© 2012 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Adam’s Birthday: Re-Elect our KING!
Adam’s Birthday: Re-Elect our KING!
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1: YHVH ELoKiM’S Court
A personal holiday
We are building the most meaningful holiday in the world: Adam’s birthday. With this, we follow the footsteps of Moses and Israel.
What sort of holiday would it be? Would we send up balloons to the sky, get drunk and kiss every woman or man around us?
A better question: Would it be a day of celebration of an ancient event, Adam’s birth, which took place who knows how many thousands of years ago?
The answer is that the Torah wishes this birthday to be celebrated as our personal holiday, as if each member of the human race was born on that day.
A joyful and solemn day
As we’ve seen, Adam was born to stand a trial.
Therefore his birthday should be a day of trial; of each person, of the human race and the entire Universe.
This is because at the end of our Day, ELoKiM will judge the Entire CREATION, the entire Six Floors Building.
Hence on one hand it should be a solemn day of contemplation, reflections and repentance, of reckoning with our deeds of the passing year.
But on the other hand it should also be a joyful day, a time for festivity with good food and wearing new clothes.
The Rabbis said: Let this day be “half for HaSheM and a half for us.” Half day in the synagogue, and half a day celebrating.
Only by Love and Fear
Last class we concluded that the world’s history can be described as under three Heavenly Courts:
The second Court, of YHVH ELoKiM, was formed when ELoKiM consulted YHVH before making Adam.
Together the two Attributes of the ONE CREATOR would create Adam in their ONENESS.
ELoKiM would make Adam in His singular ‘form and image,’ giving him the tools to be the king of his inhabitant, Earth.
At the same time, He would also prepare Adam’s heart to accept the Merciful YHVH, to ‘dwell’ in it.
If Adam would accept YHVH in his heart, he would feel HER joy and Her warmth as he performing Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness.
This would inspire him to cling to HER and be ashamed to disappoint HER, by violating ELoKiM’s commandments.
In other world, by Love of YHVH and Fear of ELoKiM, or better: by Love and Fear of the Heavenly Court, Adam would win the Six Commandments’ trial.
This should serve as a core of Adam’s birthday.
What would keep YHVH ELoKiM Court integrity?
We need to admit: it is better for us to live under a Heavenly Court with MERCY in it, rather than under the sole rule of ELoKiM.
Since without MERCY in the Court, who would defend us against the harsh verdict of ELoKiM?
But if we have disappointed HER, or made HER saddened by our actions, or even enraged HER by doing the opposite of what SHE wishes from us,
SHE then would ‘fly away’ from us like a crying Dove, returning back to HER KINGDOM.
If that happens, the Heavenly Court of YHVH ELoKiM would ‘brake up,’ leaving us under the rule of ELoKiM alone.
And then, it would be easy to get the verdict kahala! The world would then be terminated, like many Universes before ours.
The question is, what should we do in order to keep HER, the Schechinah, here?
To illustrate that point the Rabbis told the following story:
2: ELoKiM consulted the Angels before making Adam
The Angles’ first question
Before creating Adam, ELoKiM turned to His Angels and said: ‘My Angles, let us make Adam in our form and our image.’
The Angles were then divided. Most of them said, ‘Don’t make him since he would violate all your commandments!’
Others said, ‘Make him, for he will pray to you, be kind and charitable, seek justice and abide by your laws.’
As they were arguing, ELoKiM said, “My Angles, I’ve already decided to make an Adam.”
“In that case,” the Angles wondered, “why have you consulted us? Are we not your faithful messengers who perform your will?” The Angles, unlike Adam, have no discretion of their own.
ELoKiM answered: “I consult you nevertheless, to show Adam how to rule with MODESTY; that the superior should consult with the Inferior before making a decision.” (Rashi)
The Angels’ second question
Hearing HiM, the Angles continued: “ELoKiM, why do you speak in plural? Aren’t you afraid that IDOLATERS would err and think there is more than ONE CREATOR?”
ELoKiM said: “I hear your concern yet I risk IDOLATRY for the sake of teaching Adam modesty!”
A tyrant or a king?
Let’s first focus on the Angels’ first question: Why are you consulting with us at all? Are we not your faithful servants?
On which He answered: I wish to teach Adam how to rule with modesty, using the art of consultation rather than the iron fist.
The topic here, obviously, is KINGSHIP. Adam, like His CREATOR ELoKiM, can rule either as a tyrant, consulting no one, or as a ‘king who consults’ his subjects.
By consulting with the Angles, ELoKiM wished to teach Adam to rule with consultation.
Tyranny Vs Democracy
Thus the Angles noticed a drastic change in the Heavenly Court’s way.
Before the consultation, during the long Six Days, ELoKiM ruled the world ‘awesomely alone,’ using an iron fist, giving orders, consulting no one, tolerating no objection or decent.
Thus He said “Let it be light,” and light happened. He said “Let there be grass,” and grass occurred. He said “Let the luminaries be seen on Earth,” and they were seen on Earth.
No one dared to reject His Command, or raise a brow.
But before making Adam, the Angles noticed, ELoKiM changed His ways.
He ‘descended from the high pedestal of the absolute ruler’ and began to consult other entities.
Instead of being an absolute ruler, He became a ‘KING Who Consults’, a sort of democratic governor rather than a dictator.
As such, ELoKiM consulted with YHVH.
And He consulted with His Angles, though they have no discretion, just to teach Adam how to rule by listening to the plight of his subjects.
It is a good lesson in the virtue of Democracy, given by Moses to mankind a thousand years before the Greeks.
It is also a lesson for us how to treat the animal kingdom and Nature, a message that is important to Noahides.
After all, it was Noah who found face in YHVH’s eyes because he was sensitive to the animals’ needs.
In Hebrew, the ward for ‘he consulted,’ nimlach, is the same as ‘he was enthroned’.
Hence: Who is a king? Only the ruler who consults his subjects first.
No other language shows this level of insight into the best, VERY GOOD human government!
Yes, a Tyranny may be efficient and even good, for ELoKiM used the upper hand during the Six Days.
But Tyranny has a ceiling. ELoKIM deemed it ‘good’ but never Very Good.
Only by ruling with consultation we would be deemed Very Good!
Hence democracy is Divine! What a message to us, Americans!
Would YHVH ELoKiM’s Court ever break apart?’
Moreover, by consulting the Angles, ELoKiM taught Adam something deeper than the virtue of democracy.
He wished to teach Adam that the ‘new’ Heavenly Court, of YHVH ELoKiM, is based on consultation between
1. The Attributes, meaning between the Merciful YHVH and the Judgmental ELoKiM.
2. Between ‘itself’ and its subjects, Mankind.
It means that similar to a democratic government, the YHVH ELoKiM Court listens to the whims of its subjects, Mankind.
So sensitive the Court is to our attitude, that it would not rule as such unless we’ve accept it as our KING!!!
What do we mean by this statement?
ELoKiM, of course, does not base His authority on our support of Him, or on our approval of Him. As a sole ruler, He asks no one’s opinion.
Not so YHVH.
The Merciful Attribute YHVH is so sensitive to our acceptance of HER, that SHE would ‘fly away’ from us if SHE detects our disapproval of HER.
SHE is here, after all, only because ELoKIM has invited HER to His world, offering HER a room: our heart, our acceptance of HER.
So if we disappoint or sadden HER by our misbehavior, or enraged HER by our evildoings, SHE would depart from the Court immediately,
leaving us in under the sole rule of the Harsh, merciless but just ELoKiM.
In other words, if we cause HER to ‘fly away,’ the new Court YHVH ELoKiM would reverse itself into the old Court of the Awesome ELoKiM.
Who would then defend us? Who would ameliorate our verdict?
Do you know? This notion has been at the core of Rosh Hashanah Holiday, which is Adam’s annual birthday.
ELoKiM ascends on His Throne
Hence Adam’s birthday starts and ends according to Genesis Chapter One.
It starts with the notion that today, on the Holiday, ELoKiM ascends again on His throne of Absolute Justice, as HE did at the Beginning of CREATION.
Every creature in the world, not only Adam, then passes before His Throne like sheep before the shepherd,
While He remembers each one of them, scrutinizes each one and decides on it fate for another year.
