Copy Right 2022
Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
Walk my Groom Towards Your Bride
I know. Some would argue that the story told here about the Attributes, etc., is nice, even fascinating, yet it is only another imaginary story concocted by our psyche, bereaved of any objective truth. The human mind, people say, is good in inventing narratives and theories attempting to explain the mysterious world around us. Such invented narratives are Communism, Capitalism, Nazism, and many other “isms” including religion. G-d was invented by freaked primitive peoples trying to invoke supernatural forces in their favor. Sigmond Freud regarded religion as a mass neurosis.
Several years ago, I was challenged by a young student who rejected my presentation of the creating Adam as a baseless myth, lacking any scientific evidence. Everyone agrees, the young man said, that Moses didn’t really exist, and that the Torah was composed by unknown priests living in Jerusalem, probably in the 8th century BC. Indeed, the Utube is full of such lectures offered by many universities.
I remember how speechless I was facing this young lad, unable to diffract his attack. What could I say to him? Could I quat to him the RMBM who hangs our belief on the argument that since the entire people of Israel witnessed the Sinai revelation, it must be true? Well, the young man challenged the truthfulness of the entire story! Could I quat to him the kabalistic tradition saying that the story of Genesis is holy of holy and that it took place in the Heavens above? If so, doesn’t it show that the Torah has nothing to do with our reality? “there is no scientific proof for the words of the Torah,” the young man said.
Then came the History Channel and changed everything. Although it brags to give an objective, scientific account of Earth’s history, disregarding the Bible, in fact its narrative does perfectly match Moses’ words. That was a great surprise. It seems that Moses, living in 1,450 B.C., seems to know exactly how the Earth looked billions of years ago, and how it changed through discrete stages that Moses refers to as Days. To our surprise, the ‘staged’ and the ‘Days’ match perfectly well.
What struck me even more is realizing that we, our generation, is the first in history that CAN appreciate the extraordinary miracle of Moses’ words. It seems that when Moses ascended on Mt Sinai for forty days and nights, he received there information that no human could ever conceive by himself. Was it an alien? Someone from another galaxy? Moses says that it was the Divine Himself, the CREATOR, who gave him that information for our benefit. Since the story about CREATION is true, we have no choice than to believe him – also about how Man was created.
It seems, therefore, that Moses aims his words at a generation that has developed enough science to be impressed by his worlds. Such a generation, he thought, might NEED his words, to save itself – from that very science. The same science that has helped us so much to improve our life, might turn to be our worst nemesis. We are the first generation that can validate Moses’ words, and we are also the first generation that can bring Mankind to extinction by our science. Hence, WE SHOULD BETTER LISTEN TO MOSES’ MESSAGE.
ELHM Concessions Towards the Sabbath
Let’s do some reflections on Moses’ story about the creation of Adam.
In the past, the (Oral) Torah says (Rashi) ELHM created other universes like ours, but whenever He placed in them an intelligent creature endowed with free will and bad inclinations, He had to terminate these universes because these intelligent creatures always failed His harsh scrutiny.
This time, creating our Universe, ELHM wishes to end the story differently. He wishes the world to survive His scrutiny, so that He, with the entire world, would enter the Sabbath.
But how would He do that, when the Sabbath and its values are the exact opposite of whatever ELHM, the Attribute of JUSTICE, stands for?
For the Sabbath is a Day full of MERCY, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, HOLINESS, JOY and LOVE, emanated by another Attribute of the Infinite, nameless CREATOR, the so-called YHVH. None of these Features are characteristics of ELHM, who stands for JUSTICE, measure for measure, an eye for an eye, in precise way with no mercy!
That is why in all previous Universes, when ELHM reigned “awesomely alone” in a powerful, dictatorial way, ELHM would not enter any “Sabbath Day” which is the exact opposite of what He stands for. Those Universes were finally terminated by ELHM, as we’ve said.
In Kabbalah, the total separation between the Attributes is referred to as “Tohu and Bohu,” namely “chaos.” There was no dialogue and no consultation between the Attributes. In those Universes, ELHM ruled the “Six Days” alone, and YHVH ruled the “Sabbath” alone, with no interference and no mixture. Hence in those Universes ELHM did not, would not enter their Sabbaths.
This time, creating our Universe, ELHM “LONGS” to meet the Sabbath, to enter the Sabbath, not unlike a GROOM longing to meet his BRIDE, (where ELHM is the GROOM and the Sabbath is the BRIDE.)
You see that in the verse itself that says, at the end of the Sixth Day: “And ELHM finished, khalah, all the work that He has done.”
Khalah is “ended,”
or “consumed to ashes, nothingness,”
or “a bride.”
Hence ELHM poses CREATION two alternatives:
Either I meet my BRIDE the Sabbath, the khalah,
Or I would “finish” you, consume you to nothingness, as I have done before to so many other Universes!
