• Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden with the freedom of choice, but they failed to inherit the earth. Why?
  • While on Mount Sinai, the Israelites had the golden opportunity to receive the Torah. When they failed to receive the Torah of the Tree of Life, they received the Torah of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why?
  • Moses sent twelve spies to tour the Land of Israel right before the Israelites were ready to enter it. When the spies came back with their report, what they said about the land caused them their lives, and the Israelites were forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years before they were allowed to enter and inhabit the Promised Land. Why?
  • During all the generations from Adam to Moses, many opportunities were given to bring about the Final Redemption, yet in every instance, it didn’t happen…

The seed of all failures in the world was planted on the first day of creation. And, the presence of the Primordial Snake in the Garden of Eden made all the difference. He was created to challenge us, to force us to choose between giving in to the gravity of the desire for the self or to seek the true fulfillment of the Light.

After the original sin, the Snake was sent out of the Garden with the power to control us. He had installed in us the desire for the self and had been given the freedom to “eat dust” all his life. Although we soon tried to hide it, we discovered that part of us was, in fact, made of “dust.” Yes, we are made of his food. As such, he can “eat” us, and he does it every single day of our lives.

Yet, there is hope. When God said, “You shall eat dust all the days of your life,” it was also clear that there would come a day when the Snake’s life would end. We are now very close to that day. Therefore, we should be happy about it, but we should also be very concerned. Why?

Remember the first fall? The Snake waited for the moment just before the first Shabbat—when Adam and Eve would have acquired full control over the world God created for them—to launch his attack. And, on Mount Sinai, he waited until the last fourth (six hours) of the last day prior to the receiving of the Torah to attack yet again.

That is his pattern: he lets you grow, allows you to build energy, and then, he attacks to take it away from you. He always hits when the desire for the self is strongest.

The Snake is the Erev Rav, the mixed multitudes that came out of Egypt with the Israelites. He has always right next to the Israelites whereever they may go. Because they are the Snake, the Erev Rav cannot draw the Light directly. And, because God “punished” them when he said to the Snake, “You shall eat the dust of the earth,” they must take from us.

The Erev Rav know they cannot exist in the full presence of the Light. Therefore, each time the Light has come close to us in preparation for its full revelation, the Erev Rav have done all that is possible to stop us from revealing the Light in its totality.

Now that we are closer to the coming of Mashiach, the Erev Rav are on the brink of awakening in full force—yet again—to stops us.

Zion Nefesh
AV 5769 (August 2009)

Edited by:  Mordecai O.

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