He decides whether or not the World has progressed to become Very Good?
He judges whether or not each human has won his or hers daily trials over the passing year?
He judges whether humanity at large has progressed?
YHVH joins the Court
Then, like in Chapter ONE, the Merciful YHVH joins the Heavenly Court to ameliorate the final verdict if we deserve it,
or to add more ‘punishment’ to the verdict, if we have managed to enrage HER by our evilness, our cruelty, our inability to be compassionate and forgiving.
If we so deserve, YHVH ELoKiM’s Court would rule over us again for the next year, and the world would be consolidated.
If we don’t’ merit HER input, if SHE depart from us with disgust, Oh, we would be left under ELoKIM’s sole ruling, which is extremely difficult to satisfy!
We re-elect YHVH ELoKiM
We therefore need to accept HER into our heart, or better: accept YHVH ELoKIM as our KING.
Hence, on Rosh Hashanah, at the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, the priests blew
There were three priests: the two on the sides blew the silver trumpets, while the one in the middle blew the horn,
And they were careful to blow the trumpets and the horn together, to designate the ONENESS of YHVH ELoKiM.
Was this service geared to all mankind?
Here is the Psalm text the priests used to chant while blowing the two silver strumpets and the horn in the middle.
Note that ever since the destruction of the Holy Temple by Rome, we don’t’ blow the silver trumpets anymore, yet we do blow the ram’s horns at the synagogue,
While still reciting the same Psalm, which says:
“To the choirmaster, a Psalm by the sons of korach
All you nations clap hands, sound (the trumpets) to (1) ELoKIm with a sound of jubilation
For YHVH is most high, awesome, a great KING over all the earth
(2) ELoKIM has ascended through (blowing of trumpets)
YHVH (has ascended) through the sound of the shofar (horn)
Sing, o sing to (3) ELoKim, Sing o sing to our KING
“For (4) ELoKIm is king over all earth, sing, O man of understanding
(5) ELoKIM reigns over the nations, (6) ELoKIM is seated on His holy Throne
The most noble of the nations are gathered along with the nation of the G-d of Abraham,
For the protectors of the earth belong to (7) ELoKIM, he is greatly exalted.”
Note that the Psalm song calls ALL THE NATIONS to clap hands to the sound of the (silver) trumpets and the (ram’s) horns.
Note also that the Name ELoKiM is mentioned seven times, referring to the Seven Commandments of Noah.
Hence, obviously, the Psalm calls on all the nations to participate in the Blowing of the Trumpets and the Horn’s service.
Today is the birthday of the world!
Soon as we’ve heard the blowing of the horns, the entire congregation chants:
“Today is the birthday of the world (meaning of Adam)
Today He will pace in judgment all the creatures of the world
Whether we are his children, or His slaves, our eyes are hung upon you
Till you’ve shown your mercy upon us…”
Today every creatures passes before His Throne
After hearing the Shofar (horn) blowing, we stand in prayer and say:
“Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is an awesome and frightening,
On it your kingship will be exalted, Your throne will be firmed with kindness (mercy)
And you sit on it in truth, It is true that you alone are the one who judges proves knows and bears witness
who writes and seals, who remembers al that is forgotten…”
“You will open your book of chronicles, it will be read by itself, and everyone’s signature is in it
The great shofar (horn) will be sounded and still, thin sound will be heard,
Angles will hasten, and trembling and terror will seize them,
and they will say: Behold, it is a day of judgment! All creatures of the world will pass before you like members of the flock
Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff
So shall you cause to pass count calculate and consider the soul of the living
And you shall apportion the fixed needs of all your creatures and inscribe their verdict…”
Let all flesh fear you, YHVH our ELoKiM!
Then the congregation prays:
“And so O Hashem (YHVH) our g-d (ELoKiM) instill your fear upon all your work,
And your dread upon all that you’ve created, let all work revere you and all creatures prostrate before you
Let them all become a single society, to do your will wholeheartedly,
For as we know, YHVH our ELoKIM, that the dominance (ruling) is yours,
might is in your hand and strength is in your right hand,
And your name is awesome over al that you have created…”
re-election of the KING over Water spring
After we’ve prayed, it is customary that the entire congregation moves to a large body of flowing water, like a spring, lake or the ocean,
And there, like in ancient Israel when they enthroned a king from the House of David,
The entire congregation declares HaShem as our KING!!!