But as long as ELHM rules like ever before, awesomely alone with the upper hand, He would never enter the Sabbath. For when He enters the Sabbath, He would surrender His Power, Abstain from creating more creatures, Abstains from doing more Judging, and Abstains from any more ruling. The word “shabbat” in Hebrew means “abstained,” not “rested.”
ELHM “should” therefore change the way He rules, in order to accept the Sabbath. He needs to prepare Himself here on the Sixth Day, to enter the Sabbath. (and we need to do the same)
ELHM, therefore, took several steps towards the Sabbath, gradually relinquishing His awesome authority.
The First step He took was at the last portion of the Sixth Day, before the Sabbath, when the time arrived to create an intelligent creature, Adam. Unlike in the previous Universes, this time He changed His rule. Instead of giving another direct order such as “Let there be an Adam,” He SPOKE IN PLURAL VOICE, saying “Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”
His tone changed. He sounded as if He “consulted” someone before making Adam, or “inviting” someone to join Him in making Adam. He was a sole Dictator no more. Instead, He “descended” from His High Pedestal and became a KING Who Consults, One who listens to the input of other voices and opinions, a Democratic KING.
With whom was He speaking, consulting?
The answer: With whoever was in the room, whoever was listening, whoever is mentioned in Genesis Chapter One. He spoke to them in plural, inviting them to participate in the creation of Adam.
This ‘stepping down” from His sole authority, was a necessary change that ELHM made while “walking towards the Sabbath.” Had He stayed ruling the world “awesomely alone” as before, He would have ended like ever before – destroying our Universe without meeting the Sabbath. But relinquishing His authority was a step towards the Sabbath – where He would completely surrender His authority to YHVH, who reigns there ‘awesomely alone.’
But that change in the way, that ELHM rules over our world, has come with a cost. By
speaking in plural, ELHM left the impression that He has “partners” in the making of Adam. In other words, as Rashi is saying, ELHM “opened the door for idolaters to think that there are more than One CREATOR.” He allowed IDOLATRY to exists. Since He is more tolerant to other opinions, even to rebellion, IDOATRY may exist – for a while.
The second concession that ELHM made while “walking towards the Sabbath” was to turn to YHVH -who rules the Sabbath – and invite Her to join Him in ruling our world. Observing it, from Her point of view, Her values, She said: “How would I rule your world, when I see here no creature who can understand me or do my work, where I see no Place to rest my wing?” Indeed, no one in ELHM’s universe comprehends MERCY. No heart where YHVH may Dwell.
ELHM then said to Her – “Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and our Image.” Our child Adam would have a room in his heart capable of perceiving you and your values. Adam could do your work, and spread your Light into my World. In his heart You may Dwell, if he lets you in.”
YHVH agreed, and the two Attributes, YHVH and ELHM, flew over CREATION and consolidated it in their Oneness and love. Like two Cherubs in Love, one with a face of a boy and one with a face of a girl, they held Wing against Wing and flew over the entire Six Days, “re-creating” them in their Oneness, as it is said “On the Day that YHVH ELHM re-created (singular voice) Earth and Heavens.” (2:2)
That was a great concession of ELHM, walking towards the Sabbath, where He relinquished His sole power more than ever before. Together, YHVH and ELHM formed a new Court, where the Attributes engage themselves in a dialogue concerning the Court’s verdict. ELHM would take the role of the prosecutor, while YHVH would act as a defense. Not only ELHM has agreed to enter a “consultation” with YHVH, a step towards His final resignation to Her Rule, He would also accept Her input of MERCY as overriding – in this world, while the Sixth Day is still going towards the Sabbath.
Why would he do this? Why accepting Her as overriding? Not because of “fear” or a power struggle. But rather out of Love, not unlike a GROOM surrendering his will to his beloved BRIDE!
But YHVH presence in the Heavenly Court is on contingency, pending on Adam. YHVH does NOT aspire to rule the world of ELHM. Unlike ELHM who “LONGS” to reach the Sabbath, YHVH is “resting” very comfortably there, not aspiring to create or judge or go anywhere. She agreed to accept ELHM’s invitation only as long as She finds a Place to REST Her Wing here, in Adam’s heart. By keeping our Sabbath day, we ‘hold’ YHVH – the Shechinah – in our Universe!
It comes out that if Adam has messed up and has acted against Her values, becoming “evil in YHVH eyes,” She would be “disappointed,” or “regretting” Her presence here, as shown in the text before Noah’s Flood. She would then ‘fly’ away back to Her Domain, the Sabbath, LEAVING ADAM UNDER THE WRATH OF ELHM – with no defense.
