ADULTERY-1/Where and When was Eden Form?



© 2017 by Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner

ADULTERY-1: 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. As we’ll see, whereas Genesis Chapter One introduces G-d, His Names and Deeds as well as the option  of IDOLATRY (when He spoke in plural voice)  Chapter two and the story of Eden introduces ADULTERY in details.

That  order is not incidental. While IDOLATRY deals with our faith, believes and  fascinations, ADULTERY comes only second in significance since it is based on our sex life,  Eden Story and the ADULTERY Commandment  touches the burning questions of our society such as the meaning of marriage,the role of  modesty, and the forbidden sexual contacts.

Think of it this way: In Genesis Chapter One  ELKM said “Let Us Make an Adam in our Form and Our Image.” By  speaking in plural, He laid down the foundation of the IDOLATRY TRIAL, as we’ve Adam is made to be fascinated by whoever ELKM consulted with to make us. .Each of these entities is a potential idol.

Then ELKM blessed Adam “be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.”  By this blessing, He planted in Adam not only the ability to procreate and proliferate,  but also the DESIRE to do so,  much stronger than seen in other creatures. No wonder that our sex life dominates our days and drives us to achieve things, as Sigmund Freud has discovered. This Heavenly Blessing explains  why the ADULTERY trial comes next to the IDOLATRY trial.

But then ELKM continued to bless us saying “and rule over…” By these words He planted in Adam a powerful drive and desire to “rule over,” gain fame and power. To tame these desires ELKM gave Adam the rest of the Commandments such as  BLOODSHED, THEFT and JUSTICE. .

.  .

So where was the ADULTERY Commandment first given to Mankind? As we’ve said, Adam received in Eden the ‘primordial’ Six Commandments:


(VII)  The seventh Commandment,  added by Noah after the Flood, prohibits the consumption of blood and limbs torn from a living animal (meaning: no cruelty!)

Natural Code of Morality

Saying that the Six Commandments were given in Eden implies that they are inherent in our psyche, as if they are “natural code of morality.”   Indeed, many societies and civilizations have adapted them in order so simply survive. Without these Commandments society would decay in chaos.

Relationship to Sinai

Hence ADULTERY was first told to Adam, then repeated to by Moses to Israel in the Ten Commandments, saying:

: “Thou shall not commit ADULTERY” (Exodus 20:13)

As the (Talmudic) Rule of thumb says, by repeating a Commandment to Israel, Moses made it applicable to both gentiles and Israel.

This rule that says

“Every commandment given to Noah and repeated by Moses to Israel, applies to both

And every commandment given only to Israel, is applicable only to Israel

And a commandment given first to Adam (and Noah’s Children) and NOT repeated to Israel (such as Circumcision and the Sciatic nerve prohibition) applies only to Israel…”  Remember: Abraham Isaac and Jacob were “Children of Noah,” not yet Israel.

It sound like this:  The whole world listens to Moses. But he, Moses, the  modest of all men, tells the nations NOT TO FOLLOW HIM ALONE BUT ALSO FOLLOW Noah.  A commandment that applies to the Childen of Noah (all gentiles) must carry the signatures of both Noah and Moses to be valid.  Since the Circumcision Commandment of Abraham and the Sciatic Never prohibitions do not carry Noah’s signature (they lived after Noah) they do not apply to non-Jews.

Learn ADULTERY from Eden
In the Ten Commandments, Moses forbids ADULTERY to Israel yet without much elaboration. In fact he assumes that the ‘reader’ is already familiar with it from  the Story of Eden. Again, there is another rule of thumb that says that wherever the |Torah presents a concept at the first time, there you can find its meaning.   .


The first Commandment, IDOLATRY, is first presented and elaborated by the the story of Genesis.

The second, ADULTERY, is first presented and explained by the story of Eden.  : :

The Third Commandment, BLOODSHED, is introduced via  Cain and Abel.
The Fourth, THEFT, is introduced through  Abraham and his stories
The Fifth, JUSTICE, is introduced through Jacob and his life stories
The Sixth, BLASPHEMY, is introduced through the selling of Joseph.

