Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes
© 2014 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Noah's Tree Of Life
These are Noah’s words to his children after the Flood…
ELoHiM-1/How I first met Naama
How I first met Naama
Where should I start, if not by describing the first time I met your mother? I was about thirteen, living with my grandfather and mentor Enosh. You have never merited seeing Enosh, since he passed away, at age nine hundred, when I was a teenager. As Seth’s son and Adam’s grandson, Enosh was revered by all Mankind. He was a giant of body and spirit, a pillar of faith for our generation. On the day I first met your mother Naama, Enosh delivered one of his fiery sermons for the annual anniversary of Adam creation, our New Year. Our entire community convened in the Royal Plaza to hear him. Many travelled from far away to hear his speech. I think he was a great orator, perhaps the greatest that Man will ever have. He spoke from a high pulpit, I by his side at his request. He wished to train me to become as great orator as he was, but that would never materialize. While his rich and harmonic voice thundered over people’s heads, his majestic body moved on the pulpit with passion. His dark, long hair glided over his shoulders down to his waist, like the hair of a beautiful young woman. You wouldn’t believe that this young-looking giant was at that time close to a thousand years of age, a miracle of nature never to be repeated after him.
His speech moved the audience’s hearts like a wind stirring up sea waves. He spoke about Adam’s creation, how he was made, by whom, and about Man’s Judgment. People wept like children as he spoke. When the greatest prophet of our times, the grandson of Adam and Eve was speaking, who wouldn’t tremble? But I, at age thirteen, had something else on my mind. His words flew too high over my head. Hence I engaged myself in a secret game that I had developed for such occasions. My eyes observed the audience trying to discern them by their tribes and families. I could tell them apart by their dresses and uniforms, beside their particular manners. My own Seth family, for instance, wore long white cloths to designate purity, while other families of Earth wore colorful cloths to designate their particular believes and interests. Many recognized me and pointed at me to their children, saying: “There stands Noah, the beloved disciple of our Enosh! He will be a great leader like his grandfather!” How wrong would they turn to be!
On that particular holiday my eyes caught a small group that wore a green camouflage uniform, the kind I had never seen before. What struck me about them was their armor, daggers and swords that they carried with them; a sacrilege in our holy convocation. Who were these strange people?
Moreover, among them my eyes caught a girl slightly older than me, about fifteen, who was staring at me as if she was surprised, with wide open eyes. She was very pretty, I noticed. I blushed and turned my face away. But a few minutes later, as my grandpa’s words roared above my head, I glanced at her again. She too gazed at me with the same expression of a happy surprise, only that this time she seemed even prettier. How could this be? Can a person change by the minute? Again, I turned my face away from her. I suspected that my imagination was fooling me.
After his sermon, Enosh stepped down to mingle with the people and bless them for the New Year. I followed him, and when we passed by the pretty girl and her strange group she ignored me. Why? I couldn’t tell. I stretched my hand out to her and said, “Halo, my name is…’
I did not finish my sentence, since she stared at me with cold, indifferent eyes. “Yes?” She said, as if she had never noticed me before.
I shrugged and walked away, following my grandpa. Shortly thereafter I bumped into her again in the crowd. This time she greeted me first, with the same surprised and warm expression on her face. “Hello,” she waved her hand at me.
“My name is Noah, the son of Lemech,” I said, relieved.
“My name is Naama, the daughter of Lemech,” she said.
“Oh, it sounds as if we are brother and a sister, isn’t it?” I smiled.
“Yes, what a waste; I therefore can’t marry you…” she smiled.
“Marry me?” I blushed. As we spoke to each other, a commotion rose around us. Several members of my Seth family gathered around her group, protesting loudly: “Shame on you! How dare you show up on Adam’s holiday carrying weapons!”
Naama pointed at a young armed man by her side. “This is my real brother, Tubal Cain the Son of Lemech.”
So we do share a father’s name, I thought. I did not know at that time how detrimental that fact would turn to be in my life. “Hi,” I waved at him and he waved back, nervously watching the protesting crowd around them. His hands grabbed the dagger on his belt.
“Would you visit us, Noah?” Naama said smiling, “maybe we will get married after all…” She seemed to me prettier by the moment.
“Sister, you know that this would be impossible,” Tubal Cain snapped, “don’t’ you know that he comes from Seth?” Turning to their group he said, “Let’s go now!”
