Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner



Ó copyrights

ADULTERY-1/Where Is the Garden of Eden?




We move today to the study of Noah’s Second commandment, ADULTERY

as presented in the story of the Garden of Eden.

Although it is written in our books as Chapters 2-4,

In the Torah’s scroll it is written as a continuation of Chapter One,

complementing the story of the creation of Adam on the Sixth Day



As is well known, the story of Eden tells us how

Adam and Eve received the knowledge of Good and Evil.


Lets’ pay attention to the vocabulary.

The perception of Good and Evil, we’ve said,

Is always from the perspective of YHVH.

Evil is whatever the Merciful Attribute Hates.


Let’s recall that at the End of the Sixth Day, our Day,

ELHM will pass a comprehensive Judgment,

On “Everything that He had done”, including Adam,

Judging whether or not he has become Very Good.


If Adam is deemed Very Good in ELHM’s eyes,

ELHM would Enter the Sabbath

Along with Adam and the entire Universe


On the other hand,

If Adam has failed to be Very Good in ELHM’s eyes,

or he is deemed Very Bad, ELHM would terminate our world

to nothingness, as He had done to many tother Universes before


And to be Very Good in ELHM’s eyes,

Adam has to abide by His Laws,

and he would be called RIGHTEOSUS.


If Adam violates ELHM’s Laws,

he is called a SINNER (not evil.)


But as it is shown in the text, at the End of the Sixth Day,

Adam would also be assessed by YHVH, from Her Side.


If Adam meets Her expectations, he is Very Good in Her Eyes,

But if he fails, if he has committed the opposite of Her values,

If he is indifferent to misery of others, if he is cruel,

he is called “Evil in YHVH’s eyes.”



1  So, how did the perception of YHVH enter

Adam’s heart and mind?



Let’s see the text.


In Genesis Chapter One it is written that

ELHM said, Let Us make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image,

Speaking in plural


Then, the next verse says that

ELHM created Adam in His Image.

In ELHM’s image only


So, in the planning stage, ELHM spoke in plural

In the name of YHVH and ELHM together


Whereas when ELHM made Adam on the ground

He made him in His Image only,

and it would be up to Adam to accept YHVH into his heart

on his own discretion and Free Will.


Let’s recall the full story.

When ELHM planned to create Adam,

He invited the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH

to join Him in the Heavenly Court.


YHVH entered our world in the Sixth Day, as shown in the text,

and Observed ELHM’s World-

like a Bride entering her Groom’s home for the first time,

assessing whether or not She would feel comfortable living here.


She said, so to speak,

“Your world, ELHM, is beautiful and smart, full of your Wisdom and Justice

But how could I rule it, when OI see no one here who

can understand my language, who knows Good from Evil?”


ELHM said,

Let us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”

Our child Adam would know me, and in his heart

I would carve out a room, where you can Dwell,

if he lets you in.”

ELHM would not make Adam merciful by nature, as a reflex,

Since MERCY is none of ELHM’s features

But He would make us capable of accepting Her

on our own discretion


 YHVH agreed, and as you will soon see in the text,

the two Attributes held Wing against Wing,

like two Cherubs in Love, and flew over the Six Days,

consolidating them – by their Oneness and Love,


Not unlike a Groom’s house that gets a new shape and light

By the authority and charm of the new Bride.


Hence, as the text says,

At the planning stage, ELHM spoke in plural, saying Let Us,

Whereas when making Adam,

ELHM made him in His Image only


Expecting Adam to fill the gap and accept YHVH

into his heart, on his own discretion


It seems from here, that a person may abide by ELHM’s laws,

never rape, never kill and never steal, never bother anyone,

and yet ignores YHVH’s expectations of him altogether.


Such a person lives an ordinary life, never violate any law

Yet he is oblivious to suffering in his own community


He may never contribute charity above a bare minimum,

He may never volunteer to help the needed or contribute to welfare,


He may buy diamond rings,

ignoring the abused children in Africa who dug it.

