Copy Right 2022
Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
Cain’s Infamous Children of ELHM
We are learning about Breaching Oneness as a high form of IDOLATRY.
Let’s recall that the cry of Monotheism is:
G-d is One.
The first cry is numerical, saying that G-d has no equal or superior or inferior powers,
such as putative family members – a son, a wife, a father,
nor does He have partners pr other G-ds besides Him.
The second cry is a mental declaration that G-d Himself is complete and undivided.
Thus, in Moses’ Shema, the focus is on G-d’s Attributes, YHVH and ELHM, declaring
that He and His Attributes are One.
Thus, the Shema says:
Hear Oh Israel,
YHVH, our ELHM
YHVH is One
What prompt Moses to issue such a declaration?
The need for such a declaration comes from Man’s inclination
to separate those Attributes and see them as different gods.
After all, watching nature, and our own lives, we are forever tempted to think
that the world, with its calamities and suffering and death,
is run by a “bad god”
and that the “good god” is either ‘arrested in prison’ by the bad god
or that it died and have to be resurrected.
Such a belief was extremely popular in ancient civilizations,
as in ancient Persia and later in Rome, at the time of Jesus.
In the Torah’s eyes, however, nature is controlled not be a bad god
but rather by the Attribute of JUSTICE, ELHM, whereas the peaceful,
idealistic and ‘warm’ world exists only in the Eternal Sabbath ruled by YHVH
and that both YHVH and ELHM are Attributes of THE SAME, ONE G-D.
Again, the cycle of eat and be eaten that we see in Nature is not “evil’
but rather an expression of ELHM’s Absolute JUSTICE.
It seems that Moses is aware, that Mankind would always be tempted
to separate the Attributes YHVH and ELHM, hence his Shema.
Indeed, why does he expect Mankind to forever ‘split’ the Attributes?
This split is predicted by the Torah
For in Genesis Chapter One, before making Adam, ELHM announced in plural
“Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and our Image.”
Here, speaking in plural, ELHM opened the door for idolaters to think
that there is more than One creator (numerical aspect.)
Since the same verse that opens the door for IDOLATRY, is the same
that announces the creation of Adam, it comes out that Mankind
is made SPECIFICALLY to withstand the challenge of IDOLATRY.
Who might be the idols, according to the verse?
The answer is: Whoever ELHM consulted with at Adam’s creation
is a potential idol engraved in our psyche.
Why would the ‘good god’ place Adam into such an awesome trial?
The answer is, as we’ve said, that Adam was not born by “a good god”
But rather by ELHM, the All Mighty JUDGE, who creates things to withstand a trial.
Now, since ELHM consulted YHVH to make us, it comes out that
the idolaters would forever be tempted to regard ELHM and YHVH
as separate PARNERS. Falling into that psychologic trap is IDOLATRY.
Hence Mankind would be forever tempted to split the Attributes,
to prefer one Attribute over the other, like a child attracted to
one parent over the other.
Part of Mankind would be attracted to worship the Merciful YHVH,
the other part attracted to worshipping the harsh JUDGE ELHM.
Has this split happened in history?
We, in the 21th century, can attest that since the 7th century AD,
humanity has split into two rival faiths, exactly along the line
between the Attributes.
One party following Mercy, declaring that the Laws of ELHM are abrogated,
the other following Allah, a version of ELHM, oblivious to the Merciful YHVH.
Moreover, and very importantly –
both parties already guilty o so much BLOODSHED!
Let’s recall that such a split pf Mankind along the Attributes
Is not only a theological or philosophical issue but rather
a major split in culture, in the judiciary systems, in life style, hopes and customs.
Had this split happened before in history?
The Torah informs us that such a spiritual split along the Attributes
had also occurred in Noh’s time,
when half of humanity ‘called’ or worshipped YHVH,
the other followed ELHM,
the two camps not only breaching Oneness, but also
committing terrible BLOODSHED and THEFT ,which the Torah calls “hamas.””
