Breisheit: Where Are You?


After אדם and חוה ate from the עץ הדעת , they heard Hashem coming and they went and hid. The Torah at this stage writes: "איכה ויקרא ה'"

אלקים אל האדם ויאמר לו איכה ויקרא ה' אלקים אל האדם ויאמר ל 
Hashem called out to Adam and said to him "איכה" – where are you?

Many ask: Hashem didn’t know where they were that he had to call out? The Midrash explains that the question really means: how is it that yesterday you were with me and now you with the נחש ? In other words Hashem is saying to him: I don’t know you! Where is the man I created and formed?

The Midrash in Eicha writes that 3 people used the terminology of "איכה" while reproving Am Yisrael. Moshe said: "איכה אשא לבדי" – how can I bear the burden alone? Yeshayahu said: "נאמנה איכה היתה לזונה

קריה" – how has the town turned into a promiscuous place? And Yirmiyahu said: "בדד איכה ישבה" - how is the city sitting all alone and desolate?

All of these questions really mean: where are you and what has become of you?

Moshe is saying: this nation that has worshiped the golden calf is not the same nation of Matan Torah! I don’t recognize them! Where is the nation that I really know?

Yeshayahu is similarly asking about the city of Yerushalayim: where is the special city that used to be so full of great things? All I see now is a promiscuous place!

So too Yirmiyahu is asking: where is that city that I knew to be the most beautiful place on earth and know is so barren and desolate?

This is the question we have to be aware of. We have a responsibility to our heritage and our uniqueness. We have to ensure that Hashem never has to ask that question: "איכה" because it is so clear who we are and where we are holding.

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