He may ignore the suffering of animals by human hands,

May have never supported civil rights.


Or worst:

such a person may join evil people to commit mass murder

In the name of the state, claiming to be good citizen.


That person may claim to ELHM, when time comes:

I have abided by your laws, ELHM, as You have made me in Chapter One,

Hence, I am righteous!


ELHM would say to him:

“Sorry, you quat Chapter One,

But you should have read also Chapters Two,

The story of Eden, where it explains how

The perception of Good and Evil

Has entered every person’s heart.


Therefore, your claim is dismissed!”


So, the story of Eden came as a supplement to Genesis Chapter One,

to show that despite the fact that ELHM made Adam in His image only,

it was the Primordial Sin of Eden that brought the perception

of good and evil into the heart of each person at birth,

with no exception, so that no one may claim that  

MERCY, COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS is discretional.  




Let’s read now the Story of Eden,

to understand how that happened




2  Introduction to the story of Eden



In the introduction to Eden story, we read

“These is the history  

 of Heavens and Earth

when they were re-created 


on the Day that YHVH ELoKiM 

 Made Earth and Heaven”  

(Genesis 2: 4) 



The verse continues the story of creating Adam

on the Sixth Day.



It says that the two Attributes, YHVH and ELHM,

Re-created Earth and Heaven –

in the opposite direction of Chapter One!


What does it mean?


Let’s first pay attention to the Names here

While in Chapter One, the Attributes appear

Each one by itself, ELHM alone 32 times

and YHVH alone once, as a hidden acronym

at the junction between the Sixth and the Seventh Days



Here, in the story of Eden, the Attributes appear

The first time ever together, in the open, as YHVH ELHM,

their Names close to each other, touching each other

as they would never appear again throughout the entire Torah


They appear in that fashion 20 times in the Story of Eden.



Let’s note,

that the Attributes would later appear only as YHVH or ELHM separated,

As , for instance, it is said in the Ten Commandments: “I Am YHVH your ELHM.”

The word “your” separates them apart


Thus, in the Story of Eden, the Attributes appear as two Cherubs

Holding Wing against Wing, as Moses depicted them on the Holy Ark,

as two cherubs with a face of a girl and a boy looking at each other with Love


Now the verse says, that YHVH ELHM, in Oneness,

Re-created the Earth and the Heaven

in reverse direction to Chapter One.


As if they Flew over the Six Days backwards,

From the Sixth Day to the Fifth, Fourth and Third

back to the Beginning,

consolidating the world by their Oneness



Then it says that YHVH ELHM

formed the Garden of Eden.



3  On what Day was Eden formed?



The verse stipulates about it precisely, saying


“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…””


The verse says that the Garden of Eden was formed

on a Day, where there was no shrub, no grass,

not even rain, no animal, no Adam,

Just mist coming from the ground and watering the Dry Land


What Day could it be?

The Talmud says: it was the THIRD DAY 

Before ELHM seeded any life on the Dry Land.


Thus, the Attributes began their Fight backwards

on the Sixth Day, prior to the making Adam,

and when they reached the THIRD DAY

they FORMED the Garden of Eden there.


The key to understand this is the word

“FORMED” as opposite to “CREATED.”


There is a difference between

To create,

To form,

To make.


When I build a house, for instance,

I would first CREATE it in my mind,

I would decide what sort of a house it would be,

What would it style and purpose be,


Then I would contract an architect

Who’d FORM my house on his blue print,

Describing it on the paper, on the computer, in details


Only then I would contract a builder

who’d MAKE the house on the real ground.



there is a world of CREATING (Be-riah)

World of FORMING (Ye-tzirah

World of MAKING (aA-siah)


These are the three stages necessary for any endeavor.


As it turns out, the entire story of Eden is written

as in the World of FORMING.

