Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
BLOODSHED-4/Enosh and Noah
Last class we saw how before the Flood,
The Heavenly Court judged Noah and his generation
YHVH found the generation evil, and that their thoughts
Were about doing evil all day long, so that She was saddened
and regrated making Adam
Evil means cruel, merciless and lacking compassion.
On the other hand, ELKM found the generation “corrupt” (not evil)
Meaning they corrupted by IDOLATRY and ugly form of ADULTERY,
So that all flesh corrupted their ways.
And in addition, that the generation corrupted with hamas,
Wich is a deadly mixture of terrible BLOODSDHED AND THEFT.
ELKM therefore deemed them to be washed away by the Flood
As it is said “and the spirit of ELKM is hovering over the waters.”
His retributions come through waters, that He uses water as His Whip
Then we saw that After the Flood Noah worried that f he starts civilization again
the sins of the past would return and so would the Flood return. Why then
should he procreate?
He then offered to G-d the first Burnt Offering ever, on Mt Moriah, where
He poured out his heart and tribulation before G-d.
Today we’ll focus on what were the sins of his generation that Noah was so worried about?
Was he right by assuming that they would return?
For that, the Torah devotes several chapters covering the period
Between Cain and Abel till the Flood. We’ll focus on the main events
Leading to the various sins.
The sin of IDOLATRY
In Noah’s time, his generation split into two main camps:
The camp of Enosh, who worshipped the Merciful Attribute YHVH,
and neglected the Attribute of Judgment ELKM,
And the camps of Cain’s descendants who did the opposite:
They worshipped ELKM and neglected YHVH.
Each camp started pious in its own way,
yet each degenerated later into terrible corruption.
And there was a third, perhaps smaller camp of Enosh’s disciples
who degenerated into worshipping the Sun and the Moon,
and other idols to their kind, as the RMBM describes in details.
So who was Enosh?
Let’s pay attention to Enosh since Noah came seven generations after him.
Although he was much older than Noah, yet he raised Noah as his own son
wishing that Noah would take over one day his place as the spiritual leader of Mankind
After the killing of Abel by Cain, Adam and Eve were so saddened that they
Refrained from bringing more children to the world.
One hundred and thirty years later, however, Adsam “knew his wife Eve” with passion,
And their youngest son was born. They named him Shet, foundation,
Since they believed that he would be the new spiritual foundation of Mankind.
Indeed, the Torah says that Shet was born
“in Adam’s image and form” (Genesis 5: 3.)
Since Adam himself was made “in the image and form of ELoKiM,
it comes out that also Sheth was made “in the Image and form of ELoKiM,”
the highest praise a human may receive.
Sheth indeed grew upto become a righteous man, a pillar of faith for his generation
Adam and Eve lived a long and fruitful life,
due to the brunch of the Tree of Life they had brought with them from Eden.
When they felt their time arrived, they bequeathed that brunch to Sheth ,
So that he too live a long and fruitful life.
Sheth begot many children; among them was Enosh, on whom it says:
”And to Sheth, to him too was born a son
and he named him Enosh.
It was then that they began
calling in the name of YHVH.” (Genesis 4:25)
Enosh was raised on the laps of Adam and Eve,
which gave him a great status among his temporaries.
He learned Torah from Adam and Eve, as well as from his own father Sheth.
He knew well the foundation of the Torah, yet he made fatal errors
On Enosh it is said that “In his time they began calling in the name of YHVH.”
If you interpret “calling in the name of YHVH” as simply “praying to YHVH,”
then Enosh did the right thing. He taught his disciples to PRAY to YHVH in wards, rather than by sacrifices. He was merciful and compassionate and he did not want any BLOODSHED.
Hence Enosh did the right thing
But unfortunately, the Hebrew word for ‘began,’ hu-chal,
can also be read as ‘PROFANED!
Hence Enosh did something bad: He ‘profaned’ YHVH name, by ‘calling’ Her
and by praying to Her.
The question is: How could this be? What did he do?
Rashi and RaMBaM (Maimonides) explain:
Enosh preached several unwarranted ideas:
- He ‘called,’ or prayedto YHVH only, ignoring ELoKiM
- He ‘called,’ or namedeverything as YHVH (Rashi) –
the sun and the moon and the leaves on the trees
- He ‘called’ or encouragedYHVH to ‘come out’ into our world
Enosh, according to the sources, was a giant of body and spirit, a miracle of nature never to be repeated. At an advanced age close to a thousand years, his body was still fresh and vital as of a young man of thirty.
He was a beautiful, muscular person who had many wives and concubines, and his seed filled the Earth. He was blessed with a sharp mind and a perfect logic, and his rich voice roared over vast distances. He was probably the greatest orator Mankind has ever known.
People revered and loved him passionately.
character. As a grandson of Adam and Eve, he wielded an absolute command on his generation, that is, apart from his nemesis: the Children of Cain, do called Children of ELoKiM.
