> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > A Life Lesson

Blame Game

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8 )

by Adam Lieberman

While living in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told by God that they can freely eat and enjoy everything the Garden had to offer. They just couldn't eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. A serpent came along and enticed Eve to eat fruit from this tree. After she ate from the tree, she gave some of its fruit to Adam. When God confronted Adam and Eve about their blatant disregard for His instructions....

"The man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me - she gave me of the tree, and I ate.' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.' "

* * *


When people do something wrong, they usually have an instinctive reaction to either defend their actions or blame someone or something else for what they did.

So when God asked Adam why he ate from the tree, the first thing Adam did was go on the offensive, saying that he ate from the tree because of "the woman whom you gave to be with me..." According to Adam, his sin wasn't a result of his choices; it was because of a something that God did.

And when Eve was confronted about her actions, she also refused to take any responsibility for her free-will decision, and instead simply said, "The serpent deceived me..." Adam and Eve were punished by God not only for not listening to Him, but for also immediately casting blame for their actions elsewhere.

It's always easier, more convenient, and far less embarrassing to shift blame onto other people, circumstances, or to society for any negative or destructive decisions and actions we might make. Clearly, this isn't what God wants. Rather, he desires us to personally take complete and full ownership over everything that we do.

The reason for this is that there's nothing more empowering and liberating than personally taking true responsibility for all your actions. This is life-changing because you now have power to "choose and become" as opposed to being stuck in the "blame game." Power to choose right from wrong. Good or bad. Action or inaction. You will never again be a victim of circumstances, but rather will become a proactive decision maker who - through making the right choices - can recreate him/herself anew every day.

This isn't easy to do because it goes against our nature to immediately declare "I was wrong." But when you can truly acknowledge to yourself that it's you - and you alone - who's responsible for whatever you do - and not anyone or anything else - then you will have taken complete and total control of your life. And when you take full responsibility for everything you ever do, then you'll have recaptured ownership of your life and with God's help you can do and become anything you've ever dreamed possible.

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