden?
Davar Acher By: 
Alden Solovy

It is a fearful thing, to love what death can touch … ” (Mishkan T’filah [NY: CCAR, 2007] p. 594). This poem by Chaim Stern is one of the “go-to” readings before Mourner’s Kaddish at my congregation. With that single line, I can be lost in thought. As Rabbi Dan Moskovitz discusses in his commentary about Parashat B'reishit, death creates an urgency for living. 

Eden Defines the Truth About Responsibility

In B’reishit, God tells Adam he may eat the fruit of any tree but the tree of knowledge. But when Eve offers him the fruit, he eats it and then blames Eve for the transgression. Is Adam’s evasion acceptable?

D'var Torah By: 
Celebrating Lilith, Adam’s First Wife
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Our Sages desperately wanted to read the Torah as one continuous narrative. Yet, even from the very beginning of our sacred text, this proved to be difficult. Genesis chapters 1 and 2 present a bit of a conundrum: how could man and woman be created twice? These Rabbis solved the problem by deciding that the man, Adam, was the same in both Creation stories, but that there was another wife before Eve. This woman they called Lilith, and she stood in stark contrast to the subservient, submissive Eve.

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