Copy Right 2022
Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
Noah’s Generation Breaching Oneness/
ENOSH’ KINGDOM OF MERCY
It behooves every person – as a Child of Noah – to be familiar with
the spiritual errors of Noah’s generation that culminated in the Flood.
The towering figure in Noah’s generation was Enosh,
the illustrious grandson of Adam and Eve.
On Enosh’ father it is said that he was “the form and image of Adam,” (5: 4)
while Adam himself was made as the form and Image of ELHM (1: 27)
hence Adam and Shet were exceptionally righteous, pillars of faith,
while the verse does not say it on Enoch. Why?
The Tree of Life Brunch
All three lived a long and fruitful life, due to the brunch of the Tree of Life
that Adam and Eve brought with them from Eden.
Whoever owns the brunch would live long.
Thus, Adam lived a long and fruitful life. At the age close to a thousand year,
he bequeathed the brunch to his beloved son, Shet.
Shet too, after living a long and fruitful life, bequeathed the Bruch to
his beloved son Enosh.
Enosh, after living a long and fruitful life, when he was close to a thousand years old,
Bequeathed the brunch to Noah.
Noah then bequeathed the Brunch to Abraham, whom he met when Abraham
was 58 years old.
Abraham bequeathed it to Isaac and Jacob, and he to his children down to Moses,
who made from it a wooden handle for the Torah scroll that he wrote,
and placed it by the holly ark at the Tabernacle.
Hence, as long as Israel abides by the Torah, Israel would live forever.
Enosh and Noah
Enosh was the mentor of Noah, despite the enormous gap in their age.
When Enosh was almost 900 years old, he ‘adopted’ Noah when he was a child.
Enosh trained Noah to be his heir as the spiritual leader of Mankind.
Noah was a teen ager when Enosh passed away. Noah, however,
turned to be a different person, running away from authority,
and in fact he rebelled against Enosh’ teaching, as we’ll see.
What was Enosh’s teaching
that Noah (and Abraham) rejected?
The Torah says only few words about Enosh,
that “it was then that they began calling the name of YHVH” (4: 26)
What does the verse mean?
Why did they start calling – praying – to YHVH only then?
Moreover, the Hebrew word for “began’, huchal, can be read as “profaned.”
What did Enosh do to ‘earn’ that title?
So, let’s re-construct Enosh personality and faith
according to the Midrash and the commentaries.
Enosh – a nickname for humanity
Enosh’ impact on humanity– for good or bad – was so great,
that Mankind is still named after him- the Children of Enosh, Enoshim
rather than after Noah, our flesh and blood father.
For instance: the verse in Psalms says:
“What is an Adam that you would visit, and an Enosh that you’d remember…“
The verse mentions Adam and Enosh as the nicknames for humanity.
Hence his teaching has affected Mankind till today.
Thus, we have three names for humanity –
Children of Adam – our biological father
Children of Enosh – enoshim – our mentor
Children of Noah – whom we should follow.
Had Noah come to life today, he would have said to us:
“Time has come to change your ways and be
named after me, as Children of Noah.”
Let’s continue to reconstruct Enosh and his teaching
according to the many commentarie
A Flood Caused them to Pray
The verse says that in Enosh time “they began – huchal – to call YHVH’s name.”
The RaShBaM (Rashi’s grandson) says that ‘began’ simply means ‘started,”
and “to call” means to pray. Thus, something prompted them to start praying.
The Midrash Rabah says that in Enosh time, the generation had already declined
so much that the ocean arose and flooded a third of the inhabitant land, AS A WARNING.
Enosh, who was raised on Adam and Eve’s laps and knew the ways of the Heavenly Court,
understood well that no man’s made dam or a lavvy could stop the waters from farther rising
and invading the inland.
When all human attempt to stop the calamity has been exhausted, the only way left
was TO REPENT AND ASK FORGIVENESS FROM YHVH.
The RaDak says that Enosh started a repentance campaign, teshuvah,
calling the people to return to Hashem, YHVH, and asK FORGIVENESS.
Enosh thought that you don’t need to turn to the JUDGE ELHM in repentance,
since His retributions are precise, measure for measure.
Hence, he prayed only to YHVH, breaching Oneness.
