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Not Good for Man to be Alone

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8 )

by Rabbi Ron Jawary

Without having someone with whom to share, we have nothing.

It is interesting that at the beginning of the Torah we are told seven times that all that God created was good. We are then told of the one thing in God's world that wasn't good: "It is not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18).

What was so bad about man being alone? After all, he was in the Garden of Eden (lit. the "Garden of Pleasure")!

The Torah is telling us that we can be in the perfect environment, with every conceivable pleasure in the world, but if we are missing one vital ingredient, we might still be miserable. Everyone needs someone to share things with: someone to take us out of ourselves and extend our sense of generosity, whether in terms of sharing physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

God is the ultimate giver, and by emulating Him, we are placing ourselves in the Garden of Eden for eternity. In fact, the Torah tells us that "one river flows into the Garden of Eden and it branches into four that flow out of it" (Genesis 2:10), teaching us that we should try to give more than we take in life. To experience the Garden of Eden (i.e. eternal pleasure), we need to refine our nature. For every blessing and gift we receive, we should realize they are meant to be shared with all those we can share with. By being Godlike and sharing, those blessings will really stay with us eternally and those blessings will then truly be "good".

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