BLOODSHED-1/Why did she name him Cain?

Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes

© 2018 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner

BLOODSHED-1/Why Did She Call Him Cain?
”I have bought a man with YHVH”

Today we start learning about Noah’s Third Commandment: BLOODSHED.
We’ve learned IDOLATRY in details from the story of CREATION in Genesis Chapter 1
We’ve also learned ADULTERY in details from the story of Eden in Genesis Chapters 2-4
We now follow the Torah’s narrative and learn BLOODSHED in details from the story of Cain and Abel,  up to the Flood and Noah’s Rainbow Covenant (chapters 4-9).
As we’ll see,  the whole purpose of Rainbow Covenant is to enforce BLOODSHED Laws, addressing all sorts of killing like  Suicide, Abortion, Indirect killing by starving or by mercenaries, and  direct, intentional killing including Killing in Mercy

Previously we learned the essence of ADULTERY from the story of Eden.  It was  given to Adam the moment “the woman”was formed to live by his side.  Eden in Hebrew refers to sexual pleasure.  The Garden of  Eden was formed by the two Cherubs YHVH ELKM flying Side by Side, their wings touching each other, their faces of a boy and a girl looking at each other with Love.  The human couple lived in Eden under the Heavenly Couple,  The same verse that introduced MARRIAGE also introduces ADULTERY in details (Man leaves his father and his father’s wife, his mother and  her mother and her daughter, his daughter and grand daughters,  cleaves to his wife and not to someone else’ wife, so that they become one flesh. Hence no homosexuality and no bestiality. Then they meet the Serpent, commit ADULTERY and become ashamed of their nakedness. They become aware of YHVH holiness and Her disgust from ADULTERY.  Thus the story covers all the aspects of ADULTERY. Now, with the first murder, Cain killing Abel, the Torah introduces all aspects of BLOODSHED   .

What causes BLOODSHED?
The position  of the BLOODSHED Commandment on the list of the Seven Commandments of Noah suggests a cascade of sins, one leading to the next: :

IDOLATRY, like inflated ego when one worships himself, brings
ADULTERY, since if you do not believe in G-d what would stop you from having an affair with your best friend’s wife? And this would bring
BLOODSHED, caused by the offended spouse or by e the adulterer seeking to get rid of the husband (like in King David and Bath Sheva)

No wonder, then, that the Torah first  presents  IDOLATRY in chapter One, next
ADULTERY in the story of Eden, chapters 2-4, next
BLOODSHED by the story of Cain killing  Able.

As we’ve learned those three Commandments, IDOLATRY ADULTERY  and BLOODSHED are paramount, since we are commanded to surrender our lives rather than violating any one of them.  (The Children of Noah are expected, rather than   ‘commanded’ to abide by them.)

1: Bloodshed Prohibition  in the Ten Commandments

BLOODSHED prohibition appears in Moses’ Ten Commandments, saying:

“Thou shall not murder”

Hence BLOODSHED was first given to Adam and Noah, then repeated by Moses to Israel.According to our rule of thumb, it applies to both the Children of Noah and Israel.
Hence the Nations should learn about BLOODSHED ALSO from the Ten Commandments.

Sure, there are several differences between the Nations and Israel in regard to keeping the BLOODSHED Laws:
(1) Israel’s court must comprise of 23 or 71 supreme judges, to judge a capital case such as ADULTERY.
(2) Torah Law does not recognize a lay jury.
(3) Israel’s Court must sit in the Temple’s Courtyard to issue a capital punishment. After the destruction of the Holy Temple by Rome, the Supreme Court (Sanhedrin) was exiled from Jerusalem, and settled in different places in the Land of Israel. They refrained from sitting on a capital case.
(4) Israel’s court must hear at least two witnesses for issuing a Death Verdict. The witnesses are thoroughly scrutinized.
(5) Israel Court can’t execute a person unless warned before the crime.

Consequently, it is extremely rare and difficult for a Torah High Court to issue a Death Penalty.

Thou shall not kill?”
The verse in the Ten Commandment is usually translated as “Thou shall not kill,” wrongly implying that ANY killing is forbidden, including execution of a murderer. This erroneous translation has been used against installing Capital Punishment in the USA.

But the Hebrew text clearly says: “Thou shall not murder!” implying that a murdered SHOULD be punished, possibly by execution.  This will come clear when we discuss Noah’s Rainbow Covenant that says:

“Whoever shed the blood of a Man,
By Man shall his own blood be shed.”
(Genesis 9: 6)

This verse sanctions the execution of a murderer by the human court (provided all the necessary steps have been taken).

2: New Challenges on Earth

Transition from Eden to Earth
It is not incidental that soon after their ‘passing’ from Eden to Earth, the nascent human family stumbled over BLOODSHED. They had lost Eden because they had violated IDOLATRY or ADULTERY. Now, on Earth, they were challenged by the next, Third Commandment: BLOODSHED.