The wounded Enosh
Enosh was a great spiritual leader, whose impact on humanity is immeasurable.
Yet his name Enosh sounds like Anush, “severely wounded.”
As good as his intentions were, as pious as he was, he also made drastic errors,
foremost of them was Breaching Oneness, as we’ve just said.
Value of a Prayer
The RaDaK says that Enosh was the first to perceive that when needed,
we should address YHVH in prayer. Prior to Enosh, people believed that since
G-d already knows what we need, there is no point in ‘disturbing Him’
by our prayers.
Today’s halacha is that we should never address in prayer one particular attribute, like MERCY, but pray to “AaDoNai” – our Master, a name coined by Abraham as we’ll learn in due course.
Clinging to Hashem
Kasuto takes a different note. Enosh addressed only YHVH, wishing
to get closer to Her, or “cling to the Shechinah.” Hence Enosh was a spiritual person
who led people to spiritual elevation. This puts a spice on Enosh’ sermons.
YHVH is One!
The MaLBiM says that Enosh addressed YHVH as the PRIMARY CAUSE of everything.
Not only as a King Who Governs our lives, but rather as a Powerful Attribute of G-d that is greater than any other Attribute, even standing behind ELHM!
By this, Enosh introduced the idea codded in the Shema,
that not only
- YHVH and ELHM are One,
- but also, YHVH is The One.
Enosh in his preaching went straight to line 2, declaring that YHVH is behind everything,
thereby passing over or neglecting ELHM, in a violation of Oneness.
The Sabbath is coming!
Since linen 1 refers to our days, when we live under the court of YHVH ELHM,
and line 2 refers to the time when only YHVH prevails, meaning the Eternal Sabbath,
hence Enosh preached that the Eternal Sabbath is “here,” that the Kingdom of MERCY
is entering Earth.
Hence – soon all our sins will be FORGIVEN and FORGOTTEN!
Calling the Shechinah to Return
Midrash Bereishit Rabah says in the name of Rabbi Aba,
that at Adam’s time, the Shechinah Dwelled on Earth.
then came Cain and caused Her to depart One Step Up,
to the Eternal Sabbath, from where She had come.
Then came Enosh’ generation and caused Her to depart
One Step farther back to the Sabbath, leaving Mankind in the Hands of ELHM
The Zohar says, in the name of Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai,
that the verse “It was then that they began calling in the name of YHVH”
means that Enosh “called YHVH to return,” for only She could reverse
the verdict of the Dayan, JUDGE, ELHM.
We return in repentance to YHVH,
and She would return to Earth.
That was a good insight to YHVH’s power. Yet, by neglecting ELHM ,
Enosh breached Oneness.
Enosh the Orator – Prophet
Seforno adds another face of Enosh. To call in YHVH name means
to speak publicly and loudly in YHVH’s name, as a PROPHET.
The prophets of Israel did not “see the future” but rather saw several options of it.
There is no one future, dictated by fate, as the Greek and the Romans believed.
The Prophets of Israel laid out to the people several options for the future,
the fulfilment of which strictly depends on us, humans.
By calling the people to repent and ask forgiveness from YHVH,
Enosh acted as the first Prophet in history. Unlike the prophet of Israel,
Enosh’ preaching was effective, because he was extremely gifted ORATOR.
Describing Enosh Body
The midrash describes Enosh as a miracle of nature, never to be repeated.
At the advanced age of 900, his body and mind were as young and fresh
As of a man30 years old. He was a beautiful person, smart and knowledgeable,
extremely compassionate, merciful and sensitive to human suffering.
It seems that he was very attractive in the eyes of women, and his seeds
filled the four corners of the Earth. He was the real flesh and blood father of Mankind!
A Giant Orator
The Torah text mentions the nefilim, the giants, whom many commentaries
believe were the descendants of Shet, Enosh included.
Hence Enosh was a nefil, a giant. A towering figure on the pulpit when preaching.
Describing Enosh’ Sermons
We can now reconstruct Enosh’ fiery preaching. We can envision
his beautiful, sim figure towering over the vast audience that flocked
from all over the Earth to hear hi
For when the illustrious grandson of Adam and Eve was speaking, who wouldn’t come?
