In the beginning of creation G-d gave man one prohibition, not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
The Torah relates that the serpent, who represents the evil inclination, convinced Eve to eat from the tree through the following argument and enticement. “If you eat from the tree you will be G-d-like.”
What was so tempting about becoming G-d-like that compelled Eve to succumb to the serpent’s entreaties? Answers the Shem Mishmuel, being G-d-like would enable Eve to know the future. This was her desire and the serpent capitalized on her weakness and caused her to sin.
G-d did not want Eve to know the future, and He punished mankind as a result by introducing death into the world.
The future is known only to G-d, and G-d charges us not to attempt to foresee the future when He commanded, “Be complete in your trust in the Almighty.” Don’t bother to search out what the future holds, for everything that G-d does is for the ultimate good.
This concept of trusting in G-d is captured by the Hebrew word Tamim – complete.
The Torah highlights our forefathers Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaacov in terms of their completeness in trusting the Almighty.
Avraham showed his completeness when he was commanded the Mitzvah of Bris – circumcision. Even though the procedure could have negatively affected Avraham’s successful efforts to influence people to recognize the monotheistic belief in G-d, Avraham did the Bris – because G-d told him to do it. It was a display of his trust in G-d.
Yitzchok, by the fact that he was willing to be offered as a sacrifice, displayed the greatest level of trusting wholeheartedly in G-d.
The Torah describes Yaacov as an ‘Ish Tam’ – a person of complete trust. Interestingly, our Sages tell us an astounding thing, “Yaacov never died.” Meaning, he never experienced death – and his living spirit continues within each of us for we are his descendants.
Says the Shem Mishmuel, you see a hint to mortality in the word Tam. The word Tam is comprised of the letters, Taf and Mem. If you reverse these letters it formulates Mem and Taf which spells Mais – death.
Thus, Yaacov through his completeness in trusting in the Almighty – reversed the death that came about through the sin of Eve. Thus, Yaacov, through his complete trust, lives forever.
When the Jewish nation stood at Mount Sinai and had an encounter with G-d when He proclaimed the Ten Commandments, their trust and belief in G-d was so potent that they became immortal beings; for through their trust they reversed Eve’s flaw in trust.
This endless living came to an end a short time later when the Satan, the evil inclination, through his clever tactics convinced some of the Jews that Moshe was dead and would not return from Heaven to lead them. In desperation they created and served the golden calf. Because of their lack of trust in the Almighty and in Moshe’s assurance that he would be back, death was then reintroduced into mankind.
We are currently in the 49 day Omer count from the second day of Pesach until the holiday of Shavuos. The Torah in this week’s Parsha tells us that this seven week count should be Temimos – complete. The Medrash relates that besides meaning that the actual expression of the daily and weekly count must be complete, the Jewish people during this time are to achieve completeness through doing the will of the Almighty.
When the Jews were freed from Egypt they were raw in their development of spirituality. During the ensuing 49 days, before they were given the Torah, they strived to elevate themselves spiritually to prepare for their encounter with G-d.
During this Omer counting period we are all encouraged to galvanize and to perfect ourselves in terms of our relationship with G-d and our fellow. It is an opportune time to activate our inborn trait of trusting in G-d’s ways and to feel and believe that all that G-d does is for the good.
The Shem Mishmuel concludes with this timely and poignant assurance: When one lives with these ideals and accepts G-d’s ways in a wholehearted way, he removes all types of obstacles and is saved from fear, anxiety and suffering. Because when he is complete with Hashem he accesses the serenity of the Garden of Eden!