John Steinbeck used the story of Cain and Abel as the seed for his East of Eden about competing brothers and the devastation it unleashes on the family. He ends with the word taken from God’s exchange with Cain; V’Atah Timshol Bo…You can overcome the desire to do wrong. This idea compelled Steinbeck so that the novel’s denouement is about this devastating truth; we all have choice in how to behave. This is in our first portion of the year Bereshit, after the creation story and Adam and Eve and their eating from the tree of knowledge, right at the end of the portion is this powerful story that has echoed way beyond the verses of Genesis chapter 4. We always have choice and the ability to manage unhealthy inclinations that will cause us and others pain. I love this challenge coming as it does so swiftly after the Tishri festivals. As we restart our cycle of Torah following the unscrolling on Sunday and Monday.
Watch out for FPS folk reading their verses of Torah on Shabbatot over the next few months.
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