When the spiritual leader of the generations was preaching, who would stay home?
And his audience was not a regular one. These were peoples who had fled inland
from the rising ocean, who left behind them cities and towns completely washed away to the sea, people who had lost their precious family members and friend, people who worried
about their own future as well as the future of Mankind.
We can see him standing high on the pulpit before his silent audience, all eyes are glued
to his commanding, promising posture, listening to his rich and strong voice that could be
heard for distances. Who wasn’t there? The king, the royalties, the masses of plain people.
All Mankind surrendering themselves to the illustrious prophet, whose words are divine,whose insight to the events are the same as of Adam and eve and Shet.
We can imagine how his fiery words entered their hearts like healing, reviving medicines.
And when he spoke about the forthcoming of the Kingdom of MERCY, about the need to repent
now and ask forgiveness for the past in order to have a future, they responded by a burst of emotions, by clapping their hands, by calling YHVH loudly and passionately, by prostrating on the floor crying, by calling his name Enosh! Enoosh!
And we can also imagine young Noah, as a disciple of Enosh and a designated heir, standing nearby, perhaps on the same pulpit with Enosh, hearing the sermon, watching the excited crowd, weighting every word he hear, assessing every response of ther peole, asking himself – do I agree with all that? Will I do the same preaching as my grandp
Enosh Began – the Sheer IDOLATRY!
The RMBM sees another aspect of Enosh’ erroneous teaching,
that he began Man’s downfall towards sheer IDOLATRY. How?
The RMBM writes:
“In Enosh time the children of Adam made a great error by saying
that since ELHM created the world and placed the luminaries
to control the world, He gave then a great honor like a king
honoring his councilors that rule in his name. Enosh preached
that honoring the luminaries iis the king’s wish, and therefore we should honor
and praise them, because praising and honoring them
is the same as praising and honoring Himself…
and that was the beginning and the origin of idol worshipping in the word
because after a while, Enosh’ disciples forgot the KING, the CREATOR altogether and addressed
only the councilors for their won power.
In short, Enosh “called everything in the name of YHVH” means,
That the addressed YHVH in everything, in the leaves of the trees, in the stones
and in the mountains, in the sea, the Sun and the Moon.
In our language – inside every item in the words are not only atoms
and molecules, since deep inside everything in nature is ELHM,
the creator of nature, and inside and deeper then ELHM is YHVH
who “surrounds all the worlds” – as Kabbalah says.
To demonstrate his point, Enosh was seen to pray to the leaves, to the stones,
to the sea, the mountains, to the Sun and the Moon and to all the celestial bodies.
His intensions were right and he was pious, yet his disciples took it to the wrong directions.
They too prayed to the Sun and the Moon, IN YHVH’S NAME, but in time, the RaMBaM is saying, they forgot YHVH and prayed to the celestial bodies for their own power.
According to the RMBM, Enosh told his disciples that YHVH is a KING, therefore we should better and more appropriately address the KING’S COUNCILLORS such as the Sun, the Moon and all the celestial bodies. In time, they forgot YHVH – the KING- and worshipped only the celestial bodies by themselves.
Hence, according to the RMBM, Enosh is ‘credited’ for the initiation of IDOLATRY in the word.
He did that first by BREACHING ONENESS, then by CALLING YHVH IN EVERYTHING!
The Predicted Terrible Outcome of Violating Oneness
The result of Enosh erroneous teaching was devastating.
For Mankind sled from IDOLATRY to ADULTERY to BLOODSHED and THEFT.
For once his disciples concluded that the KINGDOM OF MERCY is here,
soon their sins would s be pardoned, forgiven.
If so, why not taking an advantage of the situation and fulfil all Man’s desires
WITH NO FEAR OF ELHM?
Thus, when Noah came to his senses, as a teenager, he could realize
The faults in his mentor’s teaching. He could see that breaching Oneness,
although it seems a minor error, would lead humanity to disaster, culminating
with BLOODSHED and THET!
Now that we’ve tried to reconstruct Enosh and his errors,
let’s we need to turn to another major party in Noah’s generation,
who did the opposite of Enosh’ party,
they worshipped ELHM and neglected YHVH