Questions to be answered:
As we begin our study of the Garden of Eden, let’s keep those questions on our mind:
(1) What is the Primordial Sin, exactly? Was it SEX or ADULTERY?
(2) What causes them to become ashamed of their nakedness? Isn’t nakedness natural?
(3) Is Marriage a convenient social contract, or a sacred union?
(4) How many sexual prohibitions are included in ADULTERY?
(5) Where exactly is Eden?
(6) What is the Tree of Life? Is it lost?
(7) What was the new knowledge of good and evil they acquired by eating the forbidden fruit? What could they GAIN by sinning?

These and other points will be elucidated as we read and study the text:


2: The text of Eden’s trial

The story of Eden begins, as might be expected,  by describing WHO created Eden, 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 the Attributes appear together?)
Made Earth and Heavens…” (Genesis 2: 4)
(why the order is in reverse, 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”

(Forming Adam in Eden)
”And YHVH ELoKiM  formed the Adam from the dust of the ground, (why ‘formed’; and not created or made?)
and He blew in his nostrils a breath of life, Neshama,
and Adam became a Nefesh Chayah, a living soul…” (Genesis 2: 7)

(Forming the Garden of Eden)
“ And YHVH ELoKiM planted a garden east of Eden
And He placed in there the Adam whom He had formed
And out of the ground YHVH ELoKiM made to grow
Every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food
And the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden
And the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil…”
(Genesis 2:9)

(Adam’s task in Eden)
“And YHVH ELoKiM took the Adam,
and He placed him in the Garden of Eden
To till it and to keep it…”(Genesis 2:15)

(Giving Adam the Six Commandments)
“And YHVH ELoKiM Commanded on the Adam, saying,
of every tree of the Garden you may freely eat
But of the ‘Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil’ you shall not eat of it (what sort of knowledge is this?)
For on the Day that you eat of it you shall surely die….” (could he die in Eden?) ((Genesis 2:16-17)

You know the story of Eden. It is one of the most famous stories ever told. The CREATOR ‘formed’ a Garden, called Eden, then ‘formed’ an Adam and placed him there.  The CREATOR then warned Adam that he may eat from all the trees in the Garden, yet from “the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil” he should not eat, since “the day you eat of it you shall die.”

Adam proved to be very smart, a Homo Sapience, capable of naming all the creature with the “right names.

Seeing that Adam was lonely, the CREATOR ‘formed’ a woman from Adam’s SIDE (not rib) to be a “help against him.” But there was in Eden a creature called The Serpent, which could walk and talk like humans and was sexually attractive to ‘the woman’ (she is not yet called Eve). Being a “beast of the filed” it went naked and unashamed of it. In fact, the humans too at that point were also naked and unashamed of it.

The ‘cunning’ Serpent then enticed ‘the woman’  to eat from the forbidden fruit. Not only she did so but also gave of it to her husband  Adam (they were married.)  Tradition holds that she cohabited  sexually with the Serpent, which makes her adulteress. Hence  they violated both IDOLATRY (by violating the CREATOR words) and ADULTERY.  Eating the forbidden fruit then ‘opened their eyes’ so that they became aware of their nakedness and ashamed of it, the first time ever.

But instead of chasing them out right away, the CREATOR gave then a chance to confess and repent their sin, which they did not. The CREATOR kept calling “Adam, where are you?” but they hide behind the bush . Finally Adam blamed his wife, and she the Serpent. Having failed to repent they were driven out of Eden to live on Earth. Here they would encounter HARDSHIP, DEATH and EVIL the first time. Here they would KNOW what evil is.

What is exactly the moral message given by the story? Does it have any implication to our life?


3: Who exactly formed Eden?

Again, the introductory verse informs us that:

“These are the histories of the Heavens and the Earth    (how many histories there were?)
When they were re-created,    (what does it mean?)
on the Day that YHVH ELoKiM    (why the two Names Side by Side?)
Made Earth and Heavens      (why the order in reverse?)
And there was no shrub of the field was yet on Earth    (what Day was it?)
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….
And YHVH ELKM formed the Adam from the ground…”(why ‘formed’?) (Genesis 2:5)

The Story of Eden Continues Chapter One
Most non-Jewish commentaries regard the story of Eden as an independent, self-standing story. The critics see it as a myth, no different from other Bronze Age myths of Moses’ time. But we’ve already established the uniqueness of Moses’ Genesis compared to other ancient myths. We’ve already seen how credible Moses words are, how they fit well our scientific narrative. If so, the story of Eden must also be credible. it musty have been written to send us a particular moral message.

