Eve: “I Was Framed”
I am Eve, unique among women. I was born a woman, no babyhood for me, no growing into a role. Hashem breathed life into my nostrils, and there I was in all my glory with auburn hair, warm brown eyes and a patch of freckles thrown across my nose.
Hashem was busy all week. Our magnificent Creator had fashioned the most perfect jewel of an Earth. She created everything you can imagine: sunsets and sunrises, thunder, oceans with roaring waves, a thousand different kinds of fish, a million different insects including the majestic butterfly. She created stars, all sorts of animals, too, before She turned her attention to my husband, Adam and to me.
Now it was Friday afternoon, almost Shabbat. Hashem’s rest-day was coming and Hashem needed her handiwork done before She took her first rest. She realized She was lonely, so She decided to create a man. In the late afternoon She felt playful, so She gave this man, whom She named Adam, six-pack abs, dreamy blue eyes and blond curls. A hunk! She and Adam toured the garden, Adam calling out names for all he saw, “Salamander, dragonfly, elk, javelina...”
Hashem walked with Adam through Her lovely garden, pointing out her glorious fruits. As they talked Hashem realized She could never live with only men because She found them know-it-all and egocentric. She had to make a woman to counteract all of this. She completed her tour standing in front of her most voluptuous fruit in the center of the garden. “Never touch these fruits. They are not for you, in fact I forbid you to even taste them. Their effect on you could be fatal”
She put him back to sleep, and extracted me from a rib of his. Adam awoke from this short nap. I stood in front of him. “Wow!” he exclaimed. I felt pleased, myself. We connected with that first glimpse.
“Be fruitful and multiply,” Hashem instructed as She scurried off for her much-needed nap.
That wasn’t hard to do! After all it was Erev Shabbat, the evening when Shabbat begins. We found pleasure in one another. Couples still connect as Shabbat begins.
For a few days we wandered around the garden, sampling the delights awaiting us: strawberries as big as a fist with fragrant, juicy sweetness; pungent peppers in a variety of colors and flavors that tickled our tongues; tomatoes the flavor of sunrise.
Adam kept to the edge of the garden. There must have been something in the middle he wanted to avoid. He said something about dying if we went in there, something forbidden. So I didn’t choose to go in there, either.
One day Adam laid down for a nap. I went out walking alone. I saw this strange animal. His skin carried zigzags in rainbow colors. He walked on short, stumpy legs. “Hey, Evie,” he saluted me, “what’s going down, you little Clown?” I noted something unusual in his demeanor.
“Nothing,” I replied. “I am just going over for a snack of broccoli florets.”
“Oh, but that’s so boring, so green. Why not try the forbidden fruit in the center of the garden?”
I felt dread rise through my cheekbones. I remembered Adam’s mention of Hashem and something forbidden, but he never mentioned it directly. I honestly did not understand any restrictions there.
“I bet Adam told you it’s fatal, didn’t he, Evie? How would you know if you don’t try it?”
“Oh, but I don’t want to die. I have plenty to eat without trying it. Have you tasted these raspberries? Nothing could be more exquisite than these.”
“But compared to the forbidden fruit, those are mere mushrooms. Imagine tasting something so red, you expect to see it bleed, so sweet you’d think it was honey, so crunchy your ears hear a symphony with every bite.”
“I can’t. Adam told me not to.”
“But what did Hashem tell you?”
“Nothing. She must have told Adam.”
“Maybe Adam lied. Maybe Adam sneaks in here every night while you are sleeping just to eat them without having to share with you.”
“But he wouldn’t do that. He knows Hashem has forbidden him to eat it.”
“That’s what he tells you... Do you believe everything your husband says?”
This strange animal grinned, and I saw that inside his mouth he had a forked tongue. I knew he couldn’t be a safe friend for me.
He clambered into the center of the garden. I followed him with dread. I didn’t intend to eat that fruit, but I was enticed. I wanted to see what would happen next.
“And what did Adam say would happen if you bit into this juicy, sweet treat?” the beast asked.
“Adam said we would die.”
“So if I take a juicy bite and I survive, will you see the folly in Adam’s words?”
“But maybe it is different for beasts like you than us people!”
“Oh no. See that shiny green plant with three leaves? Have you tried it?”
“No. It’s poison.”
“Well it ‘s poison for me, too.”
“So, what’s poison for you, Evie, is poison for me as well. Let me take a bite, and if nothing happens to me, you can try.”
And with that the creature picked a luscius fruit dangling near the ground and took a huge bite. Juice gushed out everywhere. He got a look of sheer delight in his eyes.
“Am I dead, Evie?”
“You don’t look dead.”
