Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
Our topic is BLOODSHED. We follow the Torah’s narrative that starts with the first bloodshed ever: Cain killing Abel, culminating with Nooah’s generation which was inflicted with BLOODSHED on a large scale. The entire Rainbow Covenant that Noah entered after the Flood is about BLOODSHED, its motives and laws. There is also a common thread between the BLOODSHED done by Cain, and the one perpetrated by Noah’s generation, and that is: FAITH. The killing was done in the name of G-d. In the case of Cain and Abel, they both sacrificed to YHVH, who opted for Abel. This enkindled the jealousy of Cain. In Noah’s time, humanity split into two fractions competing along the Attributes: one opting for YHVH, the other for ELKM. Thus although there are many causes for BLOODSHED, the Torah takes us into a RELIGIOUS RIVALRY that ended with massive killing. This is why, indeed, the story seems so relevant to our own times.
1. Two religious camps
Last class we learned about Cain’s descendants: the infamous Children of ELoHiM. They opted for ELoKiM and neglected worshipping the Merciful YHVH. By this they violated Oneness, a sort of IDOLATRY: They ‘separated the glued ones’ as the rabbis referred to it. One daughter of the Children of ELoKiM was no other but Naama, the future wife of Noah, our mother, the new Eve.
Today we’ll focus on the opposite camp of Noah’s generation, who worshipped the Merciful YHVH but neglected ELoKiM. They were the Children of Sheth, Adam’s son. Among their list is Noah, who was raised by Sheth’s son, Enosh, the spiritual leader of the clan.
Since Adam was made by the ‘Parent’ YHVH ELKM, to stand the IDOLATRY trial, it is given that Adam’s children would be forever tempted to split their faith between the Attributes. Like children who opt for one parent over the other. That split took place in Noah time, and is taking place in our times in front of our eyes. Thus the story is very relevant to our generation, more than to any generation between Noah and us.
So let’s talk about Enosh.
2: Enosh, the Fiery Preacher
As we’ve just said, Enosh came from Adam’s youngest mentioned son, Shet . On Sheth it says:
“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and he called his name Sheth for ELoKiM has given me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain has killed,” (Genesis 4: 25.)
Sheth was born to Adam and Eve one hundred and thirty years after the murder of Abel by Cain. For many years Adam and Eve refrained from bringing more children, till they recovered from their depression, as it says: “Adam knew again his wife,” with passion and she bore him Sheth (Midrash.)
The name Sheth means, in Hebrew, ‘foundation.’ Adam and Eve hoped that their youngest son would be a new spiritual foundation of Mankind. Sheth was also born “in Adam’s image and form” (Genesis 5: 3.) Since Adam himself was made “in the image and form of ELoKiM,” it comes out that also Sheth was made “in the Image and form of ELoKiM,” the highest praise a human may receive. Sheth became indeed the spiritual leader of his generation, a pillar of faith.
Meet Enosh Adam and Eve lived a long and fruitful life, due to the brunch of the Tree of Life they had brought with them from Eden. When they felt their time arrived, they bequeathed that brunch to Sheth , so he too merited to live a long and fruitful life. Sheth begot many children; among them was Enosh, on whom it says:
”And to Sheth, to him too was born a son and he named him Enosh. It was then that they began calling in the name of YHVH.” (Genesis 4:25)
Enosh was raised in the laps of Adam and Eve, which gave him a great status among his temporaries. He also learned from Adam and Eve, as well as from his own father Sheth. So he knew well the foundation of the Torah. And yet he erred.
LET’S PAY ATTENTION TO ENOSH AND HIS TEACHING, BECAUSE HUMANITY TODAY IS STILL NAMED AFTER HIM, AS “CHILDREN OF ENOSH”, ENOSHIM, RATHER THAN AFTER NOAH. YES, ENOSH’S ERRORS ARE STILL VERY MUCH WITH US.
If you interpret “calling in the name of YHVH” as “praying to YHVH,” then Enosh did the right thing. Whereas Cain and Abel had brought gift offering to YHVH, Enosh taught his disciples to PRAY to YHVH in wards. Hence Enosh was a true spiritual leader.
But the Hebrew text hints for another possibility. The word for ‘began,’ hu-chal, can be read as ‘PROFANED!’ Hence Enosh did something bad: He ‘profaned’ YHVH name, by ‘calling’ Her. The question is: How could this be? What did he do?
Enosh’s errors The answer is given by Rashi and RaMBaM (Maimonides.) Enosh preached several unwarranted ideas: 1. He ‘called,’ or prayed to YHVH only, ignoring ELoKiM 2. He ‘called,’ or named everything as YHVH (Rashi) 3. He ‘called’ or encouraged YHVH to ‘come out’ into our world
These three interpretations present a cascade of logical errors. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Describing Enosh Enosh, according to the sources, was a giant of body and spirit, a miracle of nature never to be repeated. At an advanced age close to a thousand years, his body was still fresh and vital as of a young man of thirty. He was a beautiful, muscular person who had many wives and concubines, and his seed filled the Earth. He was blessed with a sharp mind and a perfect logic, and his rich voice roared over vast distances. Some regard him as the greatest orator Mankind has ever known. People revered and loved him for his passionate character. As a grandson of Adam and Eve, he wielded an absolute command on his generation, that is, apart from his nemesis: Cain’s Children of ELoKiM.
Enosh’s young body and spirit at advanced age, may explain how he could relate to his descendant Noah, despite the seven generations gap between them. As we’ll learn next class, Enosh elected to raise Noah like his own son and teach him everything he knew, hoping that Noah would take over the leadership after him. This is why Enosh bequeathed his brunch of the Tree of Life to Noah, of all his other many descendants. Noah too lived to be close to a thousand years of age.
