The Tree of Knowing Good and Bad

As we continue our exploration of our current theme Adam v’Adamah in Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” for 2nd-4th grades and “Oak trees” for 5th grade), many children are captivated by the Tree of knowing good and bad. 

In Genesis 2, we encounter the tree of knowing good and bad. Here are the versus in Genesis 2 that discuss the tree of knowing good and bad. 

Genesis 2:9 
And Adonai Elohim made every tree which is lovely to see, and good to eat, sprout out of the adamah. And the Tree of life was in the middle of the gan (the garden); and the tree of knowing-good-and-bad.

Genesis 2:15-17

Adonai Elohim took the Adam and set him into Gan Eden to work in it and guard it. 16. And Adonai Elohim instructed the Adam: “You may eat of all the trees in the garden. 17. But you must not eat from the tree of knowing-good-and-bad. For if the day comes when you eat from it, then you must die. 

Here are some of the ideas and questions that have emerged in Anafim v’Alonim

“Everything’ could be really, really good or really, really bad [if you eat from the tree]. But I have a question: Is the tree of knowing good and bad real on our earth?

“God put stuff out there for us to find out, and we just haven’t figured them out yet.”

“The fruit has two parts. If you eat the good part [of the fruit], the good spirit goes inside you. And if you eat the bad part, a bad spirit goes inside you.” 

If God eats a fruit from the Tree of Knowing Good and Bad he’ll be a better leader but if Adam/any regular person eats from it then they get evil because then all the bad that’s already in them gets out and that person turns evil. So that’s why God says when/on the day you do that you die because you can’t be evil.”

WOW! So many rich ideas to pull apart together. Today we will look back at these ideas as a kvutzah (group) and dig into each of them to create a deeper understanding. I know this thoughtful and curious group of children will have even MORE questions and ideas to explore!

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