Thursday, August 27, 2020
Seventh Day of Elul 5780
In the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God forbade the first two human beings from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Despite God’s warning, Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Feeling ashamed, they tried to hide from God. God called out to them and says, Ayeka?, literally, “Where are you?”
Now, when we think about this story, we notice that it is impossible that God did not know the answer to the question. Of course God knew where they were. God is God. So, why did God have to ask?
One answer is that God was not asking because God did not know. God was asking because Adam and Eve did not know. They didn’t know where they were. They did not even know who they were. By doing something they knew they were not supposed to do, they lost themselves. They became different than they had been and they were disoriented, unsure about how to get back to where they were before.
This is another moment of t’shuvah. Whenever our lives go off track, whenever we behave in ways that are different from the person we want to be, we get lost. God is in the voice that calls us back by asking, “Where are you?” That voice helps us to recognize that we are lost, and helps us find our way back to ourselves. That is t’shuvah.
Practice for this day:
Ask yourself the primal question, “Where am I?” If you want, you can answer, “I’m at home in Rhode Island, of course!” but you know that there is a deeper answer. Where are you in your life? Right now, are you the person you want to be? In what ways have you gotten off course? If there is something in your life that is off kilter, that is keeping you from being the person you want to be, name it.
Write down, very briefly, one to three ways in which your life is on the wrong course that you would like to correct.