We can imagine Enosh’s fiery sermons about the forthcoming of YHVH to rule our world in the open. He was a true prophet, and YHVH would soon enter his world, but only to dwell inside Noah’s Ark. Indeed, while ELoKiM executed the Flood, YHVH ‘retracted’ to reign inside Noah’ ark, as it is said: “And YHVH closed the door for him.” (Genesis 7: 16) Inside Noah’s Ark there was neither death nor sickness, the wolf did not prey on the lamb, and a child could safely play on the snake’s pit; an inspiration for the prophet of Israel to predict for the future.
Thus the verse saying that “Enosh, it was then that they began calling in YHVH Name“ takes on the meaning that in his time they began calling or praying to YHVH alone, thinking that MERCY is coming to rule the world right now, that the KINGDOM OF MERCY was around the corner. Enosh told his excited audience that Evil would soon be burnt like grass, that the dead would soon be resurrected and that the Eternal Sabbath is arriving. And most importantly: he told his audience that their sins are about to be FORGIVEN IN MERCY! And that ELKM’s Laws were no more important!
We can imagine Enosh delivering his fiery sermons to his huge audience. We can see him standing on a high pulpit, his rich, harmonic voice roaring above the audience heads to far away. We can imagine his beautiful, majestic body towering over the people who drank his message with happiness. laughter, and joy. The father of humanity was speaking, so who wouldn’t listen? The illustrious grandson of Adam and Eve was preaching, who wouldn’t tremble in awe?
And the things he said stirred them up to ecstasy. How thrilled they were to hear that YHVH was coming to forgive all their sins with endless Love! How happy they were to hear that YHVH would soon burn Evil forever! How ecstatic they were to hear that our World was entering a new Day, blessed with unconditional Love and Mercy! His audience must have swayed in ecstasy, chanting hymns and clapping their hands, hugging each other and telling each other the good news. They must have prostrated on the ground at his legs, men and women, kissing his foot, tears of happiness running out of their eyes. This is what the verse means that “It was then that they profaned YHVH Name” by calling Her name alone, without ELKM. Enosh breached YHVH ELKM Oneness. He separated the glued ones, He separated the Wings of the two Cherubs
SINCE NOAH WAS RAISED BY ENOSH, HE MUST HAVE BEEN A TEENAGER OR EVEN YOUNGER WHEN HE ATTENDED HIS GREAT GRANDPA’S SERMONS. ENOSH WISHED TO TRAIN NOAH TO BE THE LEADER OF MANKIND, LIKE HIMSLEF. BUT ALAS, THIS DID NOT HAPPN THEY WAY HE HOPED. NOAH DID NOT FOLLOW HIS MENTOR’S TEACHING AND WHEN HE GREW UP, HE OPTED TO REVERT TO THE OLD “YHVH ELKM’ ONENESS” AS ADAM HAD TAUGHT. HIS WIFE NAAMA TOOK THE OPPOSITE ROUT: RAISED AS A CHILD OF CAIN, TRAINED TO BE A FOLLOWER OF ELKM, SHE JOINED NOAH IN MARRIAGE AND WORSHIPPED ‘YHVH ELKM ONENESS’ ALONGSIDE HIM.
3: Enosh’s Errors
Let’s go over Enosh’s errors:
1: He neglected ELoKiM As a result, Enosh’s disciples no more feared ELoKiM. They rapped, killed and stole NO DIFFERENTLY THAN THE CHIDLREN OF ELOKIM.
Interesting point: Though each camp began its downfall with its special faith: one worshipping ELoKiM, the other YHVH, both ended with the same VIOLENCE.
It shows that once you’ve separated the Attributes, or committed other form of IDOLATRY, you’d slide down the predictable path of violating the next Commandments on line: ADULTERY, BLOODSHED, THEFT, INJUSTICE and BLASPHAMY.
2: He saw YHVH inside everything Another interpretation of Enosh’s error is that he called, prayed to YHVH inside everything (Rashi.) Enosh taught that YHVH ‘dwells’ inside everything. After all, YHVH surrounds all the Universes. YHVH is even greater than ELKM, so to speak. Thus YHVH dwells inside every item in nature: Inside every stone, leaf, mountains, ocean, tree, the stars, the moon, the sun.
Although this teaching is ‘kosher,’ but praying to YHVH “inside the leaf” gave his disciples the impression that he was praying to the leaf itself. Soon they prayed to every item in nature, especially the magnificent ones. This is how Enosh became the “Father of IDOLATRY” (Maimonides).
3: He prayed to YHVH to come out In the same token, Enosh ‘called’ or pleaded YHVH’ to ‘come out’ and ‘bud’ into our World. Imagine out Universe as three concentric balls, one inside the other, each thinner and larger than the other. The innermost one is the thickest the second one is thinner and larger and penetrates the first one, the third and outer sphere is the thinnest and largest, encompassing everything. 1. The innermost thick ball represents our World. 2. The second, thinner one represents ELoKiM, who fills and surrounds our World. 3. The third and outer ball presents YHVH, who surrounds all balls and fills them at the same time. Thus when we, living in the inner ball, ‘pierce’ a leaf, we would first encounter the ‘ball’ of ELoKiM, and inside it the thinnest ball of YHVH.
Now you can imagine Enosh praying, calling YHVH that it was time to ‘come out’ and ‘bud‘ into our world from inside out, like a flower blooming. He prayed to YHVH to bud and spread Her sweet aroma into our World. This teaching brought his disciples to err and pray to the leaves and stones and trees themselves, thereby committing IDOLATRY. Again, if MERCY was to bud, who would fear ELKM and His laws?
4: