© 2015 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Torah Class THEFT-8/AaDoNai! My Lord, My Master, My Owner
”Ha Ha, AaDoNai YHVH/ELKM, what would you give me?” (Genesis 12: 6)
Protecting Abraham From Identity Theft
Protecting Abraham From Identity Theft
1: All engaged in THEFT
Abraham had just ended his journey in the Holy Land. He had encountered the inhabitants according to their spiritual level, in an ascending fashion:
1. The Canaanites (idol worshippers with sacred prostitution of the Ashtoreth and children sacrifice for the Molech)
2. The Egyptians (idol worshippers, witchcraft, worshipping Death, sexual promiscuity)
3. Lot his nephew (Abandoned the Seven Commandments)
4. The Sodomites (knew YHVH yet rebelled against Her) )
5. Aner, Eshkol and Mamreh (his allies, (kept the Seven Commandments)
6. Malki Zedek the King of Salem (The priest of the Superior El Who Owns the Heavens and the Earth)
As we’ve seen in details, these groups engaged in THEFT one way or another:
1. The Canaanites CONQUARED the Holy Land from the Semitic Emorites, ORGENIZED THEFT
2. Pharaoh ABDUCTED Sarah (“Thou shall not steal” relates to human abduction)
3. Lot herdsmen STOLE water from the locals
4. The Sodomites performed THEFT with fun (Abraham does not wish to take anything from the King of Sodom, from a thread to a shoelace)
5. Abraham’s allies took a SAHRE IN THE LOOT
6. Malki Zedek the priest took a TITHE FROM THE LOOT
7. Eliezer: (we’ve not yet discussed what he did)
Since they’ll transgressed THEFT, besides their IDOLATRY, none could be considered heir of Abraham.
No wonder that he was struck with fear as it says:
2: Abraham’s fear
“After these things that had happened
the WORDS of YHVH came to Abram in a VISION saying,
Fear not Abram, I shall remain a shield for you,
Your compensation is immeasurable…” (Genesis 15: 1)
Form YHVH’s words we understand that Abraham was struck with a great fear. What could he fear so much?
And why did YHVH say “I shall be your shield”? it should have said ‘I shall shield you’ or protect you. How could YHVH Herself be Abraham’s shield? Let’s try to answer these questions.
He feared what?
Raishi says that the modest Abraham feared that by winning the war he had ‘exhausted’ all his merits This is why YHVH answered him : “Do not fear, your compensation is immeasurable.”
Others say he feared that the four mighty kings would return in vengeance (Rashi.) This is why YHVH assured him: “I shall remain a shield to you.”
Note that the word “compensation” fits Abraham’s belief in the Owner of the World who rewards peoples for their merits. A person should EARN his status in YHVH eyes.
But there was another source for Abraham’s fear, as you can derive from Abraham’s own words:
“And Abraham said,
AaDoNai, YHVH/ELoKiM (written ‘YHVH’ uttered ‘ELKM’)
What would you give me seeing that I go childless, and my household master is Damascus Eliezer?” (Genesis 15: 2)
Hence Abraham feared that Eliezer from Damascus would inherit his estate. Who was Eliezer, and why was Abraham so reluctant that he would take over one day?
3: Meet ELiezer
Eliezer was Abraham’s “household master.” Later it says that Abraham sent “his slave, the elder of his households” to seek a bride for Isaac (Genesis 24: 2.) The verse does not specify it but tradition holds that this elder was no other but Eliezer. In that case he was a righteous person who Abraham trusted.
But many commentaries hold that Eliezer and the ‘elder’ were two different persons. For our discussion here it can be either way. Tradition says that ‘Eliezer from Damascus was a Syrian who came with Abraham to the Holy Land among “the souls that they had made in Haran” (Genesis 12: 10) meaning the people who Abraham and Sarah had ‘converted’ to keep the Seven Commandments. He became Abraham’s disciple and his household master. Moreover, he taught Abraham’s faith to others. The word ‘Damascus’ in Hebrew sounds like “One Who draw from his master’s well and waters the others,” (Midrash. Hence he was righteous.
But the rabbis saw another facet of ELiezer. There are hints in the text that Eliezer ‘had Abraham’s image.” He looked like Abraham. He was also a ‘cheater’ who used FALSE BALANCING STONES. Hence he was engaged in THEFT. He also ‘measured’ unlawfully his daughter to fit as a bride to Isaac.
Hence we have another image of Eliezer as a person who looked like Abraham, taught the people like Abraham, and aspired to inherit Abraham. He was therefore an IMPOSTER of Abraham who wished or hoped REPLACE him.
No wonder Abraham was struck by a fear that without a real son, Eliezer the imposter would inherit his position, faith and properties. He feared that Eliezer would commit an IDENTITY THEFT with a TWISTED RELIGION.
How did HaSheM answer Abraham’s fear? What would; protect Abraham from identity theft?
4: Abraham as a SEER and a PROPHET
Let’s read again YHVH words:
Abraham the prophet
This dramatic introduction, “The words of YHVH came to Abram” would serve as an opening phrase for many of Israel’s prophets. Thus “The words of YHVH came to Elijah” or to Amos or to Jeremiah. Abraham was the ‘teacher’ of prophets after him. They used his style.