You wouldn’t do this for tyrant king,
But you do this for YHVH ELoKiM democratic, true KING of Israel!
We enthrone HasheM every day
So sensitive is YHVH ELoKIM’s Kingship on our support, that we enthrone it over us EVERY DAY.
Every morning we say the famous Shma:
1. Here (shma) O Israel,
2. YHVH our ELoKiM,
4. Is ONE!
Blessed is His Kingship forever and ever”
In line 2, we re-elect YHVH ELoKiM
In line 3, we acknowledge the future KINGSHIP of YHVH alone (Rashi)
By this, we enforce our daily battle against the temptation to violate the Commandments.
3: I have a dream
Imagine a huge cathedral prayer hall, seated by seventy, yes, seventy choirs presenting the Noahide seventy families of nation.
Each choir chanting in its own language and tongue. They all focus and celebrate Adam’s birthday.
In their midst, at the center of the Hall, is a small choir of at least ten people of Israel.
When time comes, the Israeli choir blows the Trumpets and the ram’s horn, reciting the proper ancient blessings.
The entire hall stands in attendance, quietly honoring Israel. Israel deserves your honoring them, for without their suffering and self sacrifice, who would have known today about Noah and the Bible?
But you don’t have to wait until that dram of seventy choirs is fulfilled. You can pray today and celebrate Rosh Hashanah as Adam’s birthday, as your personal birthday.
But be careful to invite at least ten members of Israel, preferably Rabbis, who would blow the horn and make the blessings for you.
Only this way the service would be meaningful and yes, kosher!
Questions posted by Rabbi Zvi Aviner:
(1) Adam’s birthday should be celebrated as (a) a solemn day of prayers (b) joyful day with festivities, as other birthdays (c) a half to HaSheM and half for us (d) all the above
(2) The Angles have (a) full discretion (b) no discretion (c) a free will (d) their own opinion
(3) ELoKiM consulted the Angles to show Adam (a) how to rule as a tyrant (b) that the Angles are to be worshipped (c) that the Angels have important ideas (d) that the superior should consult the inferior
(4) According to Moses, Democracy is (a) an abomination (b) a passing sort of ruling (c) inferior to tyranny (d) divine
(5) For Six long Days ELoKiM (a) consulted everyone (b) created thing by asking permission (c) ruled with awesome mercy (d) ruled as a dictator
(6)Before making Adam, ELoKiM (a) ascended on His Throne (b) descended from his high throne of sole ruler (c) consult no more (d) became a tyrant
(7) YHVH ELoKiM Court was established (a) when ELoKIM decided to consult no one anymore (b) invited YHVH to make Adam (c) on the first Day of Genesis (d) on the Sabbath
(8) YHVH ELoKIM’s Court (a) depends on Mans’ approval (b) is re-elected every day and every year (c) is sensitive to our support (d) all the above
(9) if YHVH leaves the heavenly Court it would be (a) very good for us (b) in our favor (c) we can win easily our trials (d) left under ELoKiM’s sole ruling
(10) We drives the Merciful YHVH away from us by (a) our cruelty (b) our lack of compassion (c) our slack of compassion (d)all the above
Questions posted by Kendal Jones:
(1) When is Adams’ birthday celebrated and how? (a) Rosh Hashanah, with celebration (b) Yom Kippur with fasting (c) on Purim (d) On Hanukah
(2) What did EloKiM risk by imbedding Modesty into Adam? (a) idolatry (b) Adam thinking that there are more than one creator (c) Adam worshipping his ego (d) all of the above
(3)What country uses consultation as a mode of government? (a) North Korea (b) China (c) The USSR (d) the USA
(4)Rosh Hashanah is (a) half a day for celebration and feast (b) half a day for prayers (c) a day when we re-elect HaSheM on us (d) all the above
(5) Everyday, when we awake, we can accept YHVH EloKiM on us by (a) reciting Psalms (b) reciting the Shema (c) reading the first chapter of genesis (d) all the above