© 2020 by Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
Where and When was Eden Formed?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1: Two Signatures: Of Noah and Moses
Today we move in our study from the First Commandment of Noah, IDOLATRY, to the Second, ADULTERY. Whereas Chapter One of Genesis introduces G-d and the option of IDOLATRY (when He spoke in plural voice), Chapter Two and the story of Eden introduces MARRIAGE and ADULTERY. .
ADULTERY follows IDOLATRY, for if one does not fear G-d, what could stop him/her for an AFFAIR? And the logic continues: Once you’ve violated your best friend’s wife, won’t you expect her husband to chase you with a knife, seeking to violate the Third Commandment- BLOODSHED?
Relationship to Sinai
In Moses’ Ten Commandment, the prohibition of ADULTERY comes in the following explicit words
: “Thou shall not commit ADULTERY” (Exodus 20:13)
Moses actually repeats Noah’s prohibition to Israel, making it applicable to both – Noahides and Israel.
As we’ve said-any Commandment that carries two signatures- that of Noah and of Moses- is applicable to both Israel and the Nations.
Our path in this classes
We will learn the Seven Commandments of Noah from the Book of Genesis, as follows:
The first Commandment, IDOLATRY, from the Story of CREATION, in Genesis Chapter One.
The second, ADULTERY, from the story of Eden:
The Third Commandment, BLOODSHED, from Cain and Abel.
The Fourth, THEFT, from Abraham
The Fifth, JUSTICE, from Jacob
The Sixth, BLASPHEMY, from Joseph and the Children of Israel.
2: The text of Forming Eden
The story of Eden begins by telling us WHO created it, WHEN and WHERE. As it says:
(Introduction to the story of Eden)
“These are the histories of the Heavens and the Earth (how many histories there were?)
when they were re-created (what does this mean?)
on the Day that YHVH ELoKiM (why do the Attributes appear together?)
Made Earth and Heavens”(Genesis 2: 4) (why the revered order, first Earth then Heavens?)
(When was Eden formed?)
“And there was no shrub of the field was yet on Earth ‘
And the grass of the field had not yet grown
For YHVH ELoKiM had not yet showered rain on Earth (what Day could this be?)
And there was no Adam to till the ground but there went up a mist from the ground
and watered the whole face of the Earth…””
3: Who exactly formed Eden?
“These are the histories of the Heavens and the Earth
On the day that YHVH ELKM re-created Earth and Heavens” 0
You know the story of Eden. The verse counts at least two histories of CREATION. The first, “Heavens and Earth” as presented in Chapter One, the second, from “Earth to Heavens” in the opposite direction.
- The first is done by ELKM,
- The second by YHVH ELKM.
This is not a mistake. The second story CONTINUES the first. What happened?
As you recall, Chapter One tells the story of the Six Days CREATION done by the All Mighty JUDGE, ELKM, ruling Awesomely Alone.” His Name appears in the story 32 times (32 is Lb, “hear”t. He sustains Nature as the Heart sustains the body.)
Then, before making the Adam, ELKM changed His rule and spoke in plural, saying “Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.” He spoke to many COUNCILOORS, as we’ve learned, the last one was the Attribute of MERCY YHVH, who rules over the Sabbath Awesomely Alone.
YHVH, the Attribute of MERCY, appears in Chapter One only once, at the end of the Sixth Day as it turns into the Sabbath. YHVBH appears as an acronym at the junction between the Sixth and the Seventh Day, part of it – YH- in our Sixth Day, and the VH is still in the Sabbath.
It is important to recall what happened. When ELKM “invited the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH, to join Him in the new Heavenly Court, “She” entered our world from Her Domain, the Sabbath, and “Observed” it. Not unlike a BRIDE who enters her GROOM’S home to check whether or not She would feel comfortable there.
Observing our world, She said: “How can I rule your world with you ELKM, when I see here no place to rest my Wing, no heart that can comprehend my values?”
