Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Breishit

By: Sara Mendlowitz and Jenna Reich

When Hashem created man, he told Adam and Chava they could eat and enjoy everything in the garden besides for the tree of knowledge, the Etz Hada'at. However, when the snake came to Adam and Chava to disobey Hashem they listened to him, disregarding what Hashem had commanded them.

When this happened, Hashem was very disappointed in Adam and Chava, like a father disappointed in his children. Even more so, when Hashem asked them why they did such a horrible thing, they each made excuses for themselves. "The man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me - she gave me of the tree and I ate'… The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me and I ate'" (Bereishit 3:12-13). They were not strong enough to admit to their mistakes. When Hashem asked Adam about eating from the tree he immediately went on the offensive and had the chutzpa to blame Hashem. Next, when Chava tried to explain herself, she said the snake tricked her. Both Adam and Chava got punished not only for eating from the tree, but also for not taking responsibility for their actions.

When we make mistakes, our first reaction is often to blame other people for our wrongdoing. However, when we take responsibility for all of our actions, both positive and negative, we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in our ability to make our own decisions. We should never play the blame game. Everything we do should be done through a pro-active mindset. In AMIT, we are given the opportunity for the first time to be responsible for ourselves. We no longer have the comforts of our homes to protect us. Through this week's parsha we can learn that we have to think about every choice we make. We must take advantage of the opportunities we are given here. If we choose otherwise, we have to realize that we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have to take this year into our own hands, make wise choices, take responsibility for the not-such-wise ones, and make it the best year it can be.