This upcoming Shabbat, I'll be reading from, and teaching, the "Eve and the snake" pericope of Genesis. It's a really fun story, and if I have time later this week I'd like to post about its nested narrative and about how easily and wildly I think it's misunderstood in the popular imagination. On an entirely unrelated note, yesterday the autumn rain turned to snow, so our mountaintop is sugar-frosted with white, even the trees which hadn't yet dropped their leaves.
Studying Genesis, marveling at early snowfall: no wonder I'm so struck by this poem from Jack Gilbert (who Inkberry is bringing to town next month -- he'll be giving a talk and a reading on November 5th). I love that he mentions their clothes (which Torah tells us God stitched for them out of skins, a sign of divine protection despite their exile), and I love the way the last line turns the story on its head. It's so easy to long for the garden we've never known, but maybe Jack's right about how perfection would feel to us.
IN THE BEGINNING
In the morning when Eve and Adam
woke to snow and their minds,
they set out in marvelous clothes
hand in hand under the trees.
Endlessly precision met them,
until they went grinning in time
with no word for their close
escape from that warm monotony.
-- Jack Gilbert, from