Breishis – Beyond Even the Shadow of a Doubt

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The Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer (chapter 12, 20) says that Adam HaRishon was created on Har Hamoriah, the Temple Mount. In chapter 11, the Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer says that in the 10th hour of the 6th day of creation, Hashem placed Adam into Gan Eden.

The pasuk in this week’s Torah portion of Breishis states and Rashi comments:

Now Hashem, G-d took the man, and He placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to guard it. (Breishis 2:15) טווַיִּקַּ֛ח יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם וַיַּנִּחֵ֣הוּ בְגַן־עֵ֔דֶן לְעָבְדָ֖הּ וּלְשָׁמְרָֽהּ:
took: He took him with pleasant words and enticed him to enter. — [Gen. Rabbah 16:5] ויקח: לקחו בדברים נאים ופתהו ליכנס:  

 The Gur Aryeh, wondering what it means that Hashem took Adam with words and why He did so, explains that for a person it is not possible to just physically take him or her, since the essence of a person is the fact that he or she is an intellectually thinking organism, and it is not possible to physically take them. For even though one’s body could be taken, one cannot just take one’s mind or intellect. Therefore Rashi explains the word “took” to mean that He took with words, and it therefore makes sense that He took also his mind, meaning with permission, through talking to him. So too, anytime the Torah writes the word “took” in reference to a person, Rashi explains it in this fashion; that he was convinced through words, so that the taking would be with the consent of the person. For the mind is the main essence of a person, and if this is not done then a person really isn’t taken, since the main essence of a person is his or her mind and intellect. 

Based on this Gur Aryeh, it would seem that if a person is captured, he or she is not willfully taken away unless he is convinced to go where he or she was taken, that is why Hashem didn’t just take Adam and place him in Gan Eden, He also told him what He was doing. However, Rashi also says that He had to manipulate, or literally seduce, Adam to enter Gan Eden. The Gur Aryeh asks why Adam had to be enticed to enter Gan Eden? However, he answers that this enticement was just to tell him he is entering Gan Eden; Hashem would not have taken him and brought him into Gan Eden without telling him because it would not be considered him going willfully. (Click here for Hebrew text.)
Wouldn’t you trust your loving father if he told you that you are moving to a new beautiful place? Now what if your father was a very powerful and wealthy king; you would be even more excited about where he was going to take you! All the more so if He is the King of Kings, All Powerful, All Loving, and only does good. Shouldn’t it be then obvious to Adam that Hashem, Master Of The Universe, would bring him to the most delightful place that would be perfect for all his needs and desires? Furthermore, Chaza”l say Adam was created by Hashem already an adult, with not just mature understanding, but on such a level that the angels mistook him as G-D, being that he was literally the son of G-D, formed by Hashem Himself, without any intermediaries helping Him. Hashem had to put him to sleep in order for the angels to realize Adam wasn’t the all-perfect G-D that Hashem is. Someone on such a level with such a relationship with Hashem, why would it need to be spelled out that he was being placed in Gan Eden as if he needed convincing that this is right for him?

It is true that it was very obvious that Hashem would only want and give Adam what would be best for him, and Adam knew that, however Hashem wanted to make sure Adam accepted with crystal clear, authentic clarity what he was getting himself into.

We see from here that there is a difference between the obvious and real clarity.