The Moment After – In Memoriam of Mr. David M. Warren (Menachem Dovid ben Harav Yosef Z’L
Adam and Eve sinned by partaking from the "tree of knowledge." As soon as they committed their crime they came to certain realizations.
"And the eyes of both of them (Adam and Eve) were opened and they realized that they were naked." Genesis 3:7
Rashi asks, "Even a blind man realizes when he is naked? Rather, what is meant by the verse, when it exclaims, 'and they realized that they were naked'? Adam and Eve had one commandment to follow and they became naked from it; they had divested themselves of the commandment by breaking it."
The moment Adam sinned, he understood that he had nothing left; he was bare of all responsibility given to him. He felt empty. This understanding did not come to Adam after years of contemplating his mistake. It is amazing that Adam understood everything he lost within a moment.
If Adam was so smart to realize his mistake the second after he committed it, why did he do it to begin with?
The answer is self-explanatory. Even the smartest man only understands his mistakes after he feels the pain of regret. "How could I have done that?" is the common refrain.
Understanding that sin brings the pain of regret and the awareness of true loss enables one to think before he acts. However, this needs to be a constant reminder; it is a simple lesson too easy to forget.