I personally agree that killing is the forbidden fruit. I haven't read Jeff's book, but my thoughts go something like this, which is similar to what Frank laid out in his commentary ... (you know this won't be short, nor perfect, just my thoughts)
Knowing is also used as a euphemism for "doing" or the act that results in obtaining an intimate knowledge of something - as in he "knew" his wife etc. So in that light, being like God - and knowing good and evil would be saying that God gives and takes life ... and in that respect, being like God, would be "doing" or obtaining an intimate knowledge of life and death. How else do you get an intimate knowledge of death unless you do it?
Good and Evil = Life and Death Knowledge = Doing / the kind of Knowing that only comes from Doing Fruit = the state of awareness that is changed when you take a life ... when you kill something you cross a line that can't be un-crossed. (ooooh ... nice but un-intended word play) I see the fact that they were then "naked and ashamed" to be that they were then aware of mortality, aware that they too were subject to the same kind of treatment from each other and (they feared) from God.
So they went from knowing only the life that God gave them to also knowing / doing 'death'. "When you eat from it you will surely die." If you kill something then you understand that you too can be killed. When you cross that line ... decide that some life isn't sacred ... then there is no more any wonder or mystery about life ... it's just "flesh" (except that we can't give life back once we take it)
We were naked and ashamed. Naked - we became aware of our own vulnerability. Ashamed - Our innocence was lost. And we can never get that back - unless we are - yep - Reborn (by a man - don't get me started, I know we can't talk about Sophia here)
You bet I believe killing (of other creatures with the breath of life) was the forbidden fruit. Life is either sacred or it isn't. We made the wrong choice. Obviously.
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
If the two most important commandments are to worship/obey only God, and to "do unto others ..." . Then I think it makes perfect, horrific sense that our entire bloody history as a species can be traced back to our unwillingness, our inability to widen our circle of compassion to the scope God intended. We have always had this line ... beyond which others become "It". (Martin Buber: I - Thou vs. I - It)
- People from other countries ... surely we're not supposed to include them ... they're just animals. Genocide.
- People with other religions, surely we're not supposed to include them .... they're just animals. Holocaust.
- "Negroes", surely we're not supposed to include them, they're property. Slavery.
- Women ... they're property/objects. More Slavery.
- Children .... they too can be bought and sold. Yep, you guessed it, More Slavery.
- Unborn babies .... nope (before the point of 'viability' also an "It"), not in the circle.
- Animals, surely we're not supposed to include them, they're just well, animals. (Funny - even though Adam named them ... Naming is a function of Relationship ... farmers today know not to name the animals they kill).
All of history is the story of our learning (biology, ethology, etc.) what we need to "discover" that we have drawn the line in the wrong place. The slow and steady march back to the Garden. From Genesis, I believe we have some pretty clear instructions on where God wants that line ... our mission ... should we choose to accept it ... is to accept the line as God originally drew it.