Rabbi Aryeh Klapper
Beauty is not truth, justice is not compassion, and loyalty is not holiness. Most of us understand that we have a plurality of value-sources, and that genuine values can conflict with one another. Yet we still have a hard time acknowledging that sin can be beautiful, and beauty sinful.
I don’t mean that we think all beautiful people are always good. What I mean is that we think that mitzvot must be beautiful, and that sins must be ugly. So it bothers us very much to acknowledge that a beautiful relationship can be sinful. Yet if we acknowledge that beauty draws from a different source of value than, for example, holiness, there is no reason to presume that sins can’t be beautiful.
The distinction between the beautiful and the commanded seems to be a key message of the story of Adam and Eve. Eve is not fantasizing…
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