IDOLATRY-12/The Trial of YHVH ELKM Kingship


© 2017 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Genesis-and-seven-laws-of –


IDOLATRY-12/The Trial of YHVH ELKM Kingship


now your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference

1 : Kingship in the Ten Commandments


In our quest to comprehend the IDOLATRY Commandment, we’ve been following the first two of Moses’ Ten Commandments that say:

The first, positive Commandment
1. I Am (The Essence)
2. YHVH Your ELoKiM (The Attributes)
3. Who Took You Out of Egypt Land” (His Kingship)
The second, negative Commandment, listing the idols
1. Thou shall not make for yourself other ELoKiM’s
2. Over My Face…….

These two Commandments are the two side of the same coin:

The first, ‘positive’ Commandment tells us whom to worship
The Second, negative one tells us about the idols, whom we should worship not

We’ve learned about the Attributes’ Names in line 2, YHVH and ELKM, and about the Self, the I AM in line 1.  The primary will of the Self, we’ve said, is to Rule Over, be  King.  Indeed, line 3 introduces YHVH ELKM Kingship.

Line 3 says: Who Took You Out of Egypt Land.  It spells out what the Speaker does.  He intervenes in human history.  He could have said “Who created the world” or chose another of His deeds, but speaking to the former Egyptian slaves He chose the most meaningful Title to them.  Hence Kingship should be personal and meaningful.  I do not accept G-d Kingship only because He created the world, but because He is My King, to who I surrender my life. .


2: Idolatry as a battle of Kingship

The notion of  G-d as a King implies that He is not only the “Primordial Mover” perceived by the philosophers, not only the CREATOR and the JUDGE, but also our King Who orchestrates and handles my personal life.

 We comply with Moses’ Commandment by addressing God in the way He addresses Himself. Thus in our prayers and blessings we address God and His Kingship in the following way.

Blessing Him for our bread we say “Blessed are
1. You (against I AM)
2. YHVH (uttered My Master) our ELoKiM
3. The King of the Universe, for bringing out bread from the ground.”</font size>

We’ve followed meticulously  the three lines of Commandment One.  Here we chose to express His Kingship as the One  “Who brings forth bread from the Earth.” . .

A battle of kingship
Not incidentally, Moses places line 3, of His Kingship, at the junction between the First and Second Commandments of IDOLATRY.  Man, ‘located’ at that junction, faces two choices:
Either looking up (to the first Commandment) and accepting the yoke of YHVH ELKM Kingship,
Or looking down (at the second Commandment) and accepting the yoke of the idols listed.

Hence, IDOLATRY can be defined as a battle between two Kingships: that of the true G-d, and that of the idols. We either surrender our lives to the true G-d, or to the idols. No escape from that trial. No neutral choice of being free from any attraction. For Man is made to withstand that battle and that trial!

The idols as kings
Any idol can serve as a false king. A person can surrender his life to drugs or alcohol, to a political party or to a profession.  These are modern idols that haunt our generation.  .

But the trial of kingship involves more than the above.  It involves the choice of kingship in our own society.

Let’s elaborate.


Three Types of Heavenly Kingship


Looking at Moses’ First Commandment, we see the I Am (line 1) dictates its Will down to Kingship (line 3) to be executed in the real world.  Line 3 is the channel through which the Verdict of the Self is executed to the outside world.

Line 2 where the debate is being held is similar to the USA Congress with its two wings.

Line 1 would represents the Verdict achieved by the arbiter, or by the common will of the parties in the Congress.  The Self can also be seen as the Supreme Will of the American Nation that supervises the Congress.

Line3 of Kingship represents the USA President who receives the Verdict of the Self and executes it to the outside world.

Looking at the Commandment we can decipher 3 types of Kingship:

I Am                                    I Am                          I AM

YHVH                                 ELKM                      YHVH  ELKM

 Your King                         Your King                 Your King

Genesis Chapter One presents these three types of the CREATOR’S Kingship:

(1)  ELKM ruling awesomely alone over the Six Days

(2)  YHVH ELKM ruling our Day  in consultation

(3)  YHVH the ultra sensitive ruler who rules the Sabbath.

