Friday, October 20, 2006
eitz hada'as - assur to eat or assur b'hana'ah?
The gemara (Pesachim 21b) quotes R' Abahu that any time the Torah says "lo yochal", "lo tochal", or "lo tochlu" the prohibition bans not just eating, but deriving any hana'ah (benefit) from the item. When Hashem declared with respect to the eitz hada'as, "lo tochal mimenu", it seems reasonable to assume that this issur also banned having any hana'ah from the tree! The Netziv extends this reasoning further to explain Chava'as thinking. We find by chameitz, which is assur b'hana'ah, that Chazal went so far as to prohibit even touching chameitz lest it be eaten (MG"A siman 612). Here too, Chavah extended the issur of "lo tochal" and told the nachash that she was barred from even touching the eitz hada'as. Of course, now that Chavah's logic is clarified, the question becomes where did she go wrong, but for that you will have to see the Netziv : )