© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
Creating Adam for his final judgment
The Genesis text of creating Adam
The Midday Judgment of the Sixth Day
”And ELKIM said Let the Earth bring forth living creatures to their kinds,Cattle, Creeping things and Beasts of the Earth to their kinds, and it was so, And ELKM saw that it was good.
Plan to make Adam
“And ELKM said: Let Us Make an Adam in our Form and Our Image.
“And ELKM blessed them saying: They will have dominion over the Fish…over the Birds…over the Cattle… over the entire Earth…
Be fruitful and multiply, filled the Earth and conquer it…
The end of Days Judgment
“And ELKM saw EVERYTHING THAT HE HAS DONE
And behold, it was VERY GOOD
And there was evening, and there was morning, the SIXTH DAY” (was over.)
…………………THE SABBATH BEGINS……………………….
“And the Heavens and the Earth were FINISHED
And ELKM FINISHED all the Work that He has done,
And He ABSTAINED on the SEVENTH DAY from all the work that He had done, And ELKM blessed the Seventh Day and He sanctified it…..” (Genesis 1-31; 2 1-3)
Last class we compared Adam creation as shown in Genesis to the Scientific narrative of Homo Sapience. We said that the words “Let Us Make an Adam” sounds a PLAN to make Adam, which is a process that might take a while. This interpretation may refer to Man appearing on earth in stages. One can’t do such a comparison between any ancient myths and Science.
But Moses did not come to inform us what science can. Moses wishes to let us know WHO created Adam, at WHAT particular point in the Earth history, and most importantly- WHY was Adam created and for what purpose.
If one doesn’t know that, what else could he know about the Bible? We are dealing with the most important message of the Torah!
The background for the creation of Adm
So, let’s go now back to the Sixth Day, when the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM announced His Plan to make an Adam. This took place, Moses says, immediately after the Midday Judgment of the Sixth Day (that can fit well the meteoric catastrophe that wiped out the giant prehistorical creatures.) Most creatures were gone, yet the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM said that it was good, meaning that everything was ready to proceed with His Plan to create another, more sophisticated creatures- (Mammals and finally) Adam.
But unlike before, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM did not say “Let there be an Adam!” He did not issue another order. Instead, He said in plural voice, changing His tone- as it says –
“And ELKM said: Let Us Make an Adam in our Form and Our Image.
What a change it was! For the first time He spoke in plural voice, as if consulting with someone or asking someone to join Him in making Adam.
With whom could He consult?
Tradition (Rashi) explains why the All Mighty JUDGE, ELKM, changed His Way prior to making Adam.
Until that moment, for long Six Days, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM created “awesomely alone” as a sole Dictator, issuing orders, consulting no one. Acting as the Attribute of Justice, He built and destroyed, gave life and took life away, acting “measure for measure,” executing His verdicts harshly with no Mercy. Yet His rule was efficient and successful, and He moved the World forwards Day by Day according to His plan. Like a BUILDER of a Six Floors BUILDING, Nature, He checked each Floor to be sure that it was good, solid, strong enough to carry another Floor on top. Creatures that He deemed “not good anymore” He eliminated. Under His sole Dictatorship no one could object, raise a brow, rebel or deny His orders. Even after the Midday Judgment of the Sixth Day He was pleased and said that “it was good.” The ground was laid and the raw material was available to bring a more sophisticated creature – Adam – on Earth
But Adam would be the first creature endowed with FREE WILL. And that posed a new challenge. Having FREE WILL means having the option to reject ELKM’s orders, deny His Natural and Moral Laws, even deny His existence. How could such a creature survive under the All Mighty JUDGE’s dictatorship?
As long as the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM ruled “Awesomely Alone” as sole Dictator, following Absolute Truth and nothing else but the Truth, a creature endowed with FREE WILL would never survive for long.
The problem was compounded by the new demand that the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM placed on Adam’s shoulders.
You can see that in the verse. Before creating Adam, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM passed a judgment on the Sixth Day and said that it was good.
Then, with the advent of Adam in the world, at the End of the Sith Day, it is said again that
The All Mighty JUDGE ELKM saw everything that He had done
And behold, it was Very Good,
And there was evening and there was morning, Day Sixth (was over)
Clearly the JUDGE ELKM tightened His yardstick by which He measures the world and with the Advent of Adam He increased His goal and saw that it was Very Good.
