Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
Ó copyrights 2022
Where Is the Garden of Eden?
1: The End of Chapter One
The story of Eden, though printed in our Bibles as Chapters 2-4,
as if it is a. separated story from the story of Genesis, is in fact
a direct continuation of Genesis Chapter One.
You need to know who is ELKM, who is YHVH, what is Evil,
what is the Sabbath, and what should Adam do to enter
the Eternal Sabbath
For instance, you need to know what Evil is, to understand
the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” You need to
understand that Evil is what YHVH hates, in order to understand
that lacking the perception of Evil means lacking the perception
So, how did the perception of both YHVH and Evil enter our mind?
For that, the story of Eden is written.
The introduction verse
The story of the Garden of Eden begins by saying:
- “This are the histories ofHeavens and Earth (How many histories?)
- “when they were re-created (What does it mean?)
- “on the Day that YHVH ELoKiM(Why the two names?)
- “made Earth and Heaven”(Why the opposite detraction?)
(Genesis 2: 4)
To see the answers, let’s read the end of Genesis Chapter One:
Transition between Genesis and the story of Eden:
ELoKim said let us make Adam in our form and our image…
ELoKiM blessed them saying be fruitful and multiply…
EloKiM said behold, I have given you all the grass…
ELoHiM saw everything that He had done and behold, it was
VERY GOOD (Tov Meod) and it was evening, and it was morning,
Y om (Day)
H a Shishi, (Sixth) (Genesis 1:31)
…………………………the Sabbath ………………………….
V ayechulu (and they ended)
H ashamyim (the Heaves)And the Earth, VeHaaretz,
and all their hosts, and ELoHiM finished all the work he had done,
ELoHiM finished on the Seventh Day His work which He had done,
And He abstained on the Seventh Day from all His work which
He had done (Genesis 2: 1-2)
…………………………. Garden of Eden……………………………….
This is the history of Heavens and Earth when they were re-created
om the Day that YHVH ELoKiM made Earth and Heaven” Genesis 2: 4)
Here is the text shown as one, continuous story. We see here
the succession of the events from the Six Days to the Sabbath
then to Eden. We distinguish three stages:
The first stage is the Six Days creation by ELKM ALONE (in red).
During these Six Days He created the world according to His Will,
Consulting no one, asking no one to join Him.
The second stage is the creation of Adam and the Sabbath.
Thus, on the Sixth Day, before making Adam, ELKM ‘realized’
that Adam would not withstand His harsh scrutiny and would
therefor have to be “finished”, khala, terminated to nothingness,
along with the entire Six Days – as He had done to numerous
other worlds before ours – ELKM therefore “invited” the
Attribute of MERCY, YHVH, to share with Him the rule of our world.
The text shows the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH, entering our Sixth Day
the first time ever, as an acronym, seen only by a learnt eye.
The Y-H part is dwelling in our Sixth Day, the V-H part is still
dwelling in the Sabbath.
The third part of the story is Eden (in green.) Here the
Attribute YHVH appears in the open, in full, yet only
side by side with ELKM, as YHVH ELKM.
The full story
Looking at these stages as one story, we can reconstruct
the series of the events.
The story of Eden is continuation of the events of the Sixth Day.
At first YHVH entered as a shy, modest acronym, seen only
by learned eye.
At that stage of the story, YHVH is still seen standing apart
from ELKM. She enters our world as a as a shy, modest Dove,
or a beautiful Cherub, or a Shy, modest BRIDE, khala, whose face
is covered by a veil, her presence is hidden as an acronym.
As She enters our world, the GROOM’S world, the BRIDE
observes it carefully: would She be comfortable here?
Would She find here a heart to Dwell, a Sabbath to rest?
The story of Eden tells us what happened next.
Here YHVH appears the first time in full, rather than an acronym,
yet only side by side with ELKM. YHVH is not yet seen ON HER OWN
So, here in Eden YHVH appears as YHVH ELKM,
like two Cherubs in Love, holding Wing against Wing,
as Moses depicted them, as a Golden Cherubs, on the Holy Ark.
“YHVH ELKM” appears here as two Attributes touching each other,
only in the story of Eden. They appear here 20 times,
but never again in the entire Torah.
Note that you don’t see in Eden each of the Attributes standing alone.
They show up only as YHVH ELKM.
Obviously, YHVH ELKM appear here so close to each other,
In order to form Adam and Eve.
Hence Eden is a cradle of Mankind, the Place where
two Attributes YHVH ELKM held each other like
a BRIDE and a GROOM in Heavenly Love.
What a good introduction it is
to Noah’s Second Commandment ADULTERY,
and the concept of MRRIAGE, as we’ll soon see!!!
Now why does the verse say that the world was re-created?
