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Part 12 - View Table of Contents

A Brief History of God (and Man)

From Adam* to Abraham to Moses to Debbie - Cont.

"And Afterwards We'll Try to Understand"

When the nation said, "Whatever God says, we will do—and afterwards we'll try to understand," they not only signaled their readiness to willingly sign on to the Covenant, they simultaneously turned the clock of history back to the good old days in the garden. Where Adam had once thought that he could outsmart God, the nation charged with undoing all of the damage caused by Adam, now declared that it wouldn't make that same mistake. Whatever God said, this nation would do, and only afterwards would they try to make sense of God's communication. But in the end they all recognized that whether or not they understood, the path to the deepest possible attachment to God lay in the privilege of being His emissary and carrying out His wishes within creation.

The rest, as they say, is history.

"The history of Judaism and of the Jews is a long and complicated story, full of blood and tears. With all that, the Jews are still, essentially, the same stubborn, dedicated people, now, and forever maybe, affirming the same three things. First, they are a people of the law as given in the holy books of Moses. Second, they are the chosen people of God, having an eternal covenant with Him. Third, they are a witness that God is and will be forevermore."
Charles Van Doren, associate director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, A History of Knowledge27

So Who is Debbie?

Debbie is you and I—the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, the descendants of the nation that encountered God at Sinai, and the ones upon whom God Himself is counting on to finish cleaning up Adam's mess and finally reveal the beauty of His garden.

* In speaking about the first human beings, Adam and Eve, I will be referring to them collectively as Adam, or Man. This is not meant to slight Eve or any other women who have come since; it’s just a simpler way of doing things. Adam, in our context, means the original, prototypical human being. In truth, the nature of the first human beings is a very deep subject that is dealt with at length in the classical texts and is beyond the scope of this book.

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Shimon Apisdorf is an award-winning author whose books have been read by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. He has gained a world-wide reputation for his ability to extract the essence of classical Jewish wisdom and show how it can be relevant to issues facing the mind, heart and soul in today's world. Shimon grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied at the University of Cincinnati, Telshe Yeshiva of Cleveland and the Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He currently resides with his wife, Miriam, and their children in Baltimore. The Apisdorfs enjoy taking long walks, listening to the music of Sam Glaser and going to Orioles games.

Shimon can be reached at

Enjoyed Judaism in a Nutshell?
Other books by Shimon Apisdorf, available online at The Jewish Literacy Foundation.



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