What Does G-d Want From Us?
Hello! First time I've posted here in Judaism sub forum. I recently discovered we do in fact have an interfaith forum on site so that's good to know. However I have some specific questions regarding the history of Hebrew thought around the Book of Genesis. I'm from the Americas and I don't know about everyone else but I am floored with just how many interpretations there are about the first 8 chapters of Genesis alone!
I believe the Book of Genesis is a big deal because it is the only book of the entire Torah that is directed toward all humans. Whether they are Jewish or not. I've gotten through most of the original testament aka old testament and it has confirmed my earliest conclusions from finishing the traditional Torah. Because I am a "gentile" pretty much the vast majority of the "bible" just doesn't apply to me or to most people in our day and age. I didn't know there was a name for it at the time but I have unwittingly been following the Rainbow Covenant aka Noahide Code basically my entire young life. I've found all the rules listed in scripture (Gen 9 esp.) to be nothing short of common sense. It's also radically altered my understanding of my birth religion (Catholicism).
What I mean by radicalizing my understanding is that here in the western world we are raised to believe that we are born corrupted with sinful souls. That humans failed to live up to the commandments of Moses. Moreover we have been abject failures from the beginning when we lived in Eden. It used to be okay for us to be nudist vegetarians (how Adam/Eve basically lived) but our forebears ate that darned forbidden fruit. Because of that sin and death entered into the world. Causing G-d to curse us forever. We were told everyone was monogamous and straight. There was no such thing as open marriages or dating or prostitution or gay people or bi people or pan people for that matter. That Adam was never a disembodied, androgynous spirit prior to being made flesh.
I guess my question is really many fold now that I write this, from a historical Hebrew perspective: What does G-d want from us?
Does G-d expect us to live the way Adam & Hava (Eve) did even in this day & age?
Or will G-d grant humanity a brand new paradise in the world to come with a totally different Torah and social
How did the ancient Israelites explain the discrepancy between the end of Genesis 1 and beginning of Genesis 2 where it almost seems like Adam was created twice?
If nudity was never a sin and is obviously how we are all born why does G-d seem to be so discouraging of it? I can understand why public nudity is problematic but G-d's attitude regarding "social nudity" for bathing purposes, swimming, going to the beach, or getting examined by a doctor for example is not clear? For those who are curious the very reason why we wear gowns at the clinics and hospitals when being examined is due to Victorian ethics. Because we are taught in western culture that being seen nude is inviting "temptation" toward sin.
Did G-d create all our sexual desires in the garden or did they come about after eating the forbidden fruit? Where exactly do human sexual desires and orientation come from if not from G-d? This is a huge deal because Christians and Muslims alike use the Genesis narrative to justify their support for denying human rights and civil liberties not only to their own followers but also to minority groups who happen to be queer or non-monogamous. The Jews are not immune to this problem either. According to science we are not naturally monogamous but yet we are still told it's "immoral" to be in an open marriage regardless of consent. Yet G-d himself is not monogamous and promised King David if only he asked for more women G-d would've granted him all the women he could ever want instead of Bathsheba. What gives then? If G-d only wanted humans to be monogamous why did he excessively equip our bodies to have such an intense predilection for sexual activity with others even if we're committed to other people? Geese for example lose their sexual attraction to other potential mates once their permanent partner is found. Why didn't G-d make us that way if monogamy is the only legitimate form of relationship for men and women? Moreover if being heterosexual is the only acceptable orientation in G-d's eyes why on earth did he create so many animals that mate in myriad ways? Why are humans expected to be so rigid if we are made from the very image of G-d unlike the animals?
Why would G-d set up Adam to copulate with the creatures of Eden instead of just creating Eve from the start?
It's strange how the tree of knowledge becomes so important in the story. But it's location in the garden is deliberately obscured. Is there any hint as to where the theoretical tree of knowledge might have been located in the garden according to the ancient Hebrews?
Why do religious people insist on the idea that personhood begins at conception if G-d did consider Adam a living being until he was fully formed and breathing into his nostrils outside the womb? Seems like case in point to me.
Why would G-d plant the tree of knowledge and create the serpent if we were never supposed to eat from the forbidden tree? Did got set us up for failure for some other purpose? Very perplexed. Moreover how can humans be blamed for sin, evil, and death coming into the world when G-d literally created the wily serpent, the forbidden tree, and the finite world as we know it from the get go??? And to boot the "darkness" was with G-d at the same time G-d was above the abyss in Genesis 1:1-3. We had nothing to do with creating the darkness so why are we blamed for bringing it into the world?
What was Adam doing for so long that Eve decided to wander off and go toward the forbidden tree? Around the world there are many cultures that still lay the brunt of the blame on women yet they did not commit "sin" on their own. Adam knew better yet he ate the fruit anyway. Why did the serpent hate humans so much that he would ruin our relationship to each other, the world, and to G-d?
If being naked is natural and not sinful than why do the writers make it seem like the fact humans found out they were naked was some kind of moral failing? I'm told the Hebrew word "erom" which translates to naked has a second meaning that indicates "being vulnerable". So the verses should read something like:
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was [vulnerable]; and I hid myself.
And G-d said, Who told thee that thou wast [vulnerable]? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Are the curses from G-d issued to humans after being banished from Eden still in effect or did they end with the Noahide Laws? If they are still in effect does this mean that we are infected with some kind of spiritual sickness as the Christians say?
How did the first generation of Israelites who claim to have been with Moses on Mt. Sinai understand the Book of Genesis?