As it says:
- “This is the history ofHeavens and Earth,
- when they were re-created
- om the Day that YHVH ELoKiM
- made Earth and Heaven.” (Genesis 2: 4)
The verse informs us what the two Cherubs did, while
holding Wing against Wing.
They “re-created” the world in their ONENESS.
You see the Oneness in the Hebrew words
“YHVH ELKM made Earth and Heavens.”
Here “made” – ba-ra – is a singular form of the verb, indicating One Entity.
How did they (He) re-create the world?
The verse says: “When YHVH ELKM made Earth and Heavens,”
in the opposite direction of Heavens and Earth, of Chapter One.
In other words, the Attributes YHVH ELKM re-created the Sixth Days,
or better said: “consolidated” the Six Days, by their Oneness.
This idea is indeed the base of the Psalm song that the Levite Choir
used to chant at the Holy Temple, on every Sixth day of our week.
“A Psalm song for the Sixth Day:
YHVH is King, He has garbed Himself with grandeur,
YHVH has robed Himself, He has girded Himself with strength,
then the world was consolidated, it shall not faulter…” (Psalms
We still recite that Psalm on Friday before the entering of the Sabbath.
What does it mean that YHVH ELKM “consolidated” the world?
Let’s recall, that without the advent of YHVH in the new Heavenly Court,
ELKM would have ‘finished’ it – terminated it – to nothingness, khalah.
It is only Her presence Side by Side with ELKM, as ELKM’s BRIDE, khalah,
that has saved our world from extinction, khalah! (Sefat Emeth,)
What a multitude meaning to the word “Finish,” Khalah.
How did YHV H ELKM Consolidate the Six Days?
The verse says that YHVH ELKM re-created first Earth, then Heavens,
in the opposite direction to Genesis Chapter One that says
Heavens and Earth.
Thus, they (He, in Oneness) flew from the Sixth Day to the Fifth,
then to the Fourth, to the Third, Second and First.
And wherever they went, all creatures sang a new song,
as Psalm 61 and 98 say.
Where is YHVH in our World?
By flying together over the entire Six Days,
YHVH’s presence in our world was established, as the Psalm says.
It means that both Attributes support our world, but in a different way.
ELKM “fills” the world by His presence, since his name appears alone
In Chapter One 32 times (LB, heart.) Hence, He ‘fills the world’
and sustains it as a heart sustains the body.
It means that ELKM ‘sits’ deep behind any item of our world,
keeping it running along the Laws of Nature that He, ELKM, had set up.
YHVH’s presence in our world is different.
According to Kabbalah, YHVH sits ‘deeper’ than ELKM,
actually ‘behind’ and ‘wider’ than ELKM.
She is called “The power that circumvents the whole worlds.”
Quantum Physics Analogue
Today’s physics recognizes three levels in any item of our world:
- The material world in which we live, like the table, chair, their molecules and atoms.
- The laws of nature that control the material world,
- The quantum, subatomic level – like the photons and electrons – where the apparent laws of nature do not work. On that level, two photons can occupy the
Same spot or not exist at all, and two entangled photons can “communicate” rat no time, regardless how far they are from each other.
Interestingly, the Torah also recognizes three levels in each item of our world:
- The material world as we see it and live in it
- The Laws of ELKM that control it and stabilize it
- The Shechinah’s level behind and deeper than ELKM’s level,
where the Laws of ELKM – the laws of nature – do not apply anymore.
In that innermost level, there is no fix time line and no definite space dimensions
since all options are “forgiven” and accepted. You may say that this level
represents the Kingdom of YHVH.
For instance: The Holy Ark and the two Golden Cherubs on it HAD NO DEFINITE
SPACE DIMENTIONS AND NO TIMELINE.
Indeed, while YHVH’’s quantum level is indefinitely large and unrestricted,
The level of ELKM represents “restriction”, ztim-ztum, which fixes the
atoms and the molecules to form our material world.
Again, modern Science only shed light on the truthfulness and the miracle
of the Torah itself.
Eden as our Nest
Going back to Eden story, we’ve seen how YHVH ELKM appears here
like a Heavenly Mother and Father consolidating the world,
preparing it to form in it a NEST for their child Adam.
That NEST is the Garden of Eden.
So, where was that NEST, the Garden of Eden?
The next verse says it all:
The verse describing where Eden is:
“And there was no shrub of the field yet on Earth,
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,
but mist went up from the ground and watered
the whole face of the Earth…” (Genesi
So, when exactly was Eden formed?
The verse describes it as a Day that had no life on Earth,
not even vegetation, not even rain.
There were only Dry Land, Ocean and mist.
What Day could it be?
It couldn’t be the Sixth Day, with its Cattle and Beasts and flourishing Vegetation.