Hence it was a virtual Garden,

still hovering over Mount Moriah (Rabenu Bah-ye)


So, while there was no grass, no shrub and no tree on real Earth

The Garden of Eden had already the following:


“And YHVH ELHM caused to sprout from the ground

Every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food

Also, the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden

And the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Genesis 2: 9)


Obviously, it was a virtual Garden, full of beautiful Trees

and virtual animals, as the text would later say,


Then, in this Virtual Garden of the THIRD DAY

YHVH ELHM also FROMED a Virtual Adam as it says


:And YHVH ELHM FORMED the Adam from the ground

And he blew  into Adam’s nostrils the soul of life,

And Adam became a living being”(Genesis 2: 6)


Then YHVH ELHM placed the formed Adam into the formed Garden

To “till it and preserve it.”




4  Why the Garden?



In their flight over the Six Days, back to the Beginning,

Holding each other Wing, the Attributes arrived at Day THREE

Before seeding any life on earth.

YHVH, the Merciful Attribute, then said to ELHM, so to speak:


“Why wouldn’t we spare our child Adam

the agony of living in your world, ELHM?

It is a beautiful world, indeed,

full of your Wisdom and Your Justice,

Yet it is full of misery and sorrow and death.


“Why wouldn’t we open for Adam an alternative path,

A Garden of Eden, bereaved of any sorrow and death,

from where he would arrive directly to the Sabbath

without ever been exposed to the Angel of Death on Earth!


“And to become Very Good in your Eyes, ELHM,

Let us give him just one simple Commandment,

Like Do Not Eat FROM a Certain Tree

Which is tantamount of IDOLATRY

Accepting or denying Your Kingship


If Adam complies, he wins your trial

And he would enter the Sabbath with You.”


So ELHM said:

“But what about You? If Adam never lives on real Earth

never exposed to sorrow and death,

How would he ever comprehend your


In that case, he would never know Your full Glory!”


 YHVH answered:

“I don’t mind giving up my Glory in his eyes,

as long I have sparred him the agony of living in your world.


“All I would ask from him in Eden is to

Feel My Holiness, my Joy and my Love to him.

If he feels that, he would be Very Good in my eyes!”



ELHM said:

“But if Adam fails, we would place him on earth on the Sixth Day

as I have planned, and he would have to withstand

our trial from real Earth,

fully aware of my Power and Your Glory.”


 YHVH agreed, so to speak, and the two Attributes

FORMED the Garden, FORMED Adam

And placed Adam inside to “till it and keep it”

Hoping he would withstand the simple trial

And enter the Sabbath directly from there



5  Eden Stretches Over  her Six Days


In Chapter One it is said that

on the THIRD Day, before seeding Life on Earth

ELHM  “paused” and passed a judgment.

We can now understand that the verse refers

to Eden Judgment.


Similarly, on the Sixth Day, before making Adam,

ELHM passed a Midday Judgment to see

whether or not to place Adam on Earth.

Beside those two occasions,

here were no other Midday Judgments.


We can combine them and say that Eden stretches

from the Sixth Day to the Third,

over the entire Six Days

It is therefore still hovering over us

As Rabenu Bahye says




6  Receiving YHVH’s perspectives in our hearts



But as we know, Adam and Eve failed their trial,

ate from the forbidden “Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil”

Became aware of YHVH values, of Good and Evil

And then driven out of Eden to live on Earth.


Ever since then, on real Earth,

no person may claim that he is unaware of YHVH



No person can claim that he is made only in ELHM’S image

as stated in Chapter One.

For all people now carry the awareness of Good and Evil

That entered our souls when we were in the Garden of Eden.


But in Eden, while living under the Love of YHVH ELHM,

Adam and Eve received, by eating the Fruit

another aspect of YHVH’s Holiness:  

that is:  the ability to distinguish between

Sexual Promiscuity and Marriage

ADULTERY Vs Pure Family Love  




7  Introducing ADULTERY



It is in Eden that Adam and Eve received

the prohibition against ADULTERY

To be kept even in Eden as a Second Commandment, besides IDOLATRY,

till they arrive at the Sabbath


On that we’ll continue learning next class