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    Evils & inclinations – No’ach

    The first lessons that Man learned were how far he could go, both physically and metaphorically.

    Physically he felt safe as long as the Garden of Eden lasted – but then came the expulsion which propelled him into an often unfriendly world.

    Thereafter his physical adventures and experiences sometimes brought discovery and delight, sometimes doom and destruction.

    Metaphorically he started with the moral bounds set by his Creator, but soon (if one may mix the metaphors) he tested the waters and attempted to break loose into areas that God had forbidden.

    Why did he step out of line? The Torah says (Gen. 8:21): because “the inclination of his heart was ra min’urav”, which some translate, “evil from his youth”.

    If that were correct it would suggest that man’s sins were inevitable, bound to happen, part of his make-up – and one wonders why he was punished simply for being himself.

    But the translators had another option: to say that min’urav meant “because of his (moral) youth”.

    He was not yet morally mature enough to handle his competing inclinations, the passions and energies which could lead him in opposing directions.

    Only time and experience would teach him how to cope.

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