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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Adam and Eve by Rabbi Boruch David identifies the choice between good and evil as fundamental to the human experience, with the creation of Adam and Eve representing the first day of anthropological history. The author makes a significant distinction between the subjugating relation of humankind toward the resources of the earth and the ruling relation of humankind to animals and birds. Naming the animals was designed as a process of education for Adam, leading to his desire for an appropriate companion. The process of rationalization led to disobedience, but “G-d” wants us to emulate Him using free will. After Adam and Eve sinned, they lost automatic entitlement to “G-d’s” protection and had to live with the consequences. The second chance “G-d” has promised appears very remote as they leave Eden.
Adam and Eve by Rabbi Boruch David is designed to be used in a meditative manner. The relaxed discussion and challenging questions to ponder were interesting. I was fascinated by the suggestion that humanity was initially hermaphroditic and found the implications for equal opportunity astounding! I especially relished the Talmudic recommendation regarding reflecting every day that the world was created for us, thinking the words sounded like an amazing affirmation! The distinction between “shame” and “guilt” was shrewd and also relevant for counseling practice. The basic Bible story seemed familiar, but what I really liked were the unique concepts drawn from Jewish tradition. Adam and Eve by Rabbi Boruch David would make a great devotional for individual use, or study aid for small group use.