ELKM said: Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.” In Adam’s heart you may find a room to Rest your Wing, to Dwell land Spread your values.”
Holding Wing against Wing, like two Cherubs in love, the two Attributes Flew over CREATION thereby consolidating it in their Oneness. Henceforth” the world would stabilize, it would not faulter” as the Psalm devoted to the Sixth Day is saying.
Where do you see the two Attributes “flying” together? You see then “glued” to each other in Chapter two, in the Story of Eden. They appear glued to each other like that, as YHVH ELKM, throughout the entire story, the way they would never appear again in the entire Bible.
Now the verse says something that seems strange – that YHVH ELKM “Re- Created” Earth and Heavens, in the opposite direction to Chapter One.
What happened? Let’s read the text again. It says
“On the Day that YHVH ELKM re-created Earth and Heavens.
And there was no shrub of the field was yet on Earth
And the grass of the field had not yet grown
For YHVH ELoKiM had not yet showered rain on Earth
And there was no Adam to till the ground….
The verse stipulates that the Garden of Eden was FORMED on a Day that there was no grass, no shrub, no tree and not even rain on Earth. There is only one Day that fits that description- the THIRD Day, prior to the seeding of any Life Forms on Earth, not even Vegetation. Thus, the Garden of Eden that was full of Trees and animals, was FORMED on the THIRD Day, prior to the planting of any life on Earth.
Eden was therefore a Virtual Garden. The hint for this is also given in the word FORMED.
To CREATE a house is to imagine it in your mind, like deciding for what purpose the house would be? Residential? Commercial? What style?
To FORM the house is to plan it on a blue print, in details
To MAKE the house is to build it on real ground
Unlike Chapter One of Genesis, which uses the term CREATE or MAKE, the Story of Eden uses only the term FORMED. Eden is in the world of FORMING, or PLANNING, like on a “blue print” or on “the computer screen.” It was FORMED as a stage before MAKING Adam.
That is why Eden was a place full of Trees and Animals, while on Earth there were no grass, no shrub, no tree and no rain.
So, what happened?
It was the Sixth Day. YHVH ELKM had just agreed to create Adam on Earth. The Attributed – YHVH ELKM – flew Backwards to consolidate the world in their Oneness. Holding “Wing against Wing” like two Cherubs in Love, the way Moses depicted them on the Holy Ark with faces of a boy and a girl looking at each other with Love -they flew Backwards from the Sixth Day.
Together they “flew” from the Sixth to the Fifth, to the Fourth to the Third Day, re-creating the World. We would say it was “CREATION REWINDED.”
Then they ‘parked’ on the Day “that there was not grass or tree or rain” – the THIRD Day. There they FORMED the Garden of Eden, FORMED Adam (and his wife) and placed them in that virtual Garden – FOR A TRIAL.
If Adam wins his Eden trial, he and his wife would stay there forever till the Sabbath arrives. This would have spared them facing Evil and Death on Earth.
If Adam and his wife lose Eden trial, they would be driven out TO BE CREATED LATER ON EARHT, where they would face the Angel of Death.
You can see the hint of that also in Chapter One. At the Middle of the THIRD DAY, before seeing Life, ELKM “paused” and conducted a trial. Earth stood on a crossroad. ELKM decided that it was good, and He proceeded with making Adam (through evolution) later on real Earth. That Midday Trial of the Third Day fits the Trial of Eden.
4: Why the Eden trial
Let’s recall that YHVH did not “like” ELKM’s world. Had she made it, “She” would have made it free of agony, free of any trial nor tribulation. Had she made it, our world would have seen no Sorrow, no Pains and no Death.
Now this world would feel very natural to a creature void of any perception of the Merciful YHVH. To a spider or a snake or a bee, this world would seem fine as it is, even if that creature develops a smart society. The Spider would never feel YHVH’s Values of Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness, since it was never made by the Merciful YHVH.
But to Adam, equipped with the perception of YHVH in his heart, this world would seem lacking, needing a CORRECTION, Tikun.
