IDOLATRY-10/YHVH/The Beautiful Attribute of MERCY



© 2017 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner


IDOLATRY-10/Y-H-V-H, the Beautiful Acronym of MERCY


Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference



1: Could Adam win his trial?


To win ELKM final Judgment, Adam should be deemed not just ‘good’ like all previous creatures, but rather ‘Very Good.’  What exactly does this mean?

We have seen that to be good, all  creatures had to

1 Make ELKM feel good about them

  1. Abide by His Laws of Nature
  2. Win ELKM’s trial
  3. Support the next Day,

If they failed to be good anymore, they were eliminated with no mercy. This was the fate of the pre historical creatures. This is how ELKM advanced CREATION from Day to Day, constantly eliminating creatures while introducing higher and more complex ones.

If so,  to be Very Good in ELKM’s eyes, Adam should

  1. Make ELKM Feel Very Good about him
  2. Abide by ELKM’s Natural and Moral Laws
  3. Win ELKM’s harsh Judgment
  4. Support the next Day of CREATION, the Seventh, the Eternal Sabbath.

Adam is born into a harder trial than his predecessors on Earth. But before we go into more details of Adam’s trial, the question was, the rabbis said, if Adam would ever win it? Equipped with a smart mind, strong Self Consciousness and a Free Will, driven by powerful Sex Drive and a Drive for Power, would Adam  withstand the harsh scrutiny of ELKM and win?

The rabbis observed and said: no way. No man can withstand ELKM’s harsh scrutiny.  No man can live  without sin.  If Judah, Moses and David sinned, who wouldn’t? .

It is not that Adam is inherently evil with no hope . It is rather ELKM’s  harsh Judgment that makes it impossible for Adam to win.  Who can stand the Absolute Truth?

The stakes are high.  If Adam fails, the entire world has failed. If  Adam is not Very Good, ELKM would consume it to nothingness”, kahlah, as He had done to other numerous Universes!   .


2: ELKM invited the Merciful YHVH

The following narrative or interpretation, is based on the Talmud, Rashi and the Book of Zohar (splendor.)

Recognizing the inevitable bad final verdict, ELKM in His kindness decided to give CREATION a better chance to win the final Judgment. He would change the Heavenly Court,  add MERCY to it, and also change the way Adam would be built, in comparison to previous creatures.

Since ELKM , by definition, would NOT add Mercy to His Court by Himself, He turned to another Attribute of the Infinite CREATOR. the Attribute of Mercy, Her name YHVH and invited Her to join Him (Rashi).    . .

So after the Midday Trial was over, ELKM said that it was good and He allowed  CREATION to proceed.  But first turned to Y-H-V-H, mentioned at the end of the chapter (as we’ll see) and invited Her to join Him in ruling the world.

The Text would never, never explicitly say that ELKM talked to YHVH. Saying this would leave the wrong impression that these are two separate deities, which is a sheer IDOLATRY.

The clue for this ‘invitation’ lies in the verse, as ELKM said  in plural:

Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.

Till now ELKM only gave orders like “let it be.”  Bu before making Adam He spoke in plural, indicating a new Heavenly Court of  “YHVH and ELKM.”

It makes sense.  The advent of the MERCY in the Court  would ameliorate and sweeten the final verdict.  YHVH’s presence in the Court would also offer offer Adam the option to REPENT, ask FORGIVENESS and PLEDGE for a better future, things unheard of under the previous Court of ELKM.   If YHVH joins the Court, Adam’s chances to win his trial would increase. .

A human judge should do the same. He should first find out the truth and nothing but the truth, and issue a truthful verdict.  Only then exercise mercy. .

Let us never forget that both  ELKM and YHVH are Attributes of One, Nameless CREATOR who is beyond our conception and above any description. He/She reveals Himself to us by one of His infinite number of Attributes, as needed.

Thus “at  the beginning,” the CREATOR ‘set’ on the Throne of Absolute Judgment as ELKM  to create the Six Days. Before making Adam, however, the CREATOR revealed Himself ALSO as the Attribute of MERCY, Y-H-V-H.

Note that neither ELKM nor YHVH has any gender.  We tend to refer to ELKM as a male, and to YHVH as a female.  The reason is that ‘MERCY’, in Hebrew rachamim, is derived from rechem, womb. Who can feel Compassion and Mercy if not the mammal mother to her offspring?

Later we’ll learn that it was no incident that our mother  Eve, after giving birth to Cain, was the first to appreciate YHVH in full.


3:  Adam should also earn YHVH favor

The the Merciful YHVH would defend Adam  in the Heavenly Court and sweeten his verdict – if Adam deserves it.

