- The branches of the tree are cursed with long destructive thorns
- Fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
- The serpent deceived us by adding his corrupt teaching to HaShem’s Torah
- “The Inception” (התחלה)
- The false-rabbi (teacher) will be thrown out of heaven!
The branches of the tree are cursed with long destructive thorns:
The branches of the Etrog are full of long destructive thorns.
Each thorny branch has to be tied down to protect the external beauty of the Etrog’s otherwise internally dry, bitter, inedible, water-wasting fruit. The very long thorns of the Etrog mar and disfigure its externallty beautiful looking fruit with scars, stripes and blemishes. This imported citron from Persia, which the Bramble Bush (rabbis) associate with wisdom, has its origins in the Garden of Eden. As you recall God granted the first man and woman he created permission to eat of the fruit from all the trees, “except” from that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For they were warned:
If they ate from it, they would die.
Therefore, God’s garden that was entrusted to *Adam and his wife was full of every kind of tree with everything good for eating growing everywhere, plus the two extras: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and his wife ignored the first, but as we all know they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
*No separate name existed for the wife of Adam until after she and her husband ingested the forbidden fruit.
In B’reishit Rabbah 15:7 a discussion ensues as to exactly what kind of fruit it was that was eaten from that tree: According to Rabbi Abba of Acco (רבי אבא דעכו) it was the fruit of the “Etrog” (אתרוג).
רבי אבא דעכו אמר: אתרוג היה, הדא הוא דכתיב (בראשית ג): ותרא האשה כי טוב העץ וגו’. אמרת צא וראה, איזהו אילן שעצו נאכל כפריו? ואין את מוצא, אלא אתרוג.פ
At his death Rabbi Abba of Acco said it was an Etrog, because Eve saw that the tree itself (understood as the wood of the tree) was good for eating (Genesis 3), and the rabbi insisted that the wood of the etrog tree was the only edible wood in existence. Really? Does this make any sense to you? For it is nonsense to us. Furthermore, regarding the Etrog fruit, ask yourself:
Question: How can a forbidden fruit that brings death when it is ingested be good?
Answer: The Etrog tree is not good. Its fruit is definitely not a “goodly fruit.”
The tragic truth is the evil that was inside the “mixed” fruit of good (outside) and evil (inside) was hidden. It could not be seen physically. It could only be seen spiritually. How does one discern what cannot be seen? The answer is by obedience to the D’var HaShem (the Word of God).
Faith comes by hearing (understanding, and obeying) the Word of God.
The fruit was forbidden because God knew this “mixture” would bring death into the soul of Adam and his wife the moment when he/she (they) ingested it. Faith comes through obedience. We see everything by letting God’s omniscience be our “eyes.” God sees and knows everything and it is the Light of His Eyes (His Spirit) that guides us. If we reject and replace the supernatural Light of God’s Spirit with the very limited sight of our own natural (physical) eyes we become blind. This is what happened in Gan Eden. Adam decided to replace the (supernatural) perfect life and light of the Spirit of the Holy One with his own (naturalistic) life and light. So it is a true saying:
אם עור מדריך את העור הרי שניהם יפלו לבור.פ
אִם עִוֵּר מַדְרִיךְ אֶת הָעִוֵּר הֲרֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם יִפְּלוּ לַבּוֹר.פ
“If a blind one gives instructions to the blind then both will fall into a pit.”
It was Adam’s loss of obedience to God’s Word that caused him to lose his supernatural sight. By failing to see through the agency of God’s Word Adam lost his sight. He became (spiritually) blind. So in his blindness (disobedience) Adam could not see the (hidden) “corruption”—the (internal) experience of evil that was hidden inside the otherwise externally beautiful fruit. Of his own free will Adam chose to live by his own (natural) sight rather than by faith; hearing the Word of God (supernatural). This led to Adam experiencing both spiritual and physical death; and as well Adam and his wife were expelled from the Paradise (Gan Eden) of God.
Fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
Insight #1. The Etrog, the Forbidden Paradise Fruit, is a symbol of both the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil mixed together. This dual nature fruit is beautiful on the outside (good). However, it is bitter to the taste from the inside (evil).
Insight #2. The Etrog is externally seen as good, a fruit of aromatic pleasure and visual beauty; however, internally it is experienced as evil, a fruit of wastefulness, with little moisture and much bitterness. Therefore the Etrog is a fruit of conflicted character (double-minded); a fruit that is good on the outside and evil on the inside. The hidden evil makes this Paradise Fruit a fruit of “Deception.” On the outside the citron fruit’s beautiful external covering (skin) speaks of the Torah of HaShem (the NAME). The covering of the fruit is a symbol of the knowledge of good. However, in the inside, the bitter tasting, dry, water wasting flesh of the fruit speaks of *Satan’s false (fake) anti-torah.
*Evil is the invention of the “evil one.” Not God. For God only creates what is good!
Insight #3. The Etrog possesses very little moisture even though its tree uses up an abnormally large quantity of water to survive. (Water in the Scriptures represents the Life of the D’var HaShem).