This emphasizes the paramount nature of Abraham’s revelation.
” The words of YHVH…” The Hebrew name for a prophet, Navi, is rooted in Niv, lips. The prophet speaks out the words that YHVH had placed in his mouth. This distinction is important, since whatever comes out from the prophet’s mouth is tantamount to a king issuing a decree. “The Mouth is Kingship,” says Kabala. Whatever the prophet says would become reality. Let’s remember that for our discussion.
VISION and WORDS
But here Abraham also had a ”VISION,” becoming a SEER, a ‘hozeh’ whose revelation comes in pictures. A VISION is more elaborate than words. A picture speaks more than a thousand words. A SEER is ‘higher’ than a PROPHET.
For instance: Saul went to “Samuel the SEER” looking for his lost donkey. The SEER sees things that ordinary people can’t. ’
Thus Abraham experienced here an unusual COMBINATION of both VISION and PROPHECY. No wonder Maimonides counts him here at the level of Moses. Among Israel’s many prophets only Isaiah and Obadiah merited this duel high level of VISION and WORDS.
What did Abraham SEE and HEAR?
Generally a prophet would say what he has seen. His prophecy and his vision are the same.
But here Abraham’s VISION differed from his WORDS.
In his VISION he saw YHVH yet by his lips he said ELoKiM!
How could this be? What did Abraham express by this unusual Name Combination?
Let’s read again what he said:
“And Abraham said (by his lips)
AaDoNai, YHVH/ELoKiM (written ‘YHVH’ but uttered ‘ELKM’)
What would you give me seeing that I go childless
And my household master is Damascus Eliezer?” (Genesis 15: 2)
Abraham introduces here two Holy Names and by this he changed Judaism. He first said ‘AaDoNai’ and then the Combination YHVH/ELHIM. What are these Names? Are they really so important?
By the way, you won’t see this Name Combination in the English translations, despite their prevalece throughout the Bible, very often used by Israel prophets.
Abraham saw YHVH, but his lips uttered ELHM. To comprehend the novelty of his words let’s review the relationship between the Attributes in the Book of Genesis:
In Eden we see the Attributes YHVH ELoKiM appearing Side by Side, as two Attributes in Love, forming their ‘child’ Adam and his wife. They would never be seen in such presentation throughout the rest of the Bible. Moses made the Golden Cherubs holding Wing against Wing, their faces of a girl and a boy looking at each other with Love.
Later on Earth Eve was the first to ‘see’ YHVH alone in full glory (after giving birth to Cain). Henceforth YHVH would appear alone in the text and ELHM would appear alone.
It means that YHVH and ELHM now comprise a Heavenly Court, where the Merciful YHVH acts in our Defense and the Judge ELoKM acts as our Prosecutor.
The Court debates a case. The Attributes ‘consul’ each other then issue their One Verdict.
A good example for that is the “Heavenly Court in session” seen in the text before Noah’s Flood. YHVH and ELHM each speaks out its aspect and together they decide to wipe out humanity and save Noah. The Court’s session is shown as:
Here the two Wings support Noah and carry him over mighty water.
But unlike Eve or Noah,, Abraham saw YHVH but his lips said ELHM. He saw YHVH and ELHM standing ONE BEHIND THE OTHER in agreement, at the last minute before issuing their harsh verdict. More specifically he saw YHVH ‘behind’ and ELKM at the front:
Here the attributes have already finished their debate about Abraham, and are standing together one behind the other to issue their Verdict.
Abraham saw YHVH ‘at the back’ but his lips placed ELHM at the’ front.’
YHVH had promised him children, but ELHM presents the harsh biological reality.
At age75, his wife 65, their chance for having a child was very slim.
Abraham in his modesty did not assume that the Heavenly Court would make an exceptional miracle for him (Rash.) he thought that his merited had been exhausted.
His eyes saw the PROMISE, but his lips uttered the HARSH REALITY.
How would the Torah’s text show this special Name Combination?
If the text would write this as we’ve done, YHVH/ELHIM, it would be a miss representation. For Abraham did not SEE ELHM. He only uttered this Name by his lips while his eyes saw YHVH.
To emulate his experience, the text should write only the Name YHVH, plus a reminder to the reader to utter this as ELHM.
How does the text accomplish that goal?
The Name YHVH is never uttered but as an acronym, letter by letter. Like you would say CBS, CNN. There are no vowels related to it.
The Name ELHM is uttered. In English it is written E-e-Lo-K-i-M, placing the vowels e-o-I in between the consonants ELHM. This looks quite naturally to the English speaker.
But in the Hebrew language the vowels are always placed either bellow or over the consonants as dots and lines. Thus ELHM is written as:
E L K M
Where the vowels e-o-I are under (and above) the consonants ELHM.
Let’s go now to Abraham’s words. He saw YHVH but hi slips uttered ELKM. The text should therefore show YHVH with a reminder to the reader to say ELHM. So the rabbis wrote this as follows:
Were the vowels e-o-I remind the reader to ‘utter’ this YHVH as EeLoHiM.