It is as if the BLOODSHED Commandment was activated by the advent of the Angel of Death. If  you kill, you would be killed, so says the Attribute of Judgment ELoKiM whose Finger later wrote:An Eye for an Eye.

The journey from ADULTERY (Chapter One) to ADULTERY (chapters 2-3) to BLOODSHED shows that Mankind is destined to be challenged by the Commandments ONE BY ONE.

Life on earth

The  first human experience on Earth is described in the verses as follows:

“And Adam knew his wife Eve,
and she conceived and she bore Cain
And she said, I’ve bought a Man with YHVH
And she again bore his brother” Abel
“And Abel was a keeper of the sheep, while Cain worked the ground” (Genesis 4:1-2)

Sorrow of Labor
Earlier, when they were driven out of Eden, YHVH ELKM told them that
The ‘woman’ would suffer menstrual pains and the sorrow of labor
Adam would have to work hard for his living: “by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.”
On Earth they would encounter the Angel of Death, and Evil, as the Name of the Forbidden Tree implies.

3: Adam knew his wife with PASSION

Let’s read it again:

“And Adam knew Eve his wife
And she conceived and bore Cain.” (Genesis 4:1)

On Earth, Adam ‘knew his wife’ PASSIONATELY, the Midrash says.  In the virtual Eden they functioned on a theoretical levels of Wisdom, namely khohma and Binah, Creating and Forming, but on Earth they functioned on the level of Daat, practical experience and knowledge.  On Earth Adam knew his wife with real love, lust and fascination. On Earth they procreated the first time.

4. Passion for BLOODSHED

But the verse also alludes to another fascination they  had required : Fascination with Death and Evil. It came along with the eating of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
On Earth, the humans experienced Sorrow and Death  on the level of Daat. Adam by the sweat of his his hard labor; Eve by her pains of pregnancy and labor.

This dramatic exposure to Death all around them, made them fascinated with their own ability to take life away. The act of killing, after all,arouses a magical feeling of godly power.
You can see that fascination with BLOODSHED and KILLING in the inscriptions of Cave Man on his walls. Those inscriptions depict well  their fascination and  excitement by hunting and killing.
You can see this fascination with Death in the way warriors decorate themselves and their weapons. You can still see it in the way they dance with swords and other tools of death.
And you can still see this fascination with death, in the way we depict it on our silver screens. You can see it in the way young men flock to join ISIS.

While In Eden, Adam and his women could not do any  BLOODSHED. Their BLOODSHED  Commandment was theoretical, on the levels of khohma and Binah.
Only on Earth , as they became fascinated wit the  option to kill, the BLOODSHED Commandment became relevant, real, addressing their weakness.

Fascination with Cruelty and Evil
The option of BLOODSHED came with the option of CRUELTY, the opposite of MERCY. Would this be shown in the verses? r

5: The option and passion of OWNERSHIP

She named him Cain
Beside their new fascination with BLOODSHED and CRUELTY, Adam and Eve were fascinated with the option to own, something they did not have in Eden.  This is shown in the birth of Cain: :

“And she conceived and bore Cain, for she said,
I have purchased (acquired) a Man with YHVH!” (Genesis 4:1)

Eve, like all new mothers, expresses her fascinations and expectations in the name she gave her firstborn son, Cain.

This is MY child!
She called him Cain. The word ‘Cain’ is rooted in the Hebrew Ca’no, ’to purchase.’ She said: ‘I have purchased a son, a man”  by my labor. This ‘little man’ is MINE!’

Back in Eden they could own nothing. There was no PERSONAL OWNERSHIP in Eden.
Here But here on Earth, Eve ‘acquired’ a son by her labor. (Her husband labored for food;  she labored for a child). She expressed her fascination with her capacity to own. She proudly announced: This is MY child! I Therefore his name is Cain!

No wonder that later Cain and Able each brought YHVH the products they OWNED.Each wished YHVH to be his own!

And with this new notion of ownership, came also the notion of  STEALING.
Thus besides BLOODSHED (Adam’s 3rd,)  THEFT(Adam’s 4th)  too became activated, relevant to their lives.

In fact, as we’ll later see, the sin that brought about Noah’s  Flood was “hamas,”  which is BLOODSHED combined with THEFT.

Ownership comes with Jealousy
But  if something is mine, it is not yours.
If this is my mother, she is not yours – Cain would say to Abel.
If she loves me, she loves you not. My beloved is mine. He or she belongs to me, and me only.
What a complex feeling of jealousy and love and ownership stet up as a background for the first murder, the Mother of all Murders!