We can imagine Enosh’s fiery sermons about the forthcoming of YHVH to rule our world in the open. He believed that the Sabbath is around the corner, and that the Kingdom of Mercy is about to enter or world.
We can imagine Enosh delivering his fiery sermons to his huge audience.
We can see him on a high pulpit, his rich, harmonic voice roaring above the audience heads to far away.
We can imagine his beautiful, majestic body towering over the people who drank his message with happiness. laughter, and joy.
We can imagine the enormous impact of his preaching: If the father of humanity was speaking, if Adam and Eve’s grandson was speaking, who wouldn’t listen?
We can imagine the sheer ecstasy of the audience, hearing
that YHVH was coming to forgive all their sins with endless Love!
How thrilled they were to hear that YHVH would soon appear in the open
and burn Evil forever!
But we also know that his fiery sermons had terrible consequences.
That his disciples degenerated into heinous crimes,
Since they feared ELKM no more,
and since they believed that their sins would be soon forgiven
they committed ADULTERY, BLOODSHED and THEFT with no hinderance.
Moreover, Enosh was YHVH inside everything in Nature.
He called or prayed to YHVH everywhere, speaking to Her through
The leaves on the tree, the Sun and the Moon and all the celestial bodies.
To his many disciples Ensoh explained that it is OK to pray
To the Sun and the Moon as the KING’s Councilors,
That is actually preferred to pray to them rather than disturbing G-d, th eKING
His intentions might be pure, yet his disciples took it the wrong way.
For not too long they forgot the KING, G-d, and they prayed to the Sun and the Moon themselves, as well to the Trees and the Leaves by themsepves as the RMBM writes:
In the days of Enosh the Children of Adam made a great error,
And even the greatest wise people of the generation made a folish mistake
And Enosh himself participated
And this was their mistake
They said that since ELKM created the Sun and the Moon and the Stars
To rule and lead the Earth thereby giving therm a great honor
And they are His servants and councilors , therefore it is
Appreopriate to serve rthem and to praise them and that is in fat His Will that we should do so,
And that was the essence of tgeir idolatrous ways
Thart they kew that G-d is trhe KING yet they thought that this is His wish that Mankind would honor His servants
And in time, false prophets appeared and taght peole to make statues and images of those celstail bodies and worship them as well as natural forces and Trees and mountains ….and to offer them sacrifices and bult for thenm temples and palces of idol worshipping…
Forgetting the true G-d altogether…”
Hence we’ve mentioned so far two groups
Enosh’s disciples who believed in YHVH alone and forgot ELKM
Enosh’s disciples who degenerated into foolish idol worshipping
Both groups ended up with AFULTERY, BLOOSHED and THEFT, hamas,
Regardless of their original faith
Cause Noah to wonder whether Mankind’s bloodthirsty heart would tske over
Regardless of your particular faith.
Let’s talk about Noah
Noah was born seven generation after Enosh, ten generations after Adam and Eve.
The line of his ansesters if studded with ritheous people like
Hanoch, who never died, because “he walked with ELKM” and kept his Laws (Genesis 5: 22; ) and because “ELKM took him away” (Genesis 5: 24).
Metushelach, who lived longer than anyone else (Genesis 27).
On Noah’s birth it is said:
“And he (his father, Lemech ) named him Noah saying:
This one shall comfort us for all our work
and the toil of our hands
For the curse which YHVH has cursed…” (Genesis 5: 29)
Reverse Adam curse, become a new Adam
The name Noah means comfortable. He was an easy going person, who rebuked no one.
Miraculously, the name of his wife, Naama, implies the same that she too was an accommodating person.
But Noah also means a phyisical comfort.
his parents hoped that since Adam was cursed to eat bread by the sweat of his forehead,
their child Noah would ease that curse,
And make the farmer’s life easier.
Indeed, trsadition says legend says he introduced the first metal plough to farming.
He converted the weapons of his brother in law Tubal Cain into metal ploughs
A thing that the prophet of Israel would later foresee in the future
Tradition holds that when Noah was still a young boy his mother passed away, leaving him to his father Lemech. When his father married another woman, he asked his own father, Metushelach, to raise the child yet the very old man could not develop any meaningful connection with young Noah.
The news came somehow to Enosh, seven generations older than Noah. What prompted his interest in young Noah was the fact that Noah was born naturally circumcised, a very unusual phenomenon. As it is said
“Noah was a complete, righteous man,”
A phrase which resembles the words of G-d to Abraham before giving him the order to circumcise himself: “Go before me and be completely righteous”.
While Noah was born circumcised, Abraham had to circumcise himself
So while the people in town saw that las a weird congenital defect, something to hide
Enosh saw that as a mirsacle. Hknew that Adam too was born circumcised, and he took that as a sign
that Noah would turn to be a NEW ADAM, a new father of humanity.