It is hard to live in ELKM’s World and have YHVH’s Prism on your eyes.
It is hard to feel the titanic clash of values between ELKM and YHVH in your heart and mind.
YHVH knew this.
So, when YHVH agreed with ELKM to make Adam in their Oneness,
YHVH offered (so to speak) to ELKM- Let’s FORM for our child Adam a place bereaved of any Evil, or Death, where Adam could live there without ever seeing real Earth,
This might spare him to face the Angel of Death.
The All Mighty JUDGE ELKM, however was adamant- He would never create anything without a Judgment, even a small one. He therefore “succumbed” to the “pressure” of the BRIDE, and together they FORMED Adam and the Garden of Eden – for the trial.
The Name Eden
In Hebrew, Eden refers to delicate, SEXUAL pleasure and love. For instance: when Sarah, at 90, was impregnated with Isaac, she said in a wonder: “Behold! I’m old, and yet I’ve had an edna,” which means sexual pleasure, (Genesis 8: 12) .
It fit well the Place where the Attribute FORMED Adam, their Child, in Heavenly Love.
It fits well the Place where Marriage and ADULTERY were first introduced.
Where is Eden?
If so, we should not search for Eden in the lost sand dunes of ancient Mesopotamia. Tradition says that is was- still is- a bubble hovering over the Temple Mount of Jerusalem. It has two Gates- one opened into the space above the Temple Mountain, right at the site where King Solomon placed the Holy Ark and the two Golden Cherubs. Through that Space, from under the Wings of the Cherubs, G-d used to speak to Israel’s Prophets.
The Second Gate is opened into the Tomb of the Patriarchs at the city of Chevron. There, in that tomb, four couples are buried – Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea.
Here is the list of the 20 times the name YHVH ELKM appears in the story of Eden (twice as much the name ELKM appears in Chapter One)
(1) On the Day thatYHVH ELoKiMmade Earth and Heavens (Genesis 2: 4)
(2) ForYHVH ELoKiMhas not sent yet rain upon the Earth (Genesis 2: 5)
(3) AndYHVH ELoKiMformed the Adam, dust from the ground (Genesis 2: 7)
(4) AndYHVH ELoKiMplanted a garden in Eden, at the east (Genesis 2: 8)
(5) AndYHVH ELoKiMcaused to sprout from the ground every (Genesis 2: 9)
(6)YHVH ELoKiMtook the Adam and placed him in the Garden (Genesis 2: 15)
(7) AndYHVH ELoKiMcommanded on the Adam saying (Genesis2: 16)
(8)YHVH ELoKiMsaid it is not good for the Adam to be alone (Genesis 2: 18)
(9) AndYHVH ELoKiMformed from the ground every beast (Genesis 2: 19)
(10) AndYHVH ELoKiMcast a deep sleep on the Adam (Genesis 2: 21)
(11)YHVH ELoKiMbuilt the side that He had taken from Adam (Genesis 2: 22)
(12) The Serpent was cunning…thatYHVH ELoKiMhad made (Genesis 3: 2)
(13)They head the voice ofYHVH ELoKiMwalking in the Garden (Genesis 3: 8)
(14) Adam and his wife hid fromYHVH ELoKiMamong the trees (Genesis 3: 8)
(15) AndYHVH ELoKiMcalled the Adam saying where are you (Genesis 3: 9)
(16) AndYHVH ELoKiMtold the woman what have you done (Genesis 3: 13)
(17) YHVH ELoKiM told the serpent because you have done this (Genesis 3: 14)
(18) AndYHVH ELoKiMmade to Adam and his wife garments (Genesis 3: 21)
(19) AndYHVH ELoKiMsaid behold, Adam has become like (Genesis 3: 22)
(20) AndYHVH ELoKiMsent him out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3: 23) </font size>
As you see, the Attributes appear SIDE BY SIDE throughout the story of Eden. Never do they appear alone here.
Next: What is the Primordial Sin?
End of ADULTERY class 1