Obviously he was in command. The entire group broke through the protesters and walked away. Later I saw her again in the plaza, and I waved my hand to her with a smile, but she stared at me with those cold, indifferent eyes as if we had never met. Weird, very weird, I thought. Does she have two different personalities? What sort of a game was she playing with me? I would have ignored her, had she not looked prettier to me by the moment.
Cain’s Children of ELoHiM
At home, at the holiday’s dinner table, I asked Enosh: “Grandpa, who are these armed people with the green camouflage that attended your sermon today?”
“They are Cain’s descendants.”
“Why are they armed?”
“They worship ELoHiM, the Attribute of JUDGEMENT,” he said, twisting his nose with disgust, “hence their nickname, the Children of ELoHiM (Genesis 6:2.) They know no MERCY.”
I didn’t understand. “What’s wrong with worshipping ELoHiM?” I asked.
“They kill people for the slightest sin,” he said. “Just stay away from them and you’ll be safe.”
“Grandpa, who is ELoHiM, exactly?”
“Noah, I’ve been waiting for that question for a long time,” he smiled. “As you approach thirteen, you need to know about ELoHiM, about CREATION and about Mankind. There is no better day to start than today, the Anniversary of Adam’s creation.”
Why I was raised by my grandpa
What would he tell me first about ELoHiM? I wondered, as we entered my room. I knew that he never spoke at random. Every word he said, on any subject, was carefully calculated. Sitting by my bed, Enosh took a drawing of my deceased mother and gently kissed it. “I knew your mother,” he said softly, “she was such a righteous woman. She passed away so young!”
“Yes, grandpa,” I said, tears coming into my eyes. Why did he mention my mother, as we learn about ELoHiM?
My grandfather continued: “I still remember the first day you came to live with me, as if it was yesterday. You were so thin, so fragile, frightened…”
“When I heard about the tragedy that struck your family, I approached your father and asked whether I could raise you as my son.”
“Thank you grandpa,” I said, sincerely.
“You probably wonder why I did this. After all, I am so much older than you, seven generations to be exact, and my seed fills the Earth. I have so many other children, grandchildren and great grandchildren whom I hardly know. And yet I specifically asked for you, to raise you in my home.”
He paused and I passed my fingers through his long dark hair. How I loved the touch of those rich hair! I kissed his cheeks. “Grandpa, I love you more than I would ever love anyone else,” I said, wholeheartedly.
“Oh, time will tell if that is so,” he grinned, “at age thirteen, girls are already looking at you. Very soon we’ll know whom you really love…”
I thought of Naama, but I did not say a word.
“When you were born,” he continued, “you became the sensation of your hometown, because you were born naturally circumcised. Some saw this as a bad omen, while your parents saw this as a mere birth defect. Others, including me, saw this as a sign of potential greatness. After all, Adam too was born naturally circumcised! If so, I thought to myself, would this infant become a new Adam? And if this was true, was it a message that Mankind was about to be wiped out and this infant would become a new Adam? With those thoughts on my mind I kept watching you from afar. And when your mother passed away untimely, your father agreed to let me raise you as my own son. He got a new wife and he was concerned that she wouldn’t take care of you as well as he wished.”
Editor: it is said about Noah that he was a “complete, righteous person in his generation” (Genesis 6:9.) The word for ‘complete,’ tamim, can be interpreted as ‘circumcised.’ For instance, Abraham was ordered to circumcise himself and become ‘complete,’ tamim.
I hugged him again, not saying a word.
“When you first came here, only three years ago,” he continued, “no one could comfort you. You did not eat nor drink and we were fearful that you too would pass away. I thought that you would overcome that crisis, but now my people in this household tell me that you still don’t sleep well and that you keep calling your mother’s name out of you sleep…”
“Grandpa,” I whispered, “why did she have to die?”
He wiped my tears by his long, slender fingers. “Only ELoHiM knows why,” he said softly.
“Who is ELoHiM? What did He want from her?”
“ELoHiM is the way the CREATOR first appeared to us at Genesis. He is the Supreme JUDGE that gives life and takes life away as He deems JUST,” Enosh said.
“JUST?” I burst, “what wrong could my mother do to deserve death?”
He starred at me, as if assessing me. Then he said, “Let’s go to my study. I want to show you something that will answer your question.”
Read also: Genesis Vs. Science, Can they Match?" By Zvi Aviner, at www.smashwards.com
To be continued