Parshas Bereishis

According to the Talmud, the sin of the Tree of Knowledge and Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden occurred on the very same day they were created – Friday, the sixth day of Creation.

In this context, G-d’s declaration in the Torah portion of Bereishit is therefore surprising: “G-d saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” How can it be that G-d considers sin and punishment not only good but “very good”?

The comments of our Sages on these words only add to our perplexity. ” ‘Good’- this refers to the Good Inclination. ‘Very’ – this refers to the Evil Inclination.” ” ‘Good’ is the Angel of Life; ‘very’ is the Angel of Death.”

What were our Rabbis trying to tell us? To understand, we need to look at why G-d, the epitome of good, created evil in the first place.

As the Evil Inclination, the Angel of Death, and the Serpent were all created by G-d, we must, therefore, conclude that the inner essence of these creations is also good, even though their external appearance seems otherwise.

And what exactly is this inner good? In essence, it is the power of teshuva – the ability to return to G-d in repentance. For without evil, the phenomenon of teshuva could not exist. Without an Evil Inclination inciting us to disobey, we could never achieve the higher spiritual heights that are attained through teshuva, a process by which even our “deliberate sins are transformed into merits.”

This, then, is the meaning of G-d’s pronouncement on that first Friday: everything that He created is part of the Divine plan for the world to attain fulfilment. Endowing man with an Evil Inclination allows him to achieve an even higher level of perfection than that with which he was created.

Of course, sin itself is wicked, for it is contradictory to G-d’s will. But after a person has sinned and done teshuva, he is on a higher level than a righteous person who has never transgressed! This concept is known as the “advantage of the light” that comes from the very depths of the darkness.

This principle contains an eternal message for us in our daily lives: If a person should claim that he is not responsible for his misdeeds, G-d having created him with an inborn inclination and propensity for sin, he should remember that the sole reason for the creation of the Evil Inclination is that it leads us to a higher rung in our service of G-d!

Thus it is through the temporary descent into sin and our subsequent teshuva that we reach the level of “very good” – the objective of all of Creation, and its ultimate perfection which will take place in the Messianic Era, speedily in our day. Moshiach NOW!!!