The Origin of the First Conflict

The Origin of the First Conflict

In our Torah portion, Genesis, the most important Divine laws of human existence can be found. “And the Lord G-d commanded the man to say, of every tree of the garden you may eat” (Genesis 2:16). This verse is the basis for 6 out of 7 Noahide commands, it includes these laws in summary. These were the commandments given to Adam in the Garden of Eden:

The rejection of the worship of celestial objects or idols.

Prohibition of cursing God’s name or blaspheming it.

Establishing courts of justice.

Not to murder: It emphasizes the sanctity of human life and aligns with the Noahide Law of prohibiting murder.

To maintain morality. Clinging to the sanctity of marriage between male and female.

Not to steal.

After 10 generations the seventh law was given to Noah, not to eat a limb from a living animal.

In the very first Torah portion, when the world is only a few days old, we read that Abel is murdered by his very own brother, Cain. Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer. Cain brought an offering to G‑d from the fruit of his harvest, and Abel brought from his firstborn sheep. G‑d accepted the offering of Abel, but not that of Cain. Cain was upset. And then, all of a sudden, Cain met Abel in the field and killed him, out of jealousy.
This act of murder is a clear violation of the moral principle that prohibits the taking of another person’s life, which is a central tenet in the Seven Noahide Laws that are binding on all of humanity.

While the story is ancient, it is still actual and its lessons continue to resonate with people in various aspects of contemporary life, reminding us of the enduring importance of values such as the sanctity of human life. In our modern world, respect for human life and the rejection of violence continue to be essential principles. Issues related to violence, and war highlight the ongoing importance of the 7 Noahide laws in the global context.

The story demonstrates the importance of justice and accountability. After murdering Abel, Cain is held accountable for his actions and he was punished. In contemporary societies, principles of justice, and accountability for crimes are fundamental to a just society that cannot stand aside while crimes against humanity happen. One of the lessons learned is that the nations of the world should not sit on the sidelines and they must act and condemn horrific terror acts. This is their duty according to the 7 Noahide laws that were given by G-d on Mt. Sinai.

The soul of Moshiach is one of the first things in existence and the loftiest. Its creation preceded all other aspects of creation. As our sages say, in the second verse of Genesis, “And the earth was null and void, and a spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the water,” “The spirit of G-d: this is the soul of Moshiach.” We are waiting for King Moshiach to be revealed. Only with complete Redemption, when all of creation will be elevated, an eternal just, and peaceful world would be found.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

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