2022 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
Eden, and the Perception of YHVH
1. YHVH has Entered Gradually
The Shechinah, YHVH, has entered our world gradually.
At first, in Genesis Chapter One, She appears as an acronym,
Unseen by unlearned eye, connecting the Sixth Day to the Sabbath.
Then in the story of Eden,
the Shechinah YHVH appears the first time in the open text,
but only side by side with ELKM, as YHVH ELKM.
Then, after Eden, YHVH appears the first time alone by Herself,
Without ELKM by Her side.
You see that in the words of Eve as she gives birth to Cain.
Henceforth YHVH and ELKM would appear each one by itself.
2. In Eden, YHVH’s Perception was “theoretical.”
The purpose of forming the Garden of Eden was
to offer Adam an alternative path towards the Sabbath,
without ever encountering ‘evil,’ death and calamities on real Earth.
Had the humans not sinned, in Eden,
they would have continued to possess a very limited notion of YHVH,
on a theoretical level of Wisdom, Chochma,
but not on a practical, personal level of daat.
For the name of the Forbidden Tree was:
The Tree of Knowledge, Daat, good and evil,
where daat refers to an intimate, personal awareness of good and evil,
which are perspectives of YHVH.
What did they learn about YHVH, while still living in Eden?
What does the story teach us about YHVH?
3. YHVH Enters our Hearts at Puberty
First, we notice that YHVH perception entered Adam’s heart not before ‘puberty.
It was only after Adam felt “alone,” when he longed for a spouse,
and after having a spouse, that the Serpent became active.
Indeed, tradition says (Zohar Parshat Noah) that the perception of
Mercy and Compassion, YHVH’s values, enters our heart only at puberty,
In a boy 13 years old,
In a girl 12 years old,
therefore, we celebrate “Bar Mizvah” or “Bat Mizvah” not before those ages, respectively.
Only with sexual maturity, the boy or the girl CAN accept the Torah
and the Shechinah in their heart
4. YHVH perception and Love
Secondly, it is not incidental that YHVH perception is associated with
“sexual” Love, between a man and a woman.
The word “Eden” in Hebrew refers to fine sexual experience.
Moreover, the Cherubs, YHVH ELKM, held Wing against Wing,
and their faces were of a boy and a girl looking at each other with Love,
as Moses depicted them on the Holy Ark.
No wonder, than, that the notion of YHVH came to us combined with
the commandment of ADULTERY and the institution of MARRIAG
5. IDOLATRY is a form of ADULTERY
The awareness of YHVH has also shed a new light on IDOLATRY.
In the eyes of Israel’s prophets, forsaking YHVH and worshipping alien gods,
was seen as betrayal of YHVH relation to us – a sort of marriage with Israel.
Hence IDOLATRY is a sort of ADULTERY, where Israel is the “deviating woman.”
This is so because YHVH relates to us – to Israel and Mankind – with Love,
Compassion and Mercy.
6. YHVH’s Holiness and Nakedness
No wonder than that the perception of YHVH’s HOLINESS
Is deeply associated with a sense of modesty, and a hatred for nakedness.
Those who lack YHVH’s perception in their heart, would see no problem in walking naked, like beasts of the field.
7. YHVH’s Perception and a Shame from Sinning
The awareness of YHVH shed a new light on sin.
We are ashamed to stand before Her as sinners.
And like Adam and his wife, we would tend to run away
and hid from Her presence.
8. YHVH and REPENTANCE
But instead of hiding, we should remember the story of Eden,
and come forwards to Her, while She is waiting for us,
confess, repent, ask forgiveness and pledge not to sin again.
9. Perception of YHVH is Unnatural
It is hard to live in ELKM’s world while we carry the prism of YHVH over our eyes.
It is far easier to abandon YHVH and behave like a beast, like a serpent,
declaring that “war is good,” that “mercy is weakness,” and that “the bible
Is a poison.” We’ve seen such claims in recent history and we have witnessed the terrible results of such claims.
True, the perception of YHVH is NOT a part of our Natural Moral Code.
As we’ve seen, that Code is based on the Six Commandments given to Adam in Eden, expressing the Laws of ELKM.
Introducing YHVH into our heart is NOT a part of these Commandments.
Accepting YHVH and her values is totally discretional from our side, with all the difficulties associated with it.
Difficult it is, yet essential. We would not arrive at the Sabbat from Earth,
without Her Dwelling in our heart.