Let’s discuss them one by one.


Kingship type 1: ELoKiM ruling  Awesomely Alone


During the Six Days CREATION, ELoKiM ruled by issue Commands, asking no one’s opinion, consulting no one and begging no one. This way He  created the World “awesomely alone” as a benevolent Dictator   And during this long period, no one dared to object or refuse His Words.  He run the World with an iron fist, paying retributions “measure for measure” in absolute justice, with no MERCY. Thus,

He said “Let it be light,” and light was there.
He said “Let the earth grow grass,” and grass grew.
He said “Let the luminaries hang in the sky,” and they hung.
He said “Let the waters swarm with fish,” and they were.
He said “Let it be Cattle, and Beasts,” and Cattle and Beasts became reality.

Let’s not look down at His Dictatorship. Since for the entire Six Days ELKM advanced CREATION effectively and efficiently, and He was pleased and deemed it ‘good.’

Teaching us that every tyranny, even a human tyranny, can be efficient and achieve its goals.  In tyranny, trains go out on time, workers never strike and the economy stabilizes. Everyone is employed, and people may feel good and secure.

But Tyranny can be good, yet never Very Good. Tyranny faces a ceiling, above which it can’t rise. It can’t become Very Good, even in its ruler eyes.

But in the middle of the Sixth Day, knowing that staying on course would lead Him to destroy His own Kingdom, all the work He had done, ELKM changed the way He rules.

Teaching us that every tyrant would end up aspiring to destroy his own kingdom, the one he/she has previously loved so much. If ELKM  would have terminated His Kingdom, who wouldn’t?
Example from history? Too many. Take  Mao, Stalin, Hitler, they all ended with a paranoid desire to bring chaos to their own kingdoms.


Kingship type 2:  YHVH ELKM, The King Who Consults


ELKM stepped down
Seeing that His Dictatorship would “fnish His work” with wrath, khlah,  ELKM changed the way He rules.After the midday trial of the Sixth Day was over, ELKM changed His tone and spoke in plural. He stepped down from His high pedestal as a Tyrant, or as a Supreme JUDGE,saying  to whoever was listening:  :

“Let Us make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”

Hence He was a Dictator no more. Henceforth, He would act as a King Who Consults, who speaks in plural,  Who listens to His subjects, a ‘Democratic’ ruler.

In Hebrew, the word for  ‘consulted,’ nimlach is the same as for “he was ‘enthroned,’ nimlach.
Hence: in Hebrew, Who is a King, Melech? – The ruler who consults first,  nimlach, and then decrees. In short: a ‘democratic king.’

We’ve arrived at the third metaphor explaining the relationship between YHVH and ELKM.
(1) “Let Us…” The Attributes Consulting each other in the Heavenly Court
(2) “Let Us..”  The Groom, ELKM,  begging His Bride, YHVH, to join him in creating Adam
3) “Let Us…” ELKM, the King Who Consults

He consulted the Angels with Modesty
To illustrate that great change, the Midrash tells the following story: (see Rashi)
When ELKM changed His tone, He turned to His Angels saying:

“Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image,”

Surprised, the Angles asked Him: “Our King! Why do you consult us? Are we not your faithful messengers who execute your will with no discretion?”
The Angles appropriately referred to ELKM as a King, for He ‘consulted’ them. They noticed that He was a Dictator no more.
They wondered why He consulted them, since the Hebrew word for  ‘angel,’ mallaah, means a messenger who has no discretion of his own.

ELKM answered: “I consult you, my Angels, to teach Adam Modesty; that the Superior should consult the Inferior before issuing a decree,” (Rashi.)

He allowed a dialogue with Adam
ELKM changed His way of ruling and became a King Who Consults,to teach Adam modesty.   Adam’s enormous ego should be tamed.

But by becoming a King Who Consults, ELKM opened the door for Adam for a dialogue with Him.  The newly formed Heavenly Court would open up to receive  Adam’s supplications and prayers and repentance, things unavailable to Adam under the rule of ELKM the Tyrant.

