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Thought for the Day: What Adam haRishon Should Have Done

It is all well and good to talk about the mistake that Adam haRishon made, but it is also important to understand what he should have done.  The simple reason, of course, is because the Torah wants us to know that so we can learn and apply the lessons learned to our own life.

So what should Adam have done when confronted with the fact that he had transgressed the one and only request that HaShem had made of him?  Says the S'porno, he should have said, "Chatasi" -- "I made a mistake".  But the S'porno didn't stop there; he puts it in context, "he should have answered as Dovid haMelech did."  Isn't that odd?  What does Dovid haMelech have to do with this?  Of course we know the medrash that Adam haRishon (who lived to be 930) gave 70 of his years to Dovid.  Meaning to say, that Dovid is the one who repaired the damage done by Adam haRishon.  And the S'porno tells us that the repair was effected -- not by avoiding the sin (as we might have expected) -- but by responding to the consequences of the sin.  Namely, Dovid haMelech accepted responsibility for his actions.  He had good reasons for doing what he did, but at the end of the day, he was wrong.  No guilt, no anger, no lashing out.  "I made a mistake and I am sorry."

That brings us to another reason to understand what Adam haRishon should have done (and not just what he did wrong).  We are not in this world to never make mistakes.  Only robots (computers, malachim, etc) and HaShem don't make mistakes.  HaShem doesn't make mistakes because, well, He's G-d.  Robots don't make mistakes because they are already all they are ever going to be.  They are what they are and they do their job well;  but that's all they'll ever do.  We were built and designed for continuous improvement.  To be always improving means that we are always not good at what we are doing and so we are always making mistakes.  Isn't that cool?  It's so cool, in fact, that it bears repeating: To be always improving means that we are always not good at what we are doing and so we are always making mistakes.

If you don't realize that, you could end up thinking you are a miserable failure.  The truth, however, is the only failure is not making mistakes (or relegating them to "that's the way I am", which is tantamount to saying "they aren't mistakes; HaShem will just have to get used to me as I am."  Which is how my bicycle to work chavrusa understands Kayin's sin.  Ask him for further details.)


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