What was Noah’s posture in this split of his time?
What exactly saved him and his family from the Flood?
What would save our generation from a Flood?
We should ask that question, when
we are seeing how our oceans are rising – like in Noah time,
our shores are battered by increasingly more ferocious winds – like in Noah’s time,
our glob and oceans are increasingly warmer – like in Noah’s time!
Noah tried hard to warn his generation of the coming calamity,
by building his ark slowly, for 150 years, on the taller mountain near the city
for all to see.
“Why do you build your beautiful ark up there?” the people asked him,
“do you think that the ocean would rise up there? Hah! Hah!”
And he said: “well, you said so!”
And they asked “Do you wish to tell us that we are sinners? Hah!”
On which he said: “well, you have said so!”
Noah didn’t rebuke directly his fellowmen.
His name Noah means “pleasant,” and so was his wife’s name Naama,
that means pleasant, indicating they were a good match.
Should we, as the Children of Noah, follow his example?
Should we too warn our peers against breaching Oneness,
which is a predicted source forspiritual downfall?
Should we too build an ark on the tallest high riser, sending
the massage to Mankind by our action?
Let’s examine the two rival camps in Noah’s time.
This would teach us a lot about our times.
Enosh’ Camp of MERCY
Last class we learned about Enosh and his disciples,
who ‘began calling YHVH’ in sincere piety,
calling Her to return to the world and save humanity
from the rising waters.
We saw how Enosh’ fiery sermons enkindled the passion of his audience,
how they repented and asked forgiveness, and how his very teaching
breached Oneness by neglecting to call ELHM.
We saw how the lack of fearing ELHM caused Enosh’ disciples
to slide down from IDOLATRY, to ADULTERY, BLOODSHED and THEFT.
Thus, an apparently ‘small’ error of IDOLATRY, like Breaching Oneness,
could establish a whole new culture, that almost ended the human race.
Luckily, Enosh’ repentance campaign was successful and the Flood was postponed
till later, in Noah’s time.
The Infamous Children of ELHM
The Torah turns to another party in Noah’s time, the so-called Children of ELHM,
who followed the opposite of Enosh’ teaching, following ELHM yet neglecting YHVH.
Who were the Children of ELHM?
On the Children of ELHM it is said:
“And the Children of ELHM saw the daughters of Men were good,
so they took themselves women from whoever they chose.
“The Nefillim were on the Earth on those days and also afterwards,
when the Children of ELHM would consort with the daughters of Man,
who would bear to them. They were the mighty who from old were men of fame
Let us re-construct the Children of ELHM by reviewing the commentaries.
Angels Who Fell from Heavens
The Church adapted the notion that the Children of ELHM,
translated into English as ‘Children of G-d, ‘were either Children of G-d Himself
or Children of angels who ‘fell’ from Heavens to cohabit with human daughters.
Among them the Angels Aza and Azael.
From that blend between the divine and the humans, came giants – Nefillim,
people of fame. Here Nefillim means either “giants” or “fallen,” from Heavens or from grace.
This interpretation may fit well the church ideology, and it also has somsupport
in the Book of Job, where it is said:
“The Children of ELHM came before ELHM with Satan among them.”
Here the term clearly refers to some heavenly powers.
The Zohar however says that Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai,
as early as the 2nd century AD, much before Constantine,
excommunicated whoever holds such a belief.
Powerful Human Judges
Almost all Jewish sources, old and new, say that the Children of ELHM
were ‘sons of mighty human judges.’ Indeed, in Hebrew, EeLoHiM means a judge.
Thus, the verse means that the children of powerful leaders took for themselves
any woman they wished, married or not, thereby committing ADULTERY.
For instance, Seforno (1458) and Rabeinu Bahyee (1225) explain that
the Children of ELHM were children of the heads of the cities,
or important JUDGES.
The question is: if so, what is so unique about them?