Tradition sees the story of Eden as a continuation of the story of Genesis in Chapter One. In other words, Chapter two begin where chapter one ends (is this a surprise?)   .

The first thing noticeable in the story of Eden is the change in the Attributes’ appearance.
Whereas earlier, in Chapter One, ELoKiM appears alone 35 times (32 in six Days plus 3 in the Sabbath)
and YHVH appears alone only once, and only as a hidden, modest acronym seen by LEARNED EYE at the end of the chapter (indeed, MERCY is not seen in the open in Nature)
Here in the story of Eden the two Attributes appear together ‘side by side’ in the open as YHVH ELKM. Moreover, they appear like that, glued together, throughout the entire story.  You never see here ELKM alone or YHVH alone.

How exceptional this presentation is! “YHVH ELKM” would never appear so close to each other for the rest of the Torah.  They appear “glued together” ONLY in the story of Eden. never again.  (In the rest of the Torah they come as “YHVH our ELKM” with a separation between them).

In other words, here in Eden YHVH and ELKM appear close to each other like two loving Cherubs holding Wing against  Wing,the way Moses depicted them over the Holy Ark Moses’ Cherubs had a face of a boy and a girl looking at each other with Heavenly Love (Talmud).  .

How many times does YHVH ELoKiM appear in the story of Eden? Exactly 20 times, twice the number that ELKM said “let it be” in chapter One. Hence YHVH ELKM doubles the impact of ELKM.

Let’s recall what we’ve learned in Chapter One. We’ve seen how at the end of the Sixth Day, before making \Adam, the Merciful Attribute YHVH ‘answered’ the invitation of ELKM , so to speak, and came into our world to consolidate it and rule over it together. A new Heavenly Court of YHVH ELKM was established. The word was consolidated so that it would no falter (as the Levite Psalm for the Six Day says.)  The story of Eden continues that phase.  The Shy, Modest “BRIDE” YHVH had entered the world, the ‘GROOM’ ELKM’s Home, and She Dwells there not alone but rather SIDE BY SIDE with Him, as “YHVH ELKM.”  .Only when the child Adam would be made She might appear alone without the GROOM by her side.

And they appear glued together to ‘form’ their child Adam in their Oneness and Love.

Note that the Hebrew word ‘eden’ or edna refers to delicate, SEXUAL pleasure and love.

For instance: when Sarah, at the age of 90, was impregnated with Isaac, she said in wonder: “Behold! I’m old, and yet I’ve had an edna,” sexual pleasure, (Genesis 8: 12) .

What a beautiful introduction it is to the topic of MARRIAGE and ADULTERY!

Here is the list of the 20 times the name YHVH ELKM appear in the story of Eden:

(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)
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In all these sites the the Attributes appear SIDE BY SIDE, never alone.:

4: When and where was Eden formed?

To see that, let’s look at the introductory verses: :

“These are the histories of the Heavens and the Earth
When they were re-created,
On the Day thatYHVH ELoKiM
Made Earth and Heavens
And there was no shrub of the field was yet on Earth,
not even rain….”
(Genesis 2: 4-5)

How many histories the World has?
“These are the histories…” Hence the world has at least two histories. How?
The answer is given by the verse. It says that YHVH ELKM “re-created” “Earth and Heavens,” in reverse order to Chapter One. .
Whereas Chapter One says that ELoKiM created ‘The Heavens and the Earth’ in that order,
Chapter Two says that YHVH ELoKiM ‘re-created’ ‘Earth and Heavens,’ in reverse direction.

Hence the World indeed has two ‘histories’:
One ‘forwards’ from ‘Heavens to Earth,’ created by ELoKiM
The second ‘backwards,’ from ‘Earth to Heavens’  ‘re-created’ by YHVH ELoKiM.
What exactly happened?


5: YHVH ELoKiM Consolidated the World

They flew backwards
There is only one way to reconcile these verses.
At first the world was created by ELKM, awesomely alone as described in Chapter One

Then, as stated at the end of Chapter One, YHVH entered our world to join ELKM in creating Adam.
Then, holding Wing against Wing like two Cherubs in Love,YHVH ELKM ‘flew backwards’ over the entire CREATION, from the Sixth to the Beginning consolidating it by their Love and Oneness. Henceforth it would not falter.