“That was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’d strongly suggest you try it too. Think of what you’re missing.”
I couldn’t hold back another moment. I had tried to do what Adam had instructed but clearly he was wrong. The creature before me was blissfully alive.
“I’ll take just a nibble.”
“Hurry up. Adam might come, and we don’t want to share it with him.”
The creature handed me a fruit. I took a small bite. It tasted like lavender and peonies blooming in the sun, like a snow-fed mountain waterfall and a quiet rain shower all at once. Surely the creature had not lied. And I was just as alive as I was before I sunk my teeth in.
“This is so wonderful, I’ll have to share it with Adam I know he believed the ban on this fruit was to save our lives. But I feel so much more alive, aware now. Surely he’ll want some.”
I ran and awoke Adam. He glanced up at me and gave me a strange look.
“What have you been up to, Eve? You somehow look different.”
“I ate some of this delicious fruit, and I wanted to share it with you.”
“What is that? It looks different from anything we’ve found in the garden.”
“Oh, it comes from the center of the garden.
“Eve! You haven’t tried the forbidden fruit, have you?
“Well, you said Hashem told you you’d die if you ate it. Do I look dead? I feel more alive than I ever have!”
“Well, She told me not to touch it.”
“But She didn’t tell me anything. She said you’d be dead if you ate it. Do we have to believe everything Hashem tells us?
“Well, She is our Creator.”
“But even Creators might get something wrong!”
“Well, I don’t know...”
“Here, try this. See what you think.” And I tossed Adam a chunk of the forbidden fruit.
Juices ran down his chin. He could hear a symphony inside his mouth. He stood there with a stupid grin and said nothing.
A moment or two later, he did speak. “Oh, Eve, let’s get down there. We’ve got to get more!”
And he tripped over the colorful creature as he dashed towards the tree.
Adam and I crammed the fruit into our mouths. We fed ourselves, then we fed one another. Soon our entire bodies were sticky with its juice.
We heard someone clearing a throat.
Adam spoke. “Hashem! She told us not to eat this. How can we pretend we didn’t?”
“Here. Hide behind this tree. Maybe She won’t see us”
“You know, I never had a conscience before. Could this be the gift from the forbidden fruit?”
Hashem found us behind the tree. She looked at our sticky faces.
She addressed us. “What have you two been up to?”
“Nothing Hashem!” we answered in unison.
“Hmmph. Somehow I cannot believe you!”
“Well, we did eat that delicious fruit sitting in the center of the garden,” I answered. “Thank you for putting it there.”
“I thought I told you not to taste that fruit!” Hashem roared.
“That was Adam. I don’t listen to everything my husband says,” I replied.
“That’s kind of too bad,” Hashem replied. “That would have kept you out of trouble.”
“What trouble?” Adam asked. He found himself blushing as he spoke to Hashem. He knew he was lying, and it didn’t feel right.
“See,” Hashem replied. “Now you have a conscience. You know when you have done something wrong. That was the gift of the fruit.”
“Hmmm,” I rolled these new ideas around in my mind. “ We did get this strange desire to hide from you, as if something about our nudity made us feel ashamed to see you. Is that what you’re talking about?”
“Exactly! Unfortunately I designed this garden for naive people. You are no longer naive. I’m going to have to throw you out. I will even make clothes out of skins for you so you do not have to hide your nakedness.”
“Oh don’t do that,” Adam pleaded. “What will become of us? How will we eat?”
“You know those broccoli florets and those raspberries?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“You’ll have to grow them yourselves! Now, Eve, did anyone put this whole idea into your head? Someone who told you not to trust your husband?”
“Well...” I started. I did not want to get anyone in trouble.
“Was it that creature who walks on short stumpy legs?”
When neither Adam nor I said anything, Hashem called out, “Creature, oh Creature, please come here.”
The creature waddled in, his face smeared with juice from the forbidden tree.
“Was it your idea to tempt Eve with this fruit?”
The once bouncy creature became truculent. “So what if I did? She has free will. She can make choices for herself. I merely encouraged her!”
Hashem stood for a few moments, rolling over ideas in Her mind. “OK. All three of you disobeyed me. Adam, you never really shared what you knew about this tree. For that, you will forever have to grow your own food, and live with a wife who can discern right from wrong.”
To me, She spoke. “Woman, for being enticed by the creature, and for not further inquiring of your husband, you will experience the worst kind of pain I know. It is called childbirth.”
And to the creature, Hashem said, “Because you cajoled Eve to do wrong, you too must be punished. You know those cute stumpy legs you have? They’re gone. You can slide around on your belly.”
All three of us appealed to Hashem to change Her mind.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"