God, Hashem, had contingency plans; He was God. Once He made the human beings, in the event of separation, they would need to live and continue apart from Him. He planted the Tree of All Knowledge — Good and Bad — near the Tree of Life. He desperately hoped they would not eat of it, but it had to be there, just in case.
In a perfect garden, His creation would live in harmony, and would not need to endure heartache, disappointment, fear, death. The fruit from the Tree of Life would preserve their bodies; and Hashem would sustain the breath within them.
They had the Tree of Knowledge, just in case.
As it happened, the deceitful serpent did indeed deceive; Eve, his first victim.
She felt as a murderer in hiding the moment she bit into the fig, before even chewing. Her heart was pounding. She froze, eyes wide open, suddenly filled with a vast knowledge of many things. Her eyes darted left and right, and everything they landed on seemed to imbue her with ever more understanding. But with this came rushing the dark side of all emotion — in a single moment.
The heaviness of all earthly responsibility fell upon her. Yet… She did not die.
She ran to Adam, bursting with strange overpowering feelings, it was too much! A tremendous fear, anguish, a deep unknown was in the pit of her stomach, raging as if an animal were trying to claw out. She could barely speak; tears poured from her eyes. It was just too much at once!
Adam knew something was very wrong even a moment before — this woman had been taken from his side and was connected in spirit through some mystery.
A storm brewed in her throat as she tried to speak, but a torrent of anguish came flooding out, her fear echoing into the sky.
“Eve! What happened?!”
“I ate… the fruit.”
Adam was suddenly beset by confusion as the dark edge of emotion seemed to crawl from her skin onto him, into him. She must have felt it so much more.
Their hearts were pounding. Their eyes wide.
Adam had not noticed how beautiful her eyes were until this terrible moment.
The wind began whipping up, clouds were gathering, and the sound of the river in the distance became almost deafening. Horses galloped past, and they both felt like their chests were being stomped on as each hoof hit the ground.
Hashem, too, endured all of these feelings in that moment.
“What shall Adam do? He is in my hand, eternal; but the woman, his wife, is now irrevocably lost to mortality; she must forever leave my garden paradise, she must go out; away from my Tree of Life, and away from my sustaining breath.” Hashem pondered.
“Where is the fig?” said Adam to Eve.
“You did not die, Eve — are your eyes opened?”
“I must. I cannot leave you Eve. As you shall die, I shall die; you also are me.”
It was too late. Adam bit into the fruit. It was tasteless. He grabbed Eve tightly and they held each other, shaking, crying.
Adam at once felt a gulf between him and Hashem, between Eve and Hashem, and a sharp, unknown pain between him and Eve as if pierced by a weapon. He immediately understood why she tried to spare him.
“I am scared. What will happen? How is it we have knowledge but do not know what will happen?” said Eve.
“I don’t know. We will die. That is all I know. I will be with you. From me you came, for me you were made, and I for you. Back into the clay of the earth we shall go, in time, as one.”
“You were my wisdom Eve, my house of shelter — why did you do the foolish thing and expose us instead?”
“We must cover ourselves to face Hasham.”
Hashem was grieved, knowing what must now take place. Whether they understood or not, whether they were ready or not, He must leave them with the earth to bear the burden of creation. Their only help will be the Tree of Knowledge. They would not learn by practice, but of necessity. He had to confront them; to see their faces one last time, and bid them, His children, farewell.
The trees in my garden were to be their food, the fruit waiting to be easily picked, but now Adam must grow his own food to learn the effort needed.
Eve, now, must understand the pain of bringing forth life, as I have endured in bringing them to life. The pain of birthing and caring for children, for reprimanding them, the pain of having your heart broken by them at times.
Together they shall bear the responsibility for their survival, for continuing with children through the seasons and years, the responsibility for each other, for the earth and all it contains. Each generation shall dig deeply, and will find me. I will be their God, and they will be my children, unto old age, then anew again.
They must now make their way through life with the knowledge of death, with the pains of life, and the fear of the unknown.
“Where are you?” came the only voice that mattered, echoing through the trees.
Surely Hashem knew.
As they clung to one another, Hashem saw a faint light in them; a willingness, to stay with their companion, to death. In some way, this comforted Hashem — they would indeed be willing to be there for one another, yes — even to Death.
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