What’s in it for the Snake?
This chapter of the book had me spitting and ready to throw the book across the room. With that said, I then had to remind myself from whose perspective this book was written. This snake is making me nuts! I want to say “move on, I’ve had enough of the snake”, however, because of the snake I got a lesson on forgiveness this morning. (So much so that I had to track down my husband and thank him for seeking so hard to be like the 2nd Adam. )
Does that make any sense to you? I mean the lesson on forgiveness. It didn’t me either until I started digging. I can’t share all of that here as I am developing a Bible Study that will start in a couple of weeks and I want us to be able to really dig into this as a group. So suffice it to say, in Hebrew – you will find real life, and by that I mean lessons for today. I must also tell you that I struggled really hard with how the Sages of the Midrash explain their understanding of this. In fact I continue to do so. And, as much as I hate the saying “eat the meat and spit out the bones”, I am going to tell you “eat the meat and spit out the bones”. I prefer to say “chew slowly”. So I will give you some of the tidbits of this chapter. This is a “you decide” chapter.
“The Torah describes the snake as being sly or devious…….we always mean they are sly or devious in pursuit of some goal…..What’s in it for the snake?…..Perhaps the Torah doesn’t reveal the snake’s motivation because it is obvious…just take the time to view his temptation in context.
Most of us think that the story of the Forbidden Fruit begins in chapter three………….But, in truth, that’s not the beginning of the story.”
I missed this. Remember how I said I have learned to ask questions? Well, here’s a question or twenty (LOL) for you. Why did the story digress after the Tree of Knowledge is first introduced and the command was given to avoid it? Why does the story return to the Forbidden Fruit after the creation of Eve and the animals. “Why does Adam’s search for a mate interrupt the story about the Tree of Knowledge?” I have to agree, wouldn’t it make more sense to tell the whole story of creating Eve and the animals and then talk about the Tree of Knowledge? “Are we to believe that God, the Great Matchmaker in the sky, couldn’t figure out that a zebra wouldn’t be a good match for Adam?”
But as usual I never asked any of those questions. I’m reminding you at this point: ask the questions.
So with that, I am skipping much in this chapter but I will leave you with this, my thoughts, and one last question:
“Isolated, in charge in a vast world of nature, Adam sees himself as different, in some fundamental way, from every other creature around him. He is a ruler, yes – but a ruler who is not fully kindred with his subjects. He is alone. The temptation of loneliness is to seek solace where it ought not to be sought.”
Do you remember my brief comments about being at the post office in one of my earlier posts? Well, the last statement above was a majority of our discussion. I chose in that conversation to use the word confusion. I chose to take her to Romans 1 and attempt to explain in the context of unbelief. What I said makes even more sense to me in light of Rabbi Fohrman’s last sentence in the previous paragraph. And what I said in the context of unbelief makes even more sense to me because of the next chapter we will look at. I wondered at the time where on earth the words coming out of my mouth were coming from LOL!
Here’s the last question: “What, really, is the dividing line between human and animal?”
Next up: The Beauty and the Beast