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Old 07-08-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: SE Ohio
39 posts, read 35,773 times
Reputation: 21

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Can you help me understand the mincha/offering of Genesis that Cain and Abel brought in chapter 4? In particular I am interested in what the sages say concerning how they knew to give this ‘goodwill’ offering. How was it that Abel’s efforts were good and Cain’s was not? The text indicates that Cain could provide an effective offering if he so chose to do so:

[CENTER][CENTER]“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him”[/CENTER][/CENTER]

My interest is in how the sages understand the text as it seems there is an understood proper procedure for making offering to G-d already established at this time in man’s history. This is well before the Jewish nation and before the Torah delineated the proper way to approach G-d.

My question runs parallel with the idea that all mankind should honor the 7th day (Shabbat) as it is clearly stated to do so by G-d during the days of His creative works. Is Sabbath just for Jews or is it for all mankind? G-d further gave instruction concerning the activities of Sabbath in the Torah, thus guarding the Sabbath properly, but the first commandment to keep the Sabbath was given to mankind during creation.

So the question providing a proper offering is similar to mankind observing Sabbath. Noah also knew the difference between clean and unclean animals and also offered sacrifice (olah) to G-d when his journey upon the waters was complete. I am trying to understand the division between what is expected of mankind and what is further expected of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (12 tribes). If the Noahide laws would make a clear distinction between kosher animals and sacrifice/offerings I would understand them more clearly. By the omission of these it is more difficult to understand the insistence of only the laws of Noah as it currently is applied to the goyim/mankind/non-Jew. Noah is given commandments that very much mirror the 1st creation…almost as if G-d has “recreated” His works and is now reestablishing His ideals for mankind.

So as my first question is like the last question, in what way is it understood that mankind, from the creation of time, has a responsibility to Creator for things such as keeping Sabbath, proper offering, proper eating, and proper sacrifice?
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:30 PM
 
864 posts, read 733,864 times
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How was it that Abel’s efforts were good and Cain’s was not? The text indicates that Cain could provide an effective offering if he so chose to do so:
According to Rashi, Abel offered the best of what he had and Cain offered the worst. The proper procedure would've been to offer the BEST one has to give.

Mankind is required to follow the 7 noachide laws, which the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob also had to follow up to the giving of the Torah. At Sinai, the 613 commandments of the Torah became the obligation of every Jew.

Sorry, if I misunderstood your question.
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