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Section: Moadim   Category: Yom Kippur
As The World Closed In On Adam HaRishon...

Adam HaRishon was born on Rosh Chodesh Tishrei, the time of year when the days are growing shorter.  The gemara (Avodah Zara 8a) tells us that after Adam did his aveira on the first day, he noticed this phenomenon and thought that Hashem is slowly ending the world.  When it got to the very short days in Teves just before the winter solstice, he fasted and davened for 8 days straight, begging Hashem not to destroy the world.  The day after the winter solstice when he saw the days starting to get longer again he said to himself that this must be the way of the world, and made a Yom Tov for the next eight days in celebration.

This story raises a number of issues.  First, if Adam realized that he had just made a mistake all along and this was the way of the world, why did he make a Yom Tov?  Second, Adam had just finished fasting and davening for eight days when suddenly things turned around for him, why would he attribute it to "Minhago Shel Olam Hu" the way of the world, rather than an answer to his whole hearted tshuva?

Maybe we can offer B'Derech Drush as follows.  When Adam saw the day stop growing shorter and getting longer again and said "Minhago Shel Olam Hu", he didn't refer to the changing length of the days.  He referred to the fact that after doing and aveira a person can do tshuvah and through this tshuva totally change the world.  Tshuvah can change darkness to light and night to day.  Chait was reversible.  Indeed Adam attributed this natural turnaround to his own efforts.  For this ability he celebrated.

In a tempting world where we constantly stumble on our vices, effective tshuva is surely a reason to celebrate.  Ki Yetzer Lev HaAdam ra MiNiurav, the way of the world is that we make mistakes.  And the way of the world is that we have the power to rectify these mistakes and we must.  We are obligated to repair the world of the damage we have done.  We all have the power to change the world, and on Yom Kippur we will fast and celebrate all that the same time, because this is truly a wonderful world!

RELATED ARTICLES:Adam HaRishon  winter  Yom Kippur

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Visitor Comments: 1

RS, Gateshead, 2011-10-04 11:17:33
Someone I know was diagnosed with a serious terminal illness r"l.
After a week or two of frantic tefillos, he underwent further tests which proved... that the original diagnosis was a total error - and there had never been anything wrong with him!
At this point, Rav Matisyohu Salomon explained that Hashem had sent us a wake up call - we responded accordingly and the matzav was allowed to change.
It makes absolutely no difference whether the person was ill and miraculously recovered, or, as in this case the 'false alarm' achieved the same objective.
Perhaps this is what Odom Horishon meant - it is no contradiction that Hashem desired his fasts, by causing him such serious fear and trepidation which was in reality no more than a 'false alarm'

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