Remember: the Consonants YHVH belong to the Merciful YHVH
The vowels –e-o-I belong to ELHM.
Again remember what this Name Combination means: It was Abraham’s new insight into the Heavenly Court in session. Unlike Noah before the Flood, Abraham saw the heavenly Court at the last minute before it would issue the harsh verdict.
In that sense the opening verse to our section, “AFTER THESE THINGS (WORDS) took place” assume a new meaning: After the WORDS or DIALOGUE between the Attributes was over then YHVH said to Abraham: “Do not fear Abram, your compensation is very great.” And Abraham answered: “YHVH/ELHM, what would you give me when I am childless?” He saw the Heavenly Court at the last minute.
Would he still be able to change their Verdict?
After all, the Merciful YHVH is still looming behind ELHM!
The rabbis therefore have derived that “even when a sharp sword is pushed against one’s throat, the person should never give up requesting MERCY.”
Now we understand Abraham’s expression: seeing the harsh reality, while remembering YHVH promise, he did not want to give up from requesting MERCY.
He wanted a child. Otherwise, the imposter Eliezer would take over!
And he was very, very fearful of that happening.
6: AaDoNai, My Master, My Owner, My Lord
But Abraham preceded the Name Combination YHVH/ELHIM by another new Name: AaDoNai.
Which means: My Master, My Owner, My Landlord. As it says:
He preceded his LAST MINUTE PLEA with an expression of a total SUBMISSION to ANY VERDICT, may it be good or bad.
In other words: I AM YOUR SLAVE.
By this again he changed Judaism. The CREATOR is not only the OWNER of the Heavens and the Earth as Malki Tzedek had said, He is My personal Master, My personal Owner. My life, he said, is subjected to Your service.
Now all the Children of Noah think that way. Noah had accepted the CREATOR as a King, as a Court, but not necessarily as our Owner.
Only one who dedicates his life to the SERVICE of the Merciful YHVH, while also observing ELHM’s Laws, is Abraham’s disciple. This is true whether the person is Jewish or a ‘gentile.’
How do we write AaDoNaI? In English the vowels (a-o-ai) are placed between the consonants ADNI. But in Hebrew, as you know now, the vowels are placed (as dots and lines) under or above the consonants as follows:
Abraham revelation can be seen in the following diagram:
Abraham looks ‘up’ and sees YHVH,
In front of Her, hiding Her Face, is the harsh ELHM
And in front of ELHM, hiding His Face, is the title ADNI, My Owner, My Master, my lord.
Which means: I accept with submission any verdict, good or bad.
The prophets of Israel used Abraham’s expression of Name Combination extensively. It is found in numerous sites across the Bible in Psalms, and almost all of Israel prophets. They used it to designate a plea in face of an already decided a bad decree.
They knew that the Holy Temple would be destroyed if Israel would not forsake IDOLATRY.
They saw the Heavenly Court standing in agreement to issue its verdict, YHVH behind ELHM, and they accepted any verdict with submission, ADNI. Like Abraham they said “AaDoNai, YHVH” (where the vowels under YHVH belong to ELoHiM). Yet like Abraham they appealed to the Court: perhaps at the last minute MERCY would overcome JUDGMENT and the verdict would be appealed and replaced.
The rabbis decreed long ago that ANY OTHER YHVH NAME in the Torah text should be uttered not as ELHM but rather as ADNI in total submission. To remind the reader to do this they placed the vowels of AaDoNaI under (and above) YHVH as such:
One should NEVER read it as if the vowels belong to YHVH. One should utter this YHVH as its replacement: A-a-D-o-N-ai.
Those unfamiliar with the Torah would read this Name Combination as one name:
And the like. Their error betrays an enormous ignorance about the meaning of the Merciful YHVH Name and the submission to “ My personal Master.”
In fact YHVH is commonly translated in English as My Lord. But ‘Lord’ here is not a royal English member of the House of Lords. .’ Lord’ here is rather My ‘Land Lord,’ the Owner of my Castle, the Owner of the Universe. And more specifically: The Owner of my body, to whom I am a slave.
The Name Combination has miraculously acted as a litmus test for those who are unfamiliar with the Torah, yet claim to know it and preach it.
And Abraham’s fears have turned so true: the ignorance of the meaning of YHVH has always been a source of misrepresenting Judaism. It opened up the door for enormous hatred against the Jewish people. No wonder Abraham was struck with a fear seeing the future; seeing an imposter taking over and killing Abraham’s seeds.
Now how would you protect yourself from IDENTIY THEFT if not by a secret security code or password?
Amazingly, the very Name Combinations that Abraham introduced has worked in history like a security code to unravel the identity of any imposter
A person who has learned Torah, has been leaning on Abraham or grafted on his Tree, would never err to read YHVH as Jehovah. He or she would utter YHVH either as ELHM or ADNI, pending on the text.
But imposters who pretend to talk like Abraham, teach his faith or even looks like him, would be trapped by the security code and read YHVH as Jehovah and the like.
Now we understand what YHVH meant by saying: “Do not fear Abram, I am your shied.” YHVH was very specific here: Her very Name would serve Abraham as a shield against the imposter Eliezer.