Adam would therefore have to gain Her favor.  he would would have to show mercy, compassion and forgiving by himself, in order  to warrant YHVH’s love and protection.   ,

But ELKM would not fill Adam’s heart  with Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness needed to find face in YHVH eyes. This is NOT what ELKM does. ELKM had never ever created such a creature before.   Operating by measure for measure in Absolute Justice, ELKM has built all His creatures accordingly:  eat and be eaten, which is the opposite of what Mercy is.

ELKM would only carve out a room in Adam’s heart capable of perceiving YHVH values.  it would be up to Adam to do the job.


 4 : Walk my Groom towards your Bride

But there is a deeper aspect for the invitation that ELKM offered to YHVH. The hint lies in the verses.

As ELKM turned to YHVH and invited her to join Him in ruling the world, a new look appeared in His eyes, a look of Longing, not unlike the Longing of a Groom to meet his beloved Bride.

His Bride,  the rabbis explained, is the Sabbath, the next Day of CREATION. He Longs to meet her in this world.  if He is like a King, the Sabbath is like a Queen.

We too long to arrive  at the sabbath day of the week

Or. better said, ELKM longs to meet the Attribute of Mercy, YHVH, who reigns over the Sabbath. He wishes to see her in His World.

Thus, the story goes, as ELKM invited the Attribute of Mercy YHVH to come into His world and rule it along with Him, She entered it as-
A thin Ray of Light, or as
A Shy, Modest Dove, or as
A beautiful Cherub.

You will soon see this in the verse.  She entered our Sixth Day from her Domain, the Sabbath, the next Day of CREATION.

Yes, the Sabbath Day which is under YHVH reign, is a Day of unconditional Love, Joy and holiness.

And as She entered our Sixth Day from Her Sabbath, YHVH OBSERVED it  not unlike a BRIDE entering her GROOM’S Home for the first time. She observed it critically, assessing its ‘furniture’ and ‘household,’ wondering whether or not She would Feel Very Good  DWELLING in it.

What did the Bride say?
No one was there to record Her Words, but tradition holds She raised the following hesitations:

  1. She said: How can I share the rule of your World, ELKM, where I see no creature capable of comprehending me and performing my work?

Indeed, would the spider, the crocodile or the snake comprehend MERCY, COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS? Even if they develop an intelligent, scientific society, would they ever comprehend YHVH’s features? No way!

2:   She said: How can I share your world, ELKM, where I see no Place to REST my Wings?

Indeed, in Her Domain, the Eternal Sabbath, YHVH needs no rest, for She neither creates nor judges nor work.  She seeks to ‘rest’ only here, in ELKM’S World.


A hint in the verse for ELKM’s Longing  to the Bride is given in the verses. At the final judgment of End of the Sixth Day, it says :

“And the Heavens and the Earth were finished, khalah

And ELKM finished, khalah, on the Seventh Day, all the work that He had done

And He abstained  on the Seventh Day from all the work that He had done..”.(Genesis 2: 1-2)

Earlier we saw that the word ‘finish’, khalah, hints fora  bad outcome of the final judgment. If ELKM wouldn’t find the world Very Good, He would finish, or terminate it to khalah, nothingness.   .

Now we’ve arrived at the opposite meaning of khalah; A Bride! if Adam would be Very Good, ELKM would meet the khalah, the Bride, the Sabbath, or to the Attribute of Mercy who reigns  there.

Indeed, who is  a beloved bride if not the one who consumes your heart with desire to meet?

Thus two options given in one word:

khalah! Termination!

khalah! A Bride!


5: He consulted YHVH to make Adam

Hearing the Bride’s hesitations, ELKM said:

Let us make an Adam in our Form and Our Image

His tone was softer, not unlike a power facing a superior power (Zohar) ‘superior’ not in physical might  but rather in Love. If She joins Him in the Court and make Adam, he would surrender His verdict to hers.

And He meant:
Adam will be our child,
In his heart, you could dwell…. if he invites you there
In his Sabbath, you could rest…if he observes it
In his heart, we would Consummate our Love…if he unite us there
He will spread your light  into  my world


 6: Y-H-V-H in the Ten Commandments

Let’s pause and focus on the meaning of YHVH. .

In our quest to understand IDOLATRY, we have been following Moses  Ten Commandments that says: l

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 (idols’ list)
1. Thou shall not make for yourself other ELoKiM’s
2. Over My Face…….

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

The First Commandment obligates every human to KNOW the Speaker ,G-d, by these Names.