Hence for Adam to survive the JUDGE ELKM scrutiny, it is not enough to be good like all creatures before. In order to survive and see the next Day, Adam must be Very Good; in other wards: Please Very Much his CREATOR.
How could Adam, equipped with a FREE WILL, ever achieve that?
Let Us…Heavenly Consultation
As harsh and merciless the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM is, yet He is KIND, JUST and FAIR. He wouldn’t place Adam in a trial without giving him a fair chance to win. For that, He changed the way He rules. Moreover, He invited MERCY – another Attribute of the Infinite CREATOR- to join Him in a New Heavenly Court! Something that had never ever happened before.
You see that in the verse. First, He “descended” from His High pedestal as a sole JUDGE, as an Awesome Dictator, and spoke in plural voice, using a softer tone of “consultation,”, saying “Let Us…” The rabbis said that Instead of an “awesome dictator” he became “A King Who Consults.” (In Hebrew, a King – Melech- is one who nimlakh, consults)
Secondly the “softer” All Mighty JUDGE ELKM invited another Attribute of the Infinite CREATOR, the Merciful Attribute YHVH – to join Him in anew Heavenly Court.
Under the new Heavenly Court – of YHVH ELKM- Adam would have a better chance to be Very Good and survive.
The Merciful YHVH showers on us LOVE, MERCY, COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS.
Her Advent in the Heavenly Court would offer Adam a chance to REPENT and ASK FORGIVENESS. Her Advent in the Court would ameliorate the JUDGE ELKM’s Verdicts and offer us a new beginning.
The process of judging
To better comprehend the story, let’s go back to our example of a human judge running for office, saying to his voters: Vote for me because
- I Am
- A merciful, yet just judge
- whom you know well from my previous jobs
Had he presented himself only as merciful guy with a big and compassionate heart, you wouldn’t have voted for him, for such a loving guy would fail to punish criminal as they deserve
Had he presented himself only as a tough guy who follow the law meticulously with no mercy, seeking the sheer truth and punish severely with no mercy, you wouldn’t have voted for him either. For who would ever come out clean under his harsh scrutiny?
The ideal judge would spare no resources and time to find the truth about the case, then exercise his mercy to ameliorate the final verdict.
Analyzing the process of judgment made by the ideal judge, we see the following three stages:
First, the judge exercises his acumen as an experienced judge to find the facts, the truth and nothing but the truth
Secondly, the judge ‘summons’ his ‘merciful heart’ to examine whether or not it can ameliorate the verdict. A debate takes place between his ‘mind’ and ‘heart’, between his sense of justice and sense of mercy
Thirdly, the judge would come up with a verdict that expresses his attribute’s agreement about that case.
Let’s go deeper into the judgment process.
At first, the human judge marshals his vast experience and knowledge to discover the true facts from fictions and lies. He spares neither time nor resources to decipher the evidences, to examine the witnesses’ truthfulness. He draws from his vast general knowledge of implementing justice to apply against the current case.
In the 2nd stage the judge relax, sits back, and ‘summons’ his vast sense of compassion, mercy and forgiveness that fills his heart. He is known to be merciful and compassionate beyond the courtroom and beyond the current case, and now he focuses the good heart of his towards the person in front of him.
A dialogue – or a debate – the rages in the judge’s soul between his logical mind and his solid sense of justice on one hand, , and his good heart on the other hands.
In the 3rd stage, the judge issue the final verdict that expresses the justice in agreement between his two attributes
Since Adam is made in the Form and Image of the CREATOR, the Heavenly Court operates similarly to the ideal judge. (In fat the other way around is true). In Moses Ten Commandments, the Heavenly Court presents itself as
- I Am
- YHVH (LORD) your ELKM (GOD)
- Who took you out of Egypt Land
Prior to giving the Law – the Ten Commandments- the Heavenly Court informs us how it works (line 2) to issue the final verdict (line 3). Line 2 describes the following process-
First, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM scrutinizes us in absolute JUSTICE to find the truth
Secondly, the Merciful YHVH is ‘summoned’ to enter a Heavenly Dialogue with the Attribute of Justice, ELKM
Thirdly, the Court issues its final verdict, its “kingship” (line 3)
The point is that each participating Attribute of the CREATOR is infinitely large and is operating outside the Courtroom. Each Attribute has no limit. Each “confines” itself to the Courtroom to create Adam and judge him, each wishing Adam to be Very Good and see the next Day- the Sabbath.
