Touching the forbidden fruit
In our June issue, we published a story by Pamela Milne entitled “Eve and Adam—Is a Feminist Reading Possible?” Milne analyzed the Eve and Adam story in terms of its attitude toward Eve as woman. In this issue we pursue another aspect of this endlessly fascinating story so rich in interpretive possibilities. Pinchas Lapide explores another curious, but related aspect of the story: God tells Adam he may not eat of the fruit. But in Eve’s report to the serpent, she says that God forbade touching as well as eating the fruit. How did Eve get this idea? And what implications does this have for man, woman and their relationship?
“Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say: ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die’ ” (Genesis 3:1–3).
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