In the creation story we will read from the Torah in synagogue this Shabbat, God creates the world, and man, and woman. Adam and Eve sin and are ejected from Eden.
In her poem “Eve to Her Daughters”, the late Australian feminist, environmentalist, and poet Judith Wright offers an alternative version of the story from Eve’s point of view.
Wright plays off both the biblical story and Milton’s Paradise Lost. In both those versions of the story, Adam is God’s junior partner in the creation; he names the animals, tends the garden, and is the raw material from which Eve is created. In both stories, man is ruined by his urge to know more–but the sin begins with Eve’s curiosity.
In Wright’s poem, it is Adam’s need to understand, to “unravel everything/because he believed that mechanism /was the whole secret” that is the original sin. As soon as he comes into being, Adam begins the process of uncreation. Having the power to uncreate gives him power, and power creates hubris: “And now that I know how it works, why, I must have invented it.” Adam’s surging powers of analysis lead him to the conclusion that he cannot demonstrate God’s existence–so God must not exist.