Helping Adam to Enter the Sabbath
But the goal of ELHM is not to enter the Sabbath by Himself but rather to take His world – including Adam – with Him to the new Day. In previous Universes, it was always the intelligent creature that failed and brought ELHM to terminate the world. In our World, Adam, endowed with Free Will and bad inclinations, would most likely fail the scrutiny of the Harsh, Supreme JUDGE ELHM. Failing to please ELHM would bring the world to total consumption to nothingness, without entering the Sabbath.
Hence when ELHM stepped down from the high pedestal as a supreme JUDGE, to become a KING Who Consults, Who Speaks in Plural, His concession did also help Adam to withstand his trial. ELHM, in His new rule, would be more patient with Adam, thereby increasing Adam’s chance to stay alive. Thus, ELHM concession towards the Sabbath, towards YHVH, was also a concession towards Adam, giving him a better chance to win and enter the Sabbath.
And when ELHM made His second concession and invited YHVH to enter our world and share with Him the new Heavenly Court, this was an enormous step He made towards the Sabbath, relinquishing His authority even more than before. Henceforth, not only He would listen to Her input, as a KING Who Consults and Listens, but rather accept Her view as overriding. In other words, He farther surrendered Himself to Her.
Why would He do that? As we’ve said, not out of “fear” but out of LOVE, not unlike a Groom surrendering himself to his beloved Bride!
At the same time, this very concession also farther increase Adam chance to win, since Her advent of MERCY and FORGIVNESS would offer Adam the option to repent, ask forgiveness and start all over again– something he would have never done under the rule of ELHM alone even under ELHM as a KING Who Consults.
But that concession wouldn’t be enough to allow Adam entering the Sabbath.
Adam, made by ELHM alone, would face the End of Days trial, and be judged whether or not he has become not just good but rather Very Good. In all previous Days, a creature that was judged at the “end of the Day” was deemed ‘good’ if, and only if it could support the next Day on top. Otherwise, it would be eliminated and thrown away like a scaffold that is no more useful.
The same trial is waiting for Adam at the end of our Sixth Day. Adam, an intelligent creature, must excel and be – not only good, like the animals before him, By but Very Good. For that, Adam MUST PROVE THAT HE CAN SUPPORT THE NEXT DAY, THE ETERNAL SABBATH.
But how could Adam support the Sabbath, when he is made by ELHM, whose “features” are the opposite of the values attached to the Sabbath? From where would Adam gain an insight to MERCY, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, HOLINESS and JOY attached to the Sabbath? ELHM would not plant those features in his heart and mind!
For that, ELHM said – so to speak – to YHVH:
“Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”
By participating in Adam creation, Adam would be CAPABLE in perceiving YHVH’s values. He would be the only creature in ELHM’s world that CAN feel what YHVH feels. .
Reflections/ The Torah
But that CAPABILITY needs to be filled with CONTERNT. And it is up to Adam to fo the work, to fill his heart and mind with YHVH’s content. For that, YHVH and ELHM would give Adam the Torah, which is the vehicle of YHVH’s content. The Torah would continue to mold his mind and heart so that YHVH would Dwell in him comfortably, and he would be deemed Very Good by both YHVH and ELHM, thereby becoming eligible – capable – to enter the sabbath along with ELHM.
Without Adam becoming Very Good, ELHM would not enter the Eternal Sabbath.
Hence, ELHM ‘needs’ Adam to “escort” Him towards His Bride.
Adam is born to escort ELHM towards the Sabbath.
Can you find a higher purpose than this one?
You see that in the verses.
Before making Adam ELHM spoke in plural, planning to make Adam in the Image and Form of the two Attributes.
But immediately afterwards it is said
“And ELHM created Adam in His Image,
In the Image oof ELHM He made him,” (1:27)
Hence ELHM created Adam in His Image only, because He would not made Adam in YHVH’s Image. But He carved out a room in Adam’s heart and mind capable of hosting YHVH. It would therefore be up to Adam to invite YHVH and let Her Dwell in his heart
Adam is born to
Stand the IDOLATRY trial
Invite YHVH into his heart
Escort ELHM to the sabbath, His Bride
Welcoming The Sabbath on Friday Afternoon
It comes out that the most meaningful moment of the week is the transition between the sixth day (Friday) and the Sabbath.
- It is the time covered by the Acronym YHVH
- It is the time that the Shechinah of YHVH entered our world
- It is the time of Adam creation to escort ELHM to the Sabbath
- It is the time that Adam is judged whether or not he has become Very Good
- It is the time that ELHM became a KING (Who Consults)
- It is the time that IDOLATRY will end
- It is the time to prepare for the Sabbath
Another Concession: The Garden of Eden
With the Advent of YHVH in the Court, YHVH-ELHM would make even a greater concession to Ada than ever before. Chapter 2 tells us that instead of placing Adam readily on Earth, YHVH-ELHM formed a virtual Garden of Eden, from where Adam would be allowed to reach the Sabbath without ever been made on Earth. On that we’ll learn in due course