Insight #4. The Etrog, therefore, is a water-waster. It wastes the life of the Word of God. Its internal wickedness is a waster of the gracious life and works of the Spirit of the Holy One. Consequently, the bitter, dry, inner flesh of the Etrog is a symbol of what the knowledge of evil is all about—deception, waste, and even death. These are definitely not the works of God. Therefore, the Etrog is a deceiver. Beautiful on the outside. Ugly on the inside. *Life on the outside. **Death on the inside.
*What God has created.
**What the evil one has made.
The Serpent deceived us by adding his corrupt teaching to HaShem’s Torah:
The citron teaches us that all that the Creator has made is good. However, it can be corrupted.
The evil one is the one who “corrupts” all things. He is the one who has brought death into creation through his “adding” to God’s perfect teaching his own teaching (lies) that he has mixed in with God’s perfect truth. He did this as a means to enhance his ”own” influence, making a name for himself.
Satan is in the business of deceptive marketing.
He is a murderer and a liar and this he has been from the beginning (Yochanan 8:44). Therefore, he mixes in his own impure oral instructions within the pure written Torah of God. Then after selling the two together, the evil one gradually “elevates” his dry, bitter teaching over the beautiful, aromatic teaching of the D”var HaShem. His fake anti-torah is “parasitical.” His corrupt teaching feeds off of the truth of God. The Word of God is used as a deceptive ‘covering’ for the evil one.
Satan infects our souls and minds by subtly looming and weaving his lies into our understanding of the D’var HaShem (God’s Word).
This corruption destroys our ability to see the good, right, and true will of God. In this process of corruption it is the intention of the evil one to one day completely replace the Light of God’s truth with his own corrupt (dry, bitter) false teaching (lies). His plan is to lead men to do as he (the *blind one) has done: supplant the truth of God and replace it with their own vain philosophy and (empty) deceits.
“The Inception” (התחלה):
Do you like to watch movies? We do. From time to time we will put a movie message in the middle of our festival narrative. Why? Because we like movies and we are convinced that some movies have messages that are relevant to our studies about the Festivals of Messiah. Every now and then some of the popular movies we watch can actually communicate deep spiritual truths. Inception (התחלה) is just such a movie. In the movie Inception (2010) the question is posed:
“What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm?” The answer that is given is an “idea.”
An idea is “resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate: an idea that is fully formed, fully understood that sticks.” Nothing could be more true. The real killer of man is not deadly germs, infectious materials, physical diseases—-the real killer of man is thoughts!
The father of the human race Adam died because he foolishly accepted a deadly, infectious thought into his consciousness.
The Torah reveals this infectious thought brought death into human existence. What was the source of the deadly thought? The source of the deadly thought was the evil one—-a very powerful fallen angel.
The inception of the evil one’s deadly knowledge into our conscious bloodstream caused us to lose the gift of immortality.
What was the infectious thought the evil one planted in us? It was the “knowledge of evil.” The knowledge of evil is like a parasitical entity, an antagonist living within the host organism of redeemed humankind. It possesses no legitimate life of its own. It just lives off the life of the ‘host’ that it attaches itself to.
Some parasites are deadly. They can kill you. The knowledge of evil is such a parasitical entity. Its forceful and resilient contagion thus far has led to the spiritual and physical death of every member of the human race. A large number of philosophers and even theologians believe the knowledge of evil contributes some value to the human race. They wrongfully believe it is a necessary compliment to the knowledge of good. This is absurd. How has anyone ever benefited from the experience of evil?
In truth, the inception of evil has only hurt the human race. Who needs it? We don’t. Why not just be consciously good all the time?
In truth we ought to think of this disastrous infectious event, the inception of evil, as a monstrous immunological failure. What a nightmare the wrong kind of knowledge can be. The contagion of bad thoughts has led us to the brink of disaster. Now we have nuclear and biological warfare to worry about. Adam was told he could consume the fruit of any of the trees in the garden; however, he was restricted from eating the fruit from just one tree: “Just don’t eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:”
ויצו ה’ אלהים על־האדם לאמר מכל עץ־הגן אכל תאכל׃ ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות׃ ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות׃
וַיְצַו ה’ אֱלֹהִים עַל־הָֽאָדָם לֵאמֹר מִכֹּל עֵֽץ־הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵֽל׃ וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טֹוב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיֹום אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מֹות תָּמֽוּת׃ וּמֵעֵ֗ץ הַדַּ֙עַת֙ טֹ֣וב וָרָ֔ע לֹ֥א תֹאכַ֖ל מִמֶּ֑נּוּ כִּ֗י בְּיֹ֛ום אֲכָלְךָ֥ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ מֹ֥ות תָּמֽוּת׃
Adonai Elohim (the LORD God) commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die (a day-יוֹם of death-מוּת).”
The good (tov-טוֹב) was ok. The evil (ra’-רַע) was not. The mixture that the evil one made was not a good idea. It was a bad idea. The Creator wanted Adam to be like Him, good all the time. The enemy of our souls wanted Adam to be like him, a mixture of good and evil. The evil one invented evil. He did not invent good. His contagious knowledge is parasitical:
The knowledge of evil sourced in the evil one parasitically lives off the knowledge of good the Creator made.
