Bereisheet (Genesis): Bereisheet > Ch 3

The First Sin

  1. The serpent convinced Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.
  2. Eve ate its fruit and gave also to Adam. Their eyes opened, they learned that they are naked and they hid from G-d.
  3. G-d punished them as follows:
    • Serpent was cursed more than all cattle and beasts and cursed to walk on the belly and to eat dust all his life and a hatred was placed between serpents and humans
    • Woman was punished by increased sorrow in pregnancy, painful childbearing and having desire to her husband for intimacy (without audacity to demand it)
    • Man was punished by having to work very hard to get food from the earth, which was to grow thorns for him
  4. Adam named his wife Eve (Chavah), because she was the mother of all life.
  5. G-d sent man out of the Garden of Eden, so that he would not take from the Tree of Life.
  6. G-d stationed cherubim and the blade of the revolving sword, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

Rashi Commentary

  • Eve added to G-d’s command, erroneously believing that touching the Tree of Knowledge was punishable by death, just like eating from it. By adding to G-d’s command Eve diminished it. This made it much easier for the serpent to convince Eve that it was safe to eat the fruit. He pushed her until she touched it. He said to her, “Just as there is no death in touching, so is there no death in eating” (Gen. Rabbah 19:3).
  • Serpent was cursed more than cattle & beasts: cattle have long gestation periods, but the gestation period of a serpent is seven years. Serpent also had legs but they were cut off
  • In Hebrew, life is “chai”. This is why Eve is “Chavah”
  • Cherubim are Angels of destruction

Research & Analysis
  • Rashi's commentary explains the danger of adding to G-d's commands. In every generation new rules are added to keep up with modern life. New rules however must be added with caution, since they may cause people to diminish the importance of the core laws.