Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Apple, A Day

By David Loewy

Storah On The Road
Naomi Less and I presented "An Apple, A Day" -- our take on Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and the world's most famous mid-afternoon snack -- at Temple Har Shalom of Warren, NJ.

We conducted a brief discussion following the performance to field any questions about how the show was developed, who we are, etc. After a couple of minutes a 10th-grader named Amanda raised her hand and asked, "Why did G-d create temptation?" (This made her my new best friend.) With only ten minutes for the "talk-back session," I didn't want to give short shrift to her very deep question, so I asked her to approach us afterwards to talk about it at length.

Downstairs in the social hall, I was being greeted by a number of the people who had been in the congregation that evening and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Amanda, hovering and waiting. I told her that she asks good questions. She said, "Thanks. Can you answer it?"

I tried. I said that temptation was a natural by-product of being passionate about something, and Jewish tradition admires passion. We should "wake like a lion" and "run to do mitzvot." I explained that being drawn towards things is not a problem in itself, but it should be viewed in light of our "good inclination" or "bad inclination." If we are stirred, tempted, drawn to things that also serve greater good or at least cause no harm, there's no problem with that. It's only when we are tempted toward things that are entirely self serving that there might be real sin involved.

My answer is almost insignificant, however. What is important is Amanda, who stood there, voice quavering, full of the fidgets, but with her eyes intent and her chin set, determined to get answers. She was the very embodiment of Eve as we had seen her in that day's story. Everything she had been told did not satisfy her curiosity, her drive to know. The status quo was insufficient, so she went outside her comfort zone and sought new sources. Almost defiantly, she endured the nerves and uncertainty in the hopes of becoming a more advanced human being, of having her eyes opened, of better knowing good from bad. (Many thanks to Amanda, whose last name I never caught.)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like u were both lucky to have met. Good work bro.