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Wednesday, October 3

The Weekly Shtikle - Bereishis

This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas R' Naftali Neuberger, zt"l, Naftali ben Meir, whose Yahrtzeit was this past Sunday.
    On the sixth day of creation, HaShem created Man. The gemara (Sanhedrin 38b) teaches that Chavah was created in the seventh hour. In the ninth hour they were commanded not to eat from the Eitz HaDa'as and already in the tenth hour, they sinned and ate from it. In the pasuk dealing with the sin we find a confusing incongruity. Chavah is seduced by the snake and she comes to accept (3:6) "that the tree is good to eat, etc." Rashi writes that she accepted the words of the snake, i.e. that her eating from the tree would not result in death, and believed it. She committed the sin with the confident belief that she would not die. However, in the very same pasuk, she gives of the fruit to her husband. Rashi comments there that the reason why she did so is because she was afraid that she would die and he would marry someone else. Wasn't she convinced by the snake that she wouldn't die?

    R' Chaim Kanievsky comments in Ta'ama D'kra that we are taught here a very telling lesson in the nature of the Yeitzer HaRa, the evil inclination. When one's desires are raging the Yeitzer HaRa has the power to convince its host that there will be no retribution for wrongdoing in order to seduce him/her to transgress. As soon as it is over and the Yeitzer HaRa has accomplished its mission, this power subsides and he/she returns to reality. Chavah wasn't really convinced by the snake that she wouldn't die. She was temporarily blinded by her own desire to eat from the tree and that allowed her to believe the snake temporarily. But as soon as she actually ate from it, she looked at herself and said "my goodness, what have I done!" She came back to reality and realized that indeed she was going to die. She then tried to bring her husband with her.


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