I've already posted my commentary on the first weekly portion in the Torah, but I want to add a few quick thoughts.

It's often said that the story of the fall from Paradise is the story of the loss of innocence. And so it is, but I would suggest that it is the loss of "innocence" in the political sense, that is, a negative kind of innocence. What is lost is the "innocence" of the slave, that is, one without the freedom to make moral choices. It is an innocence of ignorance, an innocence of powerlessness, an innocence of victimhood.

But this innocence is not merely lost - it is actively rejected. For better or worse, this is the kind of creature we are: we insist on making our own decisions, even at the risk of making bad ones. We want to be like the Divinity in this way, "knowing good and evil". And it is indeed a mixed blessing, because the Tree of Knowledge is described as "the Tree of Knowledge - good and evil". Not "the tree of knowledge of good and evil"; that is a mistranslation. (In that case, the Hebrew should read "etz da'ath ha-tov ve-ha-ra'." But that's not what it says; it says "etz ha-da'ath, tov ve-ra'.")

With power comes responsibility. It is in our nature to seek both. To shirk the burden of justice is the worst kind of cowardice. As human beings, we are born into a covenant: we must act as creatures who know good and evil, and not close our eyes.