Thus they flew
From the Sixth to the Fifth,
From the Fifth to the Fourth,
From the Fourth to the Third,
From the Third to the Second and the First Day
Re-creating and consolidating the entire World in their Oneness, so that it “would not falter.”

We would say: CREATION rewind!
YHVH is like  lighthouse. With Her Light in it, our world would ‘sail’ safely to the shores of the Eternal Sabbath. It won’t wobble,  as long YHVH Dwells in it. YHVH is also the encore that ties our Universe to the Sabbath.
If we, Mankind, won’t keep YHVH in our heart She’d  fly away from the heavenly Court, leaving us in the hands of ELKM alone, the Prosecutor. .Who would defend us if She has gone?

This story is told in the Psalm that the Levite Choir used to chant in the Holy Temple on every sixth day of the week.
As you may know, on each day the week, the choir choose a ‘Psalm for the day’ that describes the events that happened on that day in Genesis.
The Psalm selected for the “sixth day of the week” says:
“YHVH will have reigned, He will have donned grandeur.
He will have donned might and girded Himself,
Even the world was CONSOLIDATED so that it should not falter…”
(Psalm 93)</font size>

In this Psalm, King David praises YHVH for coming to ‘reign over the world’ and ‘consolidate’ it, so that ‘it would not falter.’ Since this had happened at the junction between our Sixth Day and the Sabbath, there is no wonder that the Levite Choir chose to chant it on the Sixth day of the week.

We also repeat it on each Friday evening at the last moment before the entering of our Sabbath.

6: On what Day was Eden formed?

Having re-created the World and consolidating it, the Attributes YHVH ELoKiM ‘formed’ the Garden of Eden.
When did this happen? The verse defines this in details.

The Garden of Eden was ‘formed,’ the verse says, on a Day when there was no grass, no shrub, no tree and not even rain on Earth (see the text above). What Day could it be? The THIRD Day, after the separation of Dry Land from the Sea, before there was any seed of life on Earth, not even shrub or tree (says rabbi Yohanan, the Talmud.)

Imagine – the Garden of Eden, full of beautiful Trees and fruits, was FORMED before there was any grass, shrub or tree on Earth, not even rain!

Thus, on one hand, Chapter One says that Adam was MADE by ELKM on the Sixth Day.
On the other hand, Chapter Two says that Adam was FORMED by YHVH ELKM on the Third Day.

There is no contradiction here . It is one story. As the two Attributes YHVH ELKM flew over CREATION and recreated it backwards from the Sixth  to the First, they ‘parked’ on the THIRD Day and FORMED in it the Garden of Eden. This happened BEFORE THERE WAS ANY SEED OF LIFE ON EARTH.  .

Thus the Eden trial took place BEFORE there was any life on real Earth. it was conducted to determined whether or not would Adam appear later on Earth. .

7: Forming Vs Making and Creating

You can’t understand this unless you are tuned to the Hebrew worlds.  There is a distinction between create,’  ‘form’ and ‘make’.
While Chapter One is written with the term ‘create,’  the story of Eden uses the term ‘to form.’  Later the story of Cain and Abel would use   the term ‘to make.’

Thus the story of Eden says:

”And YHVH ELoKiM FORMED the Adam from the dust of the ground…” (Genesis 2: 7.)
And YHVH ELoKiM planted a garden east of Eden,

and He placed in there the Adam whom He had FORMED….” (Genesis 2:15)

The difference between these terms is:
(1) To CREATE, Beriah, is to conceive an idea in general terms
(2) To FORM, Yezirah, is to plan how to implement it in details
(3) To MAKE, Assiah, is to materialize the idea in the real world

For example: When I build a house I would follow these three phases:

(1) I’d first ‘conceive’ the general idea of the house on my mind: Would it be residential or commercial? Small or large? What style? Here I’ve entertain the house in the”world of creating,’ ‘Beriah.’

(2) Next I‘d engage an architect who’d draw a master plan for the house in details. The house is now in the “World of Forming,”  Yetzirah.

(3) Next I’d engage a contractor who would build the house ground. The house is now in the “World of  Making, Assiah.”

Every human endeavor passes through these three stages.