He opened a dialogue with the Merciful YHVH
And by stepping down from His Sole Dictatorship and becoming a King Who Consults, ELKM accommodated Himself to the Heavenly Court.  He would listen to the other Attribute, the  Bride YHVH.

YHVH the Bride have also accommodated Herself to the Court.  In Her Domain, the Sabbath, YHVH does not judge. Here, in the Court, She would assess us too, according to Her Values. . .

 Thus in this World ELKM stepped down from His Tyranny, and YHVH stepped down from Her ultra sensitive reign to join force and form YHVH ELKM Kingship. .

The Kingship of YHVH ELKM
During the Six Days, the world was ruled by ELKM alone,
We, still in the Sixth Day, are ruled by the Kingship of YHVH ELKM.
Moving in history to the sole reign of YHVH alone. .

The Modest Kingship of YHVH ELKM
YHVH ELKM is  King Who Consults.  Its reign depends on its subject’s approval. We are therefore called upon to enthrone ‘YHVH ELKM’ on OURSELVES day by day, all our lives.
For if we fail to do so, if we do not accept the yoke of YHVH ELKM on us, the modest YHVH would depart, or “fly away” with disgust, leaving the Court in the hands of ELKM alone, to our detrimental.

Some semantics
Note that in Hebrew
A ‘tyrant’ is aa-ritz,
A ‘King Who Consults’ is Melech.
Hence by stepping down and speaking in plural,
ELKIM “the aaritz” became a “Melech, King.
This distinction is expressed in our prayers for Rosh Hashana. We enthrone YHVH ELKM on us, hoping the Court would not revert to the Beginning, where ELKM ruled awesomely alone as aritz.

Adam can emulate the CREATOR Kingship
After making Adam in ELKM’s image, ELKM  blessed Adam to “rule over the fish, the birds, and all the animals” (Genesis 1: )
Adam is appointed by ELKM to be a ‘small king’ over our habitat.

Adam, as a king, has two choices:
He can rule as a tyrant, considering no one’s opinion, consulting no one. walking this way, Adam may be successful and build an efficient kingdom, like ELKM. But his kingdom would face a ceiling: it would be good at best, never ‘very good.’
Moreover, if Adam acts like a tyrant, he would end up wishing to destroy his own kingdom, to khalah!

On the other hand, Adam may emulate YHVH ELKM and rule by the art of listening, accommodating, in modesty. Choosing this way would make Adam’s kingdom Very Good in the CREATOR’S eyes, and his kingdom would see the next day, the khalah, the Bride.

A religious dictum
By a stroke of a pen, the Torah elevates here Democracy to a religious dictum. No other religion or philosophy has done that.

Moses says: “From among your brothers you shall appoint a king over you!” (Deuteronomy 16: 14 ). Thus,
(1) Israel should appoint a king over us, not that the king would enforce himself over us (Midrash)
(2) the king MUST be elected from among his future subjects. He can’t be an alien, or a semi human, or a semi- god. He must be capable to identify and comprehend his subject’s whims and answer them.

For example: David was first anointed by the prophet Samuel, yet he assumed kingship over Israel only after being elected by the elders of Israel’s tribes.
Moses too  was chosen by G-d, yet he asked and received  Israel’s support before going to Pharaoh. .

Why was Adam made from Nature?
Now we can better understand why ELKM consulted the Six Days and made Adam.
Only this way, Adam could be eligible for ruling over his habitat. Adam too must comply with the rule of “From among your brothers you should elect a king.” Adam is not an alien in Nature, not an Angel.  Adam, made of the Six Days, is capable to consult with the creatures of the Days and comprehend their needs,  Adam must be a king who consults, in order to make his kingdom very good. .

