When Adam and Eve are fashioned in the Garden of Eden, the Torah makes an important editorial comment: “Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.” My best guess is that comment was to pacify parents.
You raise a child. You feed that child, care for him or her, stay up late, get up early, worry, nurture and then one day, the child comes home with a stranger and says, “Meet so and so, the most important person in my life.” It is unsurprising that some parents feel hurt, even betrayed. Yet, that transition is inevitable and healthy. The Torah is teaching us that we raise children to love others, and letting go is part of love.
When Eve hands Adam the fruit and he eats it, Adam and Eve are enacting the very same drama. They have turned away from God and toward one another. It is a painful and decisive moment. But without that moment there is no venture into the world, and it is only when Adam and Eve leave Eden that they conceive and have a child. Good parents raise children to love good partners. So it has ever been.
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @RabbiWolpe.