A Virtual Garden and a virtual Adam
Hence when the text says that the  Garden of Eden was FORMED on the THIRD Day it means that it was formed only in the World of Planning, Yezirah. It was on a “blue print”, a virtual World, such as on a computer’s screen. Adam and his wife were formed and placed there for their trial. They were at that stage virtual.

Had they won, they would have stayed in Eden forever, never exposed to the evil on Earth.

But since they lost their trial in Eden, Adam and his wife  ethey were driven out to appear later on the Sixth Day on Earth.  after loosing their trial on the THIRD Day, ELKM seeded life on Earth, made grass, shrubs, trees and then all the other  animals (as described by Moses and verified by Science) so that finally Adam would appear on real Earth. .  .

Eden’s Gates
Tradition describes the Garden of Eden as  a ‘bubble’ hovering the Holy Land” (Rabienu Bahyee) “. It opens into the world through  two GATES:

One Gate opens to Mt. Moriah, the site of the Holy of Holy Chamber, the space between the Cherub’s Wings.  would later stand.
The second Gate opens into the Cave of the Patriarchs in the city of Hebron; where Adam and Eve and the patriarchs Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea are buried.

So do not seek Eden in the lost sands of Mesopotamia or in southern Iraq. Look for Eden, rather, in the space above the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The virtual trees in  Eden
Eden had many (virtual) trees in it, among them the “Tree of Life” that renders eternal life to whoever lives under its protection.  The Tree blocks the Angel of Death from entering Eden.


8: The trial of Eden

What  was the purpose of life in Eden? The verse says:

“And YHVH ELoKiM took the Adam
and He placed him in the Garden of Eden
To till it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15)

Adam had to do something in Eden: “till it and keep it.”  Since it was a virtual Garden where everything grew miraculously, Adam didn’t have to do any physical work to keep it.  The verse infers rather to spiritual work that Adam had to do: withstanding a trial.

As free as life was in Eden, ELKM demanded something in return FOR A TRIAL, ELKM the JUDGE would never give without demanding something back in return in absolute justice.  he pays, after all, measure for measure.   Thus the rabbis said that “to till the Garden” means “to do something” or a positive commandment, while “to preserve it” means  to avoid doing something, a negative commandment.

What were these  positive and negative commandments in Eden? We’ll soon learn in details. .  .

But all agree that the Eden Trial was ‘easy’ to win: only One Commandment (Rashi): the prohibition to eat from the forbidden fruit.  With ADULTERY, they had to observe two Commandments.  It was a trial easy to win, but also easy to lose.  The stakes were high: loosing the trial would cost them to loose  the right to live there.


9: Why was Eden Formed?

Why did YHVH ELKM place Adam and his wife in Eden?  Why not directly on real Earth?

You can say that Eden was a sort of a ‘virtual Heavenly Womb’ where Adam and “The Woman”  were formed prior to living on real Earth. But why?
The answer is obvious: Eden was formed on the THIRD Day, offering Adam (and wife) the option to stay there until the arrival of the Eternal Sabbath,  without ever been exposed to real Earth. .

Eden was formed under YHVH ELKM.   Had ELKM not consulted YHVH before making Adam, Eden would have not been formed at all.  In fact, without the advent of YHVH in the new Heavenly Court, ELKM would have FINISHED our Universe with no MERCY (says Rashi.). He had done that to numerous other Universes before.

But with the advent of YHVH in the Heavenly Court, Eden was formed as a concession to Her. The Merciful YHVH didn’t wish to make Her child Adam on Earth right away, placing him  under the reign of the Angel of Death.  She preferred to offer Adam a safe place called Eden, where he could have stayed forever.

Had it been up to YHVH alone, Eden would have had no trial in it.  In Her  sole Domain, the Eternal Sabbath YHVH rules alone with no trial and no tribulation.  But Eden is still a place in ELKM’s World, though a virtual place. As such it must have at least a minimal trial. ELKM made His concession by offering Adam an easy trial, just two Commandments to be observed in Eden (IDOLATRY and ADULTERY)

Hence Eden is a concession of the Attributes to each other.  The BRIDE YHVH made Her concession by agreeing to any trial in Eden, and the GROOM ELKM made His concession by offering Adam and easy trial.

Both agreed to spare  Adam the tough life on Earth where he would face the real Evil. How then did Adam and his wife lose that unbelievable chance? .