The evil one’s teaching is not complimentary to the Holy One’s teaching. His teaching is at war with that of the Creator who made him. This angel of light is the false, phony- rabbi. He is “Abaddon” (אבדון). He is the rabbi of “death” and “destruction.” We would all be better off if we would completely get rid of all of his disgusting thought life—-his knowledge of evil.
In the science of immunology there is self and non self. To stay alive you have to have a good immune system. You have to be able to differentiate between what is the host organism (self) and what is an antagonist (non self). If your immune system fails to identify, reject-destroy, the deadly antagonist then you can be invaded and then the invalid “not the real you” will spread its disease all around the real you and make you very sick and quite possibly even kill you. Consciousness is like that:
If you are not vigilant then an antagonist thought can sneak into your consciousness, incubate, grow, take control, and even kill you.
Invading diseased thoughts can globally grow into our individual and collective intellect, will, and emotions. These evil (parasitical) thoughts, feelings, and impulses can behaviorally outlet through our behavioral and relational life: spreading its (unconscious and conscious) contagion to others; even to those we love.
אל תאצרו לכם אוצרות עלי אדמות, במקום שהעש והחלודה משחיתים והגנבים חופרים וגונבים. אצרו לכם אוצרות בשמים, במקום אשר עש וחלודה לא ישחיתו וגנבים לא יחפרו ולא יגנבו; כי במקום שאוצרך נמצא, שם יהיה גם לבבך.פ
Interestingly, the main character in Inception (התחלה) Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) tells us that when it comes to protecting the treasures of our consciousness (אוצר בשמים-treasures of heaven) we need to be concerned about two possibilities. First, we must be concerned about our good thoughts being “stolen.” This is called an “extraction.” Second, we must be concerned about someone inserting a bad thought into our consciousness. This is called an “inception.”
ויאמר הנחש אל־האשה לא־מות תמתון׃
יֹּ֥אמֶר הַנָּחָ֖שׁ אֶל־הָֽאִשָּׁ֑ה לֹֽא־מֹ֖ות תְּמֻתֽוּן׃
In the case of an inception you must be concerned about another person inserting his thoughts into your unconscious as well as conscious self. So what do you do when the thief puts his unwanted, antagonist thoughts into your unconscious? In this unfortunate circumstance, Cobb explains, it is possible for another person to put his thoughts into the unconscious part of your brain so that he gains a powerful foothold of control over your thoughts, feelings, and decisions.
In the movie Inception (התחלה) there is a big sales pitch. Cobb is the one who expertly and persuasively makes the pitch. He claims he knows all the ‘tricks’ to doing extractions and inceptions. So his great offer is that if you want your conscious and unconscious property to be kept safe you better ‘hire’ him. However, his expert help will only be made available to you if you completely trust him with all your conscious treasure. For Cobb to help you, you will need to give him complete access to “all” of your thoughts and secrets (your intellectual property); then he will be able to “teach” you how to protect yourself better than you could have ever hoped, dreamed or imagined.
At the beginning of human history our ancestors listened to and acted on such a sales pitch. Look where it got us. We hired the wrong teacher. Whose your Rabbi? We say let’s fire the evil one and beg our first Teacher to take us back. Then we can finally exodus out of this mess the evil one made and ‘return’ to the loving reality that we once joyously knew:
Let us return to the unspeakable joy of actually seeing and relating to our heavenly Father again, *Face to Face!
*Final note: In the movie Inception (התחלה) Cobb cannot see his beloved children’s faces when he is in the Unreality (בלחוות את השקר). However, when he is in the Reality (בלחוות את האמת) he can see the faces of his beloved children and his children can see his face—- “Face to face” (פנים אל פנים).
The false-rabbi (teacher) will be thrown out of heaven!
What is the ultimate fate of the crafty Serpent (הנחש) who first infected humanity with his knowledge of evil? In the not too distant future the Messiah will return to from heaven to Israel. He will immediately put down the rebellion of humankind against God in one day. Then the wicked one will be thrown down into the bottomless pit; where he shall remain for a a period of one thousand years. Then Israel will be restored to the fulfillment of all Adonai’s promises to our fathers and the prophets.
However, at the close of the millennial age (the thousand years rule of the Messiah) the Accuser of our brethren (השטן) will be let out of the bottomless pit to lead one last final, futile (for one day) attempt to overthrow the rule of Adonai our Father. This final failed attempt will occur on the day of Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur). After his last failed attempt to overthrow the rule of Adonai Elohei Yisrael the evil one will finally be permanently judged.
The final judgment of the evil one will occur at the Great White Throne Judgment that will follow immediately after the thousand years reign of Messiah on earth has concluded (cf. Messiah in Yom Kippur). Then will the Accuser (השטן), who is a persecutor (הרודף-the pursuer) of our brethren (אחינו היהודים), be thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire, where he will dwell in righteous judgment forever