Where Every Jew is Family

Should Old Acquaintance be Forgot?

I want to take you back to the very first Rosh Hashana.

Adam and Eve have just been created, and on the first day of their marriage, she gives him the fruit after listening to the snake and they both get in BIG trouble.

Can you imagine?  If this is how the first day goes, why would Adam want to stay with this woman for the rest of his life?  In today’s society, they would probably get a divorce and he would tell G-d, “Try again.”

But instead, they remain married for hundreds of year afterward.  Why?  How?

Following this episode, the Torah says “Veha’adam yada et Chava” (And the man knew Eve).  While on the surface it is a reference to being intimate and conceiving a child, there is a deeper meaning.

Yada means to “know” or “understand.”  At this crucial moment, Adam gained a special insight into his wife.  He didn’t start attacking her and castigating her for being expelled from the garden.  Instead, he understood that they were both only mortal beings capable of error.

So many marriages and relationships today lack this crucial element of “yada.”  Understanding that the other person is only human.

I would also argue that this happens with our Judaism as well.  We blame this rabbi or that shul or this event that happened to excuse ourselves from following what G-d wants.  We could all use a healthy dose of “yada” to keep our relationships and our Judaism healthy and active.

So the answer is NO!  Our old acquaintance of Judaism shouldn’t be forgot.  It needs to be understood.  As Hillel said to the convert when asked to tell the whole Torah on one foot.  “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.  The rest is commentary; go and learn it!

Shana Tova!
~Rabbi Yossi

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