Moses’ message is that Adam was ‘designed’ and ‘made’ during the precious “moment” of the Heavenly Dialogue that took place after the Midday Judgment of the Sixth Day. The Dialogue occurred between the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM – who had just descended from His High Pedestal, relinquished His Awesome sole Authority, invited the Attribute of Mercy YHVH to join and then entered a Dialogue – Consultation – about making Adam together “In Our Form and Our Image.”
The Advent of the Merciful YHVH in the Court would offer Adam a chance to win despite his FREE WILL. Adam would be offered a chance to REGRET, CONFESS, ASK FORGIVNESS and PLEDGE TO DO BETTER. Adam wouldn’t be given that chance has he been ruled by the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM awesomely alone.
Let’s see that in the text.
This Heavenly Court, of the Ten Commandments, is first introduced to the world in Chapter One of Genesis. The Chapter is designed to show how the Heavenly Court works. Let’s see how.
The Chapter’s design is as follows
ELKM—Six Days, Let Us Make Adam, Very Good – YHVH
- At first, it presents the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM acting “awesomely alone” in absolute justice. His Name appears 32 times through the Chapter, the densest fashion in the Torah. He is the BUILDER of the Six Floors Building- Nature.
- Then, prior to making Adam, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM changes His tone and speaks in plural, inviting the Merciful Attribute YHVH to join His new Court (Rashi)
- Then the two attributes enter a Dialogue, a Consultation about how to make the Adam equipped with FREE WILL and yet capable of becoming Very Good and see the next Day.
- Then the Court’s final verdict – Very Good- would be issued in the Attribute’s agreement
You see that paying in the text. Remember the structure:
ELKM—Six Days, Let Us Make Adam, Very Good – YHVH
First, ELKM the All Mighty JUDGE appears 32 times to create the Six Days.
Then before creating Adam, He turns to YHVH at the end of the Chapter, saying Let Us Make an Adam…”
YHVH appears in full in Chapter 2 in the story of Eden. But She also appears as an ”hidden” Acronym before that, at the very end of the Sixth Day before the Sabbath as you see in the following verses:
Hashishi (Sixth was over)
Vachulu (they ended)
Hashamayim (The Heavens and the Earth
You see the Attribute YHVH as an acronym penetrating our Sixth Day from the Sabbath, where She Dwells. Her first part- YH – Dwells in our world, while Her silent part – VH– still Dwells in the Sabbath.
The Eternal Sabbath is not just another Day of CREATION. It is the Domain where the Merciful YHVH “reigns” awesomely alone, just as the JUDGE ELKM reigns for Six Days awesomely alone.
Again, each Attribute is awesomely large. The All Mighty JUDGE ELKM “existed” before He created our world. He had created, they say, numerous other Universes before ours. He created them and then destroyed them ruthlessly, with no Mercy, but in justice. This could have been the fate of our Universe as well, had He not invited the Merciful YHVH to join Him and create Adam.
In other words – Adam is the reason that our world was not wiped out at the Midday judgment of the Sixth Day. Placing Adam on earth gave our world a chance to survive, pending on Adam.
That’s why at the end of our Sixth Day, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM will judge not only the passing Sixth Day (as He had done before ) but rather “everything that He had done” – meaning the entire world, from the Beginning to that final point.
If Adam would be Very Good, the World would remain alive and enter the next Stage- the eternal Sabbath. ELKM would “finish” His work, abstain from more work, while YHVH would REST in Her Domain.
But if Adam has failed his last judgment, if he would not be Very Good, the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM would “finish” everything He had done , terminate it, and revert it to nothingness.