6: I have purchased ‘Man with YHVH’

Y-H-V-H is mine!
She named him Cain because she ‘purchased a man with YHVH. ’ In addition to purchasing a son by her labor, she mentions something else she had acquired by her labor: YHVH, or the awareness of the Merciful Attribute. As it says:

“And she conceived and bore Cain, for she said:
I have purchased (acquired) a Man with YHVH!” (Genesis 4:1)

YHVH appears alone, the first time ever
Let’s pay attention that here Eve mentions YHVH name alone the first time ever.  (Rabanu Bachye, Spain.) Before that, in Eden, YHVH appears in the only with ELKM, as YHVH-ELKM.  Now the Bride  appears alone with full glory.

By her childbirth labor Eve purchased two things: “A Man” and “YHVH.”

What happened?

You can say that here the story of CREATION continues:

At the Beginning, ELKM built the Universe awesomely alone. YHVH is not even mentioned during the Six Days.

Then, on the Sixth Day before the Sabbath, YHVH entered our Universe as a shy Acronym. You need to be trained to see her. Half of her Name (YH) dwells in our World (The Dweller, Shehinah) and the other half (VH) still resides is in the Sabbath.

Then in the story of Eden, YHVH appears the first time in the open, but only side by side with ELKM, as YHVH ELKM. T
Now on earth, in Eve’s wards following her labor, YHVH appears the first time alone, without ELKM by Her side.Eve’s experience


Why Eve?

Eve must have had harsh, painful labor, as the CREATOR had told her. ’
In this hard process she faced the Angle of Death.
But holding her firstborn baby in her arms, her face l flushed with crimson red and her blood flooded with hormones, Eve must felt elated. Her pains were replaced by a surge of happiness, love, compassion and a hope for a good future for her newborn son as well as to Mankind.  She felt, the first time what YHVH, our MOTHER IN HEAVENS,  feels about us!
She comprehended Y-H-V-H first time ever.
She therefore called her son ‘Cain’ for she said: “I have acquired a man with YHVH.”  Through my delivery I’ve acquired a new perception of YHVH, one I’ve never experienced before.

And YHVH is mine!”
She said, “I’ve purchased YHVH.” Her new acquaintance with YHVH came with a sense of OWNERSHIP: YHVH is MY G-d. Like a child holding his mother skirt, proudly telling everyone: This is My Mother!
But this could also infer: if YHVH is my mother, she is not yours. Eve connected to YHVH personally, individually, on the level of Daat. Her new knowledge of Evil, brought her also to appreciate the opposite of Evil: YHVH.
And she wanted her son to give all Mankind that same feeling, and same perception of YHVH that she herself had acquired.

7: My son the priest

So she said:

“And she named him Cain for she said,
I’ve bought a man with YHVH”

She appointed her son
My firstborn child, she said, will ‘purchase Man with YHVH,’ will connect Mankind with YHVH. Cain would be the first, firstborn priest.
Cain would invite YHVH to dwell inside the human heart.
Cain would unite YHVH and ELKM in his heart.

Cain would teach people to follow him.  .

Adam, a male, could not feel that Eve felt, what mothers feel. Adam as a man would have to be taught to appreciate YHVH and invite YHVH into  his heart. As Eve said: Cain would connect “Man with YHVH.”


8: A Gradual Awareness of YHVH

As we’ve said, with Eve’s words humanity advanced in our perception of YHVH.

While in Eden we’ve learned to perceive

YHVH modesty (hatred of nakedness) and

YHVH holiness (hatred of sexual promiscuity and adultery)

YHVH forgiveness (calling us Adam, where are you?)

On Earth Eve perceived the first time

YHVH’s Compassion, Love and hope for a better future. .

9: A new light on the Commandments

With this consideration we can now have a new look at the list of the Commandments.
They serve as a ladder on which we may climb to UNDERSTAND YHVH.

IDOLATRY as introduced in Genesis Chapter One teaches us to see YHVH as a ‘shy acronym’ that connects our world to the Sabbath. .

ADULTERY as introduced in Eden emphasizes  YHVH as a modest Bride who hates sexual perversions

BLOODSHED as introduced by Cain killing Abel. teaches us YHVH’s hatred for CRUELTY.

THEFT  as we’ll learn from Abraham will introduce YHVH as the the Owner of Everything, AaDoNai.

JUSTICE we’ll learn from Jacob will introduce YHVH as seeking JUSTICE with MERCY .

This way the Commandments act like a ladder on which we climb to LEARN about YHVH.

Could she imagine?
Could Eve imagine, in her wildest dreams, the impact of her words on Cain?
Could she imagine, that her beloved son, the priest of MERCY, would be the first to commit the utmost evil: the Mother of all Murders?
Could she imagine that instead of purchasing YHVH with Man, her son Cain would be the first to chase YHVH away from Man?
Could she imagine that her beloved Cain would be the first to do Evil in YHVH’s eyes?
Could she imagine that Cain would perform the ultimate paradox: murder in the name of MERCY!



Read also: “Genesis Vs. Science, Can They Match?” By Zvi Aviner, at