We’ve learned so far  about ELKM from Genesis Chapter One.
Now we’re learning about Y-H-V-H, also from Genesis Chapter One.




1: YHVH is an acronym

Y-H-V-H is an acronym, made from the following words:

ha Y a (he was)
H o V eh (he is)
y H yeh (he will be)

In Hebrew it rhymes and sounds beautifully.

Some translate YHVH as Eternal, which is inaccurate, since ELKM too is Eternal.
The acronym expresses the notion that although Y-H-V-H appears late in the story of Genesis we should know that She was before everything,  is now, and will be active even when ELKM would cease His work!

How should YHVH be pronounced?

As an acronym, Y-H-V-H should be pronounced as an acronym: letter by letter.  Exactly as you would pronounce other acronyms: C-B-S, N-B-C or C-N-N, letter by letter, with no VOWELS separating the consonants.

Mispronouncing YHVH  as JeHoVah, Yehowah or Yahwah is not only rude, but  also an error that betrays deep ignorance of her meaning.

In Hebrew ’it is pronounced  Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh, letter by letter.

We tend to replace YHVH by the title given to Her by Abraham: AaDoNai, which means My Master, My Owner.

In daily speak we refer to YHVH as “The Name,” HaSheM.


She is a ‘warrior’ only against those whom she hates, who are cruel.  Thus She was a warrior against Pharaoh and against Sodom and Gomorrah.


2. Consolidating the World with Oneness

Hearing ELKM worlds to make Adam together, the BRIDE YHVH agreed and the two Attributes ‘Flew’ over the entire CREATION and Consolidated it by their mutual Love and Oneness.  They flew back from the Sixth Day to the Fifth, then to the Fourth and so on till the Beginning.

As it is said: “On thew Day that YHVH ELKM re-created the Earth and the heavens.” (Genesis 2: 4)

Like two Cherubs in Love they Flew from Day to Day, holding Wing against Wing like two Cherubs in love,

the way that Moses depicted them on the Holy Ark, having a face of a boy and a girl looking at each other with Love.

Together they flew over the entire Six Days and “consolidated” them so that the “world would not falter.”

Henceforth the World would have a direction. It would travel in time towards the Next Day, the Sabbath.

The story is retold by the Levite Choir of the Holy Temple who chanted every day a Psalm song that describes the events of CREATION that had occurred on that Day. On every sixth day of the week (Friday) the Choir chanted the following Psalm:

“YHVH has reigned….
Henceforth it would not falter…”

On” this day,” the sixth, the “world was consolidated” by the presence of YHVH in it, so that “it would not falter.”



  1. 3: How to be Very Good?


Now we can better understand how Adam would be Very Good in ELK’s eyes. By emulating YHVH, by being merciful, compassionate and forgiving, Adam would do something that ELKM would never do by himself.  .

Adam would be Very Good by drawing  the Sabbath into ELKM’s world.

Adam would be Very Good by keeping YHVH here in ELKM’s world, by accommodating Her into His heart.

Adam would be very Good by uniting the Groom with the Bride, ELKM with YHVH, or ELKM withthe Sabbath.

4  The Attributes accommodate each other


While ELKM  judges us by our abiding by  His Laws,

YHVH  assesses us by our emulating Her ways.

Thus on one hand the advent of MERCY protects us,

but on the other hand it adds on our liability

We need to ‘find face’ in Her eyes too, besides complying with ELKM Laws.

In Her Domain, the Sabbath, YHVH does not judge.  But when She ‘sits’ in the Heavenly Court, She accommodates Herself to Her Groom and assesses us too, but from Her point of view.

When ELKM ruled alone, he consulted  no one.  When He  decided to form the Heavenly Court, He stepped down from His sole ruling and began listening to to other moral arguments.

Hence the Groom and the Bride accommodate each other to form the Heavenly  Court.


 5: Where does YHVH appears in the text?


At the End of the Sixth Day it says:

“And ELoKiM said let the Earth bring forth creatures, Cattle, creeping things,
And ELoKiM made the animals…cattle…and everything creeping
And ELoKiM saw that is was good,
And ELoKiM created Adam in His Image
And ELoKiM blessed them saying be fruitful and multiply
And ELoKim said let us make Adam in our form and our image
And ELoKiM said behold, I have given you all the grass
And ELoHiM saw everything that He had done and behold, it was Very Good,
And it was evening, and it was morning,
Y  om, (Day)

H  aShishi, (Sixth) (was over) (Genesis 1:31)

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,
And 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)

Here the Sixth Day, ruled by ELoKiM, is painted red
The Sabbath Day, ruled by YHVH, is painted blue

And as you see, the Acronym YHVH penetrates our Sixth Day from the Sabbath,
Half of the Acronym, the Y-H, dwells in our Sixth Day,
The other half, the V-H, still dwells in the Sabbath Day.
You can see how YHVH enters and assesses our Sixth Day.