As it is said
And ELKM saw EVERYTHING HE HAD DONE and behold it was Very Good
And there was evening, and there was morning, Day Six (was over)
And the work of the Heavens and the Earth was finished…”
YHVH too is “vast” and not confined to our world. “She” Dwells in Her own Domain, Her Universe, called the eternal Sabbath. It might be depicted as the next Day of CREATION, beyond the current Sixth. It is a Day where She reigns awesomely alone, filling it with Love, Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness. It is a Day filled with Her Glory and Holiness. Our world can’t contain Her.
Yet by the invitation of the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM, YHVH came in to join the Heavenly Court CREATING ADAM. She came in as depicted in the verses- the YH (yah) entering the Sixth Day while the VH still Dwelling in the Sabbath Day.
And as She came in our world to join the new Court, She entered a dialogue with the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM about creating Adam. Adam is born in the tiny moment of the dialogue between the Attributes. Before Adam, only the All Mighty JUDGE ELKM was here. At that time, YHVH Dwelled only in the Eternal Sabbath of the future. The precious exceptional moment when the two Attributes formed the Heavenly Court and entered a Dialogue, Adam was born. Adam would be judged all his life by this exceptional Court of YHVH and ELKM.
You see that in the text.
As soon as Chapter One is over and the Court is established, the verse says
These are the histories of the Heavens and the Earth
On the Day that YHVH ELKM made Earth and Heavens
And YHVH ELKM formed the Adam from the dust of the Earth
And YHVH ELKM formed a Garden in Eden and He placed Adam in the Garden
Chapter One presents the new Heavenly Court and explains how and when the Court was established
Chapter Two (Eden) that follows describes the new Court of YHVH ELKM as it forms the Adam and immediately conducts the first Trial of Adam – the Trial of Eden.
Yes, under the New Court of YHVH ELKM Adam has a better chance to win
But at the same time, the advent of the Merciful YHYH in the Court places Adam in a double judgment- by ELKM and by YHVH. Adam has to please the two of them in order to win. That is the price of having a Defense in the Court.
What exactly should Adam do to be deemed Very Good and see the next Day?
Tjje two Attributes acting the firist time as the new Court of YHVH ELKM to form the Adam and judge him
We’ll study the whole story in full later in due course
Now we just want to see the process
Frist ELKM—Six Days and Adam—then YHVH entering from the Sabbath
Then in chapter 2: YHVH ELKM forms and judges Adam
This way, under the rule of YHVH ELKM, Adam would have a chance to repent, ask forgiveness, be pardoned and able to have a new start. Thi swouldn’t happen under th eruek of ELKM alone
Adam under a double scrutiny (the price_of having Mercy in the court 0
Adam needs to be Very Good
The entire Buildinng depends on Adam’s trial s
uk said Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Image, and Form of the CREATOR infers that the Heavenly Court operates the same way as an ideal human judged we’ve just described. The Heavenly Court too has two Attributes. First ELKM the JUDGE fins the truth and noting else but the truth, determine the appropriate, just verdict, then listen to the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH. Each of the Attributes is vast. ELKM the All Mighty JUDGE had already created many Universes before, which He had destroyed. For long Six Days He acted alone, creating Nature with justice. All creature eat, and are eaten.
But before issuing a harsh verdict on Adam, He would step down from His supreme power and “listen” or “consult” with the Attribute of MERCY, YHVH.
And YHVH too is a vast Attribute, even “greater” than the Attribute of Justice, ELKM. “She” Dwells in Her own Universe, far greater than ours. Her Universe, full of LOVE, MERCY, COMPASSION and FORGIVENSS is “The Heart” of the Infinite CREATOR who has no name and no human conception.
Sitting on a Throne of Judgement and judging Adam, the All Mighty ELKM “summons” the Merciful YHVH to join Him in the Heavenly Court.
For a precious moment they enter a Dialogue, between Mercy and Justice, to form a common Verdict.
And Moses is telling us that Adam is made precisely at that precious moment when the two Attributes has entered a dialogue between them, when ELKM said in plural voice :Let Us Make an Adam in our Form and Our Image.
open Himself up to listen to another Attribute of the Infinite CREATOR- the Attribute of MERCY, rubute-
M and justesomely kes slong the Dictator , that such an Adam would not be able ever to win his trial and be “good” in ELKM’s eyes, like all other living creatures besides him.
Tradition says (Rashi) that