Kingship type 3: The kingdom of the Merciful YHVH

In Her Domain, in the Eternal Sabbath, YHVH reigns in such a Holy Way that we can hardly comprehend.
Even in our word, as the Shekhinah, She is  Modest. She is an acronym, hidden from Adam’s eyes. She is extremely sensitive to our approval of Her. So much, that She would ‘fly away’ from our heart the moment She has sensed any rejection of Her. If that happens, we would be left in the hands of ELKM alone.
This  unfortunate event has happened once, before Noah’s Flood.  the saddened YHVH was so despaired by Man’s evilness (Genesis 6: 6) that She ‘retracted’ from the Court and left the world in the Hands of ELKM to execute the Flood (Genesis 5: 13)

They also say that before the Holy Temples were destroyed by Babylon and Rome, a Dove came out weeping from the Holy of Holy, and flew eastwards towards the desert. Some say She is still weeping in the Wailing Wall.

The Modest YHVH hates human arrogance. “She and an arrogant person can’t be in the same room,” says the Midrash. For that reason, ELKM taught Adam Modesty first, before any other virtue.

The idea of the Kingdom of MERCY coming to Earth, has propelled human history like no other idea.
Who wouldn’t love to live under such sweet, loving Kingdom, where all sins are forgiven, where there is no sin, where there is no sorrow nor sickness nor death?
Who wouldn’t love to forgive sinners right way, looking at sinners with empathy, understanding and forgiving?
Who wouldn’t like to tolerate and embrace sinners, with grace and unconditional love?
We are all attracted, very attracted to the warmth and holiness of YHVH’s ruling alone, Her Kingdom of Mercy on earth.
But we should never forget that ELKM still sits by Her side, and that so far we are still living under YHVH ELKM Kingship; till the End of our Sixth Day.

We are in His Image
We are all built in our CREATOR’S Image. So we all have in us
1. A Self
2. Many competing attributes
3. That finally decide our action in reality.


5: Shema Israel! Listen, Oh Israel!

Moses says: (Deuteronomy 6: 4)

“Hear O Israel! (Shema, Israel!) er
1. YHVH, our ELoKiM
2. 2 YHVH is ONE”

In this eternal cry of Judaism, Moses orders Israel to know
That we currently live under YHVH, ELKIM (line 1)
And that in the future we’ll live under the reign of YHVH alone (line 2)

Moreover, he says that in the final analysis, YHVH is the only One.
For it is Mercy to the world to see in it ELKM judging the wicked ones.

How do I know that the Shema is a cry of Heavenly Kingship?
For after chanting it every morning (and veining) we acknowledge it by adding:

“Blessed is the Glory of His Kingship forever and ever,”

Since YHVH ELKM is a ‘democratic’ kingship, so sensitive to our approval,
That we support it loudly twice a day.

6: Rosh Hashanah

At the End of Days, ELKM will judge the entire CREATION whether or not it has become Very Good.

But ELKM does not wait for the end of times. He judges us every day but especially once a year on the Anniversary o f Adam creation.

On that awesome day of the year, all creatures pass by His Throne of Justice while He examines each and every one and decides its fate for the next year.

This is reflected in our prayers.

All year long we refer to Him as YHVH our ELKM the King Who Loves Justice and Mercy.But on Rosh Hashanah we refer to Him as the KING Who is the Judgment, namely ELKM.   Only ten days later, after the Atonement day, Yom Kipur, we address Him again as YHVH our ELKM.

  On Rosh Hashannah  we blow the silver trumpets (in the Holy Temple only) to designate the ascent of ELKM on the Throne of Absolute Justice, as it was in the Beginning.
And we blow the ram horn to designate the ascent of YHVH on Her Throne of MERCY.
As you see, we repeat the story of Genesis in our Synagogues.

It is not Jewish holiday, but rather Man’s holiday!

7:  Heavenly Structure

You can write Mose’s First Commandment as such:





which gives you the structure of the Heavenly Court.  Kabbala writes the same in the following way:

…….Head, Self, I Am



……. ……KING

There are other Attributes that fill the circles. For instance there is a CROWN and WISDOM above the Head, It all comes from the verses so do not think they are imaginary.  This classical diagram simply depicts  th erelationship between the Attribute as far as we can understand.