6: Adam is born to BECOME Very Good


At first, while planning Adam, ELKM said in plural:

“And ELKM said: Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”

But since neither ELKM nor YHVH has any ‘form’ or ‘image,’ what does the verse say?

Tradition explains (Rashi) that the verse should be read as if ELKM had an “Image and Form” of an ideal Adam on His Mind, when He spoke these words.

ELKM made Adam with a Plan: to help Adam become Very Good.

Adam would not do it by himself alone.

ELKM said “Let us,” me and you, Adam, make an ideal Adam together.  I will guide you to become that Image and Form that I have on my mind about you.

Adam is the only creature that would have to improve himself to become a Very Good one. But Adam would not be able to achieve that by himself alone, without the guidance of ELKM and the Torah.


 This is clearly  shown in the text. After the consultation with YHVH, saying “Let Us make an Adam…”  the next verse says:

ELKM (then) created the Adam in His Image,
In the Image of ELKM He created him,” (Genesis 1: 7)

This while planning Adam, ELKM spoke in  plural voice. But when he began making Adam, the verse says that ELKM made Adam in HIS Image. The verse repeats this message  twice, to emphasize the point.

Hence ELKM made Adam in His Image, capable of becoming the image of YHVH ELKM in Oneness. .

It means that ELKM  endowed Adam with all the talents needed to thrive and rule over his habitat, Earth; to be like ELKM. He endowed Adam with a precious Free Will, Self-Consciousness, a smart Mind and powerful Passions and Desires.  Adam can emulate ELKM. But that would NOT make Adam Very Good in ELKM eyes.

But at the same time, ELKM prepared also a room in Adam’s heart, capable of accepting and harboring the Merciful YHVH and Her values, something he had never done with any other creature, how smart that creature might be.  Adam would have to let YHVH fill his heart and dwell there, to become Very Good in ELKM’s eyes.


7:  Planning history


Thus Adam is the only creature made  with the expectation to improve himself and become  Very Good; by  using the special talent: his mind and heart.  Adam would learn about ELKM and  YHVH and learn to unite them in his heart, mind and actions.

“Let Us Make an Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”  This verse takes now a new meaning. ELKM says to Adam : “Let us, me and you,  make an ideal Adam together. according to the Image and Form that I have on him.”

Adam would have to grab ELKM’s hand, the Torah, and progress with it to become Very Good. .  .


8: Does science agree?


An interesting point: After the Sixth Day, Midday Trial that decimated the pre- historical giant creatures, the room was opened for MAMMALS to proliferate. Why Mammals?

Logic says that ELKM would have continued to create creatures next to the last ones on the list. If He wished to introduce smart creatures to the world, He had already have the raw material for that. He could have used the Crawling creatures mentioned last before Adam  and  prompt them to develop smart minds.  They had already developed a  social life based on intercommunicate, and they could have evolved into scientifically savvy creatures, capable of making their own computers, smart phones and space ships.

ELKM could, for instance, promote a smart Serpent that would walk and talk like Man. But instead, ELKM promoted mammals. Why?

Science admits that what is special about Mammals is the Compassion the mothers  show towards the offspring. It comes with the mother milk.  .  Alligators would eat their offspring, but mammals won’t.

You CAN say that after the Midday Trial, ELKM and YHVH began the process of making Adam. They started by promoting mammals to proliferate and grow. The natural, reflex Compassion of the mammals towards their offspring would evolve into the full blown conscientious Mercy and Compassion in Adam.

Again,you CAN match Science with Moses, even in regard to making the Adam.


9: Think about this

1. The end of Genesis Chapter One can be summarize in the following diagram:

YHVH…Very Good….Adam…..ELKM

Each Attribute judges Adam from its side.  Adam need to be Very Good by both YHVH and ELKM. 

Adam is like a child holding the two Attributes together.  This structure of the Heavenly Court: YHVH-Adam-ELKM would repeat itself several occasions in the Book of Genesis, like before the Flood and the Binding of Isaac.

:2. As our world is traveling towards  the future, it can get ‘los’t in the “Super Space”.  it can wobble with no direction. The presence of YHVH here, the Y-H (pronounced Yah)  is likened to an anchor which steady its course towards the Sabbath.   YHVH is likened to a lighthouse that shows our Universe the way to progress in history.