It couldn’t be the Fifth Day, with its Fish, Birds, Crocodiles and Lizards.
It couldn’t be the Fourth Day, when the Earth Axis was fixed.
What about the Third Day?
As we recall, Chapter One says that –
on the First Day, the Earth was chaotic, covered by hot, streaming Lava.
On the Second Day, Earth was completely covered by Water, no Dry Land
and no creature existed yet.
On the first part of the Third Day, ELKM separated the Dry Land
from the water. Science says that the granite super-continent , Rodenia,
appeared over the water for the first time. No life was on it, yet. All rocks
from that era show no fossils in them, no leaves and not even bacteria.
Then, Chapter One says, ELKM ‘paused’ and passed a judgment –
would Earth see life on it, or not?
ELKM then said that it was good, and He seeded the first life form on Earth,
as seed of Vegetation, a mono -nuclear algae called Somatocyte.
From that seed, all creatures would evolve.
Thus, on what Day was Eden formed?
Let’s read the verse again –
“And there was no shrub of the field yet on Earth,
And the grass of the field had not yet grown,
for YHVH ELoKiM had not yet showered rain on Earth…”
The only Day that fits that description is the Third Day,
exactly when the Dry Land appeared, and ELKM passed a judgment.
While in Chapter One, the “first story of CREATION” by ELKM alone,
it was only ELKM who passed that judgment and then continued
to create all other creatures,
Now in the second story, when YHVH ELKM re-visited the Six Days
flying backwards from the Sixth Day to the First, “consolidating”
the world by their Oneness and Love, they “parked” over the Third Day
and re-visited the Midday trial, this time conducted by both!
Indeed, the Talmud states, in the name of Rabbi Yochanan:
Eden was formed the THIRD DAY of CREATION,
before ELHM seeded any life on Earth!
FORMING, rather than CREATI
The key to understand this lies in the Hebrew word
“to form,” which differs from “to create” and “to make.”
Any endeavor must pass through these three phases:
The phase of CREATING (Be-riah)
The phase of FORMING (Ye-tzirah)
The phase of MAKING (Aa-siah))
When I plan to build a house, I’d first think about it in general terms –
what sort of house it would be? Residential, or commercial?
A country style or contemporary? Large or small?
This is the PLANNING, CREATING stage of the project.
As a second stage, I would contact an architect who’d translate
my ideas them into a Blue Print, a written plan. This is the stage
of FORMING the house, on a paper or on a computer screen.
Thirdly- I would engage a builder who’d put the house on
real ground. This is the phase of MAKING the house.
Thus, since the term “formed” is the only one used in the story of Eden,
the Garden of Eden was in “The World of FORMING,” as a Blue Print plan,
or on the Computer Screen – a VIRTUAL GARDEN.
The Rabbis in the Middle Ages, like Rabeinu Bachyee, perceived
the Garden of Eden as a “bubble” hovering over the Holy Land.
But to us, in the 21th century, the story makes sense as it is,
since it resembles a modern architect who places the plan of the house
first on the screen to study how it would function. Only then he/she
would build it on the ground in the real world.
Thus – as the Attributes YHVH ELKM flew backwards over the Six Days,
they FORMED the Garden of Eden to place Adam and Eve in it, for a trial.
What then was the purpose of the trial?
With the Advent of the Merciful YHVH in the new Heavenly Court,
the Attributes offered Adam an alternative, short path to the Sabbath,
straight from the Third Day, without ever living on real Earth
which is under the Angel of Death.
Had Adam and his Wife not sinned in Eden, they would have lived there
peacefully under the Tree of Life, without knowing “evil,”
then reach the Eternal Sabbath from there
You may say that this option was offered to Adam
by the advent of the Merciful YHVH in the Heavenly Court.
So don’t look for Eden under the buried sand dunes
of ancient Mesopotamia. The Garden of Eden was virtual,
in the “world of FORMING,” in the stage of planning, before
MAKING Adam on the real Earth.
What would Adam miss in Eden?
Let’s note that had Adam lived only in Eden, never seeing Earth,
he and his wife would have never been exposed to Death and Agony,
never experienced Evil,
but also would have never feel or understand what the Merciful YHVH
is all about. For without pains, without guilt, there is no meaning
for MERCY and COMPASSION and FORGIVENSS and HOLINESS
which characterize YHVH.
Our Mother in Heavens, YHVH, was aware that Adam could have
never felt what She is all about, had he stayed at Eden forever,
yet She wouldn’t mind, as long as Her child Adam
is safe and sound and happy.
Like a mother of a teenager who prefer her son to stay home,
rather than going to college and experience the tumult of the campus life.
She prefers him to stay home despite the fact that
Only on the campus her son would appreciate her like never before.