In every generation ever since the start of civilization
the sons of the leaders have taken any woman they wish?
Children of Cain
Hence, the Zohar says:
“Rabbi Chyah says: The Children of ELHM were the Children of Cain…
whoever came from Cain is called Children of ELHM.”
“Rabbi Yehudah added that the Nefillim were the Children of Cain.”
The Zohar also says that Naama, Noah’s wife,
a seventh generations descendant of Cain (including Cain)
was one of the Children of ELHM.
Who were the Nefillim?
They were chieftains, Aza and Azael, of the Children of ELHM clan,
who “fell” – nefillim – of grace, of their spiritual level.
They were initially righteous, pious, but they corrupted
and ‘fell from grace’ and fame.
Another tradition, preserved by the church, says that there
was a perpetual war between Shet’ clan, or Enosh’ clan,
and Cain’ clan, the Children of ELHM clan.
Another Zohar saying is that Shet and Cain camps were so much apart,
that their mixed marriage produced “children who were “Monsters”
that threatened to destroy the world. Hence, they banned all
mixed marriages between the clans.
If so, we may wonder:
Since Noah came from Shet (Enosh) and Naama from Cain,
how could they marry each other despite then ban?
This may explain why for close to 500 years Naama and Noah refrained
from bearing children till close to the Flood. And even then, they had only
three sons and no more. And their sons too were married without children
till after the Flood.
Which makes me wonder –
ARE WE – CHILDREN OF NAAMA AND NOAH – THOSE PUTATIVE MONSTERS WHO MIGHT DESTROY THE WORLD?
Why were they named Children of ELHM?
It is not difficult to re-construct. After murdering Abel, Cain confessed
and asked forgiveness from YHVH. Since he was the first murderer,
who had not witnessed the consequences before, he was partially pardoned
and was sent to exile in no-man’s land.
He was also told, however, that whoever kills him would be avenged seven folds:
“And YHVH said to him therefore whoever kills Cain would be avenged seven folds” (4: 25)
on which says Rashi:
“After seven generations I will avenge my vengeance from him.”
To be precise, the Ebn Ezra says “he would be avenged till seven generations.”
Cain went to exile to live in the woods alone, with only a ferocious dog by his side.
He grew long heir and walked naked like an ape. To scare any potential murderer away from him, YHVH placed an “ot” – either an emblem like a letter from YHV’s name (Rashi) that protruded like a horn from his forehead, or a light ray – “or” –that radiated from his forehead.
Tradition also says that before going into exile, his parents Adam and Eve
gave Cain the airy miraculous dress, that they had worn in Eden,
allowing Cain to converse with the animals and survive.
That dress would re-appear in many legends about Nimrod and Esau
The Children of ELHM’s Cultur
Meanwhile, Cain’ children developed a unique faith. As if to atone
for their forefather murderous sin, they took upon themselves
to abide by ELHM’s Laws in the most stringent way, punishing
severely and mercilessly for the slightest sin.
Looking at our times, in those who follow the same mode of faith,
we can imagine what they did.
They stoned adulterers, hung, beheaded sinners and cut thieves’ hands
in the public arena, for all to see.
Needless to say, that particular mode of faith rendered them, in time,
to be insensitive to human suffering, becoming cruel.
But there were also positive traits in them.
Since they believed in ELHM and His ways, as a BUILDER,
they engaged in real life on Earth.
Unlike Enosh’s descendants who were noted for their spirituality,
Cain’s descendants built towns, developed commerce,
and became notorious for their art and music (4: 17-22)
Noted among them –
Naama’s brother Yaval, was the first to raise large herds outside the cities.
Her other brother Yuval, was such a gifted flute player that his music opened
the heart of the toughest guys.
The Zohar says that they were extremely sensitive to their honor.
Hence, they were constantly armed to the teeth, ready to struck back.
On Naama’s brother from the same mother, Tubal Cain, it is said
that he was the first to forge strong metal alloy for his weapons (4: 22)
That invention made the clan Children of ELHM to the strongest military force
in the world. No police or army could withstand their strong swords and spears.
That new technology gave them much power and wealth that eventually
They corrupt. Tubal Cain infamous gangues are described in the Midrash
as ferocious, cruel gangues that roamed the streets with no fear, raping, killing
and robbing people’s homes under the watching Sun with no shame.
As we’ll learn from the Eden story, shame from sinning is a typical sign
of awareness of YHVH in our heart. Thus, after their sin in Eden, Adam and Eve
covered their nakedness and hid in shame in the bush.
Here too, the lack of shame in Tubal Cain’s gangues, speaks loudly for
their obliviousness to YHVH and Her values, as expected by their breaching of Oneness. .
Tubal means spices. This was his nickname.
It means that he perfected Cain’s murderous deed.
If Cain killed by his bare hands, here came his descendant Tubal Cain
and perfected his forefather’s action by his strong weapo
According to this line of thoughts,
the name Nefillim- ones who fell from grace- refers
to their chieftains, Aza and Azael, who became so e corrupt that
they took woman as they desired, married or not.
In addition, the Midrash adds that they cohabited unnaturally with their pets,
thereby violating ADULTERY to its kinds including BESTISALITY.
On Noah’s wife Naama’s famil
On Naama’s father Lemech, a sixth generation after Cain, it is said
And Lemech told his wives
Ada and Zila listen to my saying
For I have killed a man, and wounded a boy
For if Cain suffered vengeance at seven generations
Then Lemech seventy-seven folds!”
So arrogant was Lemech, that he speaks about himself in a third voice, as a royalty.
So fearful he was about someone coming to kill Cain, that he made a curse:
If G-d promised to avenge Cain seven folds, if he is killed prematurely,
I curse the killer “seventy-seven folds!”
Could this stop the prophecy to be fulfilled?
The Midrash describe Lemech as a half-blinded, an accident-prone fool,
who had a small head and mighty hands that could smash an oxen head
by one clap. He used to stumble over furniture and break them to pieces,
in short – a “walking disaster.”
Because of that image, the term Lemech has become in the Yedish language
a nickname for a fool who stumbles and fails to accomplish .anything.
Rashi describes such a mishap.
It was the custom of the Children of ELHM, in their false piety, to marry
at least two wives, one for bearing children, the other for sex.
The one designated to sex, was condemned to drink a sterilizing poison cup
at her wedding night. This either caused her enormous belly pains ending with sterility,
or she passed away with no mercy.
Lemech, as a chieftain, had two wives mentioned in the verse.
One was Zila, which means a shadow, who lived in his shadow for sex,
the other was Ada, meaning an ornament, as the proud wife and mother.
But the verse says that Zila – the one in the shadow – was the mother
of Tubal Cain and Naama. How could that happen?
It is said that Zila grew up in poverty and she had to struggle for living,
Making her smart and shrewd. She made her fame as a talented magic dancer,
whom Lemech married for sex. That explains her name Zila, “shadow.”
No one know how it happened, but apparently Lemech had another stumbling
at the wedding night. As it was their custom, the groom and the bride had each his cup,
but in the morning, they found Lemech twisting on the ground with terrible stomach pains,
while the shrewd Zila was impregnated and happy.
Zila then gave birth to Tubal Cain, the genius metal worker,
and several years later she bore Lemech twin girls whom she named both
by same name Naama, to confuse everyone. So identical were those twin
that Zila taught them the art of magic dancing, where they appeared as one girl
split into two, or one girl appearing in different places at the same time.
Hence the legend of the Demon Naama, described in the Zohar.
It is also said that the twins grew up to become such beautiful girls,
that young men committed suicide after seeing them only once.
It also semes that one of the twins was sexually corrupt, a priest of Bestiality,
while the other twin was righteous, who somehow married Noah!