3. Remove YHVH away from us, or let YHVH fly away back to Her Domain, and our world would be lost and terminated by ELKM to khalah! Nothingness.

4: YHVH reigns ‘alone’ over the next Day, the Eternal Sabbath

ELKM has reigned ‘awesomely alone’ over the Six Days, before creating Adam.

We live are under YHVH ELKM in Onenes.

6: The Nicknames In Kabbala:

ELKM is often referred to as  “One Who fills the World.”  For ELKM’s  Name appears 32 ( Lb is  heart) in Chapter One

YHVH is also called “One Who surrounds all worlds.” YHVH surrounds everything. .

The Eternal Sabbath is not just another Floor over our Six Floor Universe.
It is, rather, the next phase of our ENTIRE Universe, into which it travels.

8. When the Eternal Sabbath comes, ELKM will ABSTAIN from doing anymore work, ABSTAIN from doing anymore Judgment, ABSTAIN from inflicting retributions or giving rewards. It is a Day that knows no SORROW and nor DEATH, but also no BIRTH.  It is a Day full of endless LOVE, JOY and HOLINESS.

9: Our weekly Sabbath is only a taste of the true, Eternal Sabbath.

10:  If you enter a Synagogue on Friday evening, you’d hear the congregation chanting the “Welcome of the Sabbath” service. They would chant:

Walk My Groom Towards the Bride, the face of the Sabbath we will welcome.”

It Is a moving, joyful service. The Bride is either (1) The Sabbath (2) Creation (3) YHVH who dwells in the Sabbath (Rabbi Dov Soloveichick Z”TL)

11:  Had ELoKiM continued to rule the World awesomely alone, He would have terminated it with wrath.

Had YHVH ruled our world awesomely alone, this would have also brought its destruction. For without fearing ELKM, who wouldn’t sin? Or if any sin is assured to be forgiven, who wouldn’t sin?

Our World is ruled by YHVH ELoKiM in Oneness

12:  The Torah wants us to focus not on the futuristic Eternal Sabbath, but rather on Her presence in our Sixth Day. Or better said: on the transition between our Sixth Day to the Sabbath.

13: YHVH ELoKiM’s Oneness is not only a philosophical or theological principle. We are  COMMANDED to UNITE the Opposing Attributes into One, in our courts, our hearts and our lives. Oneness is a way of life, of combining Justice with Mercy.

14: In her Domain, the Eternal Sabbath, YHVH does not appear as Merciful and Compassionate. After all, in the Sabbath there is neither sin nor retribution, no suffering and no pains. It is only in our World, ELKM’s world, that Her Light assumes the value of MERCY, COMPASSION and FOGIVENSS, in contrast to ELKM and His ways.

Note also that in Her Domain, YHVH neither judges not forms a Heavenly Court. The Sabbath is a Day of unconditional loved without judgment.

It is only here in ELKM’s world  that the Bride YHVH has ‘accommodated’ Herself to Her Groom ELKM. Siting here in the Heavenly Court , YHVH assesses too, using Her criteria, which are different than ELKM’s criteria.

15 The ‘part’ of YHVH that penetrates our World, the Y-H, is also called The Shekhinah, meaning “the Dweller.”
The Y-H may be pronounced Yah, like in Jeremiah, Isaiah. But the full Acronym Y-H-V-H is always pronounced as such, LETTER BY LETTER! The V-H is pronounced letter by letter.

16: YHVH is more than a BRIDE. Her presence in ELKM’s World is perceived as a BRIDE. But in truth, YHVH encompasses everything, even the Attribute ELKM. You can say that Judgment too is an aspect of Mercy, since it is a mercy to the world to see in it the wicked being punished. It is mercy to the world to see Pharaoh drawing. It is mercy to the world to see the Nazis being called to justice.

17: Moses told Israel:

  1. Hear O Israel, YHVH is our ELKM,

  2. YHVH is One”

We live under line 1: YHVH ELKM, But we move to line 2: the Kingdom of YHVH.
Hear it! Think of it!

18: Moses placed the two Golden Cherubs over the Holy Ark, to designate the two Attributes YHVH and ELKM, like a BRIDE AND A GROOM looking at each other in Heavenly Love   The Shekhinah of YHVH spoke to the Prophet of Israel from the Space Under the Wings.


What next? We’ve been following  Moses Commandments:

1.I AM

2.YHVH your ELKM

  1. Who took you out of Egypt”

We’ve learned about YHVH and ELKM in line 2.

The time has arrived to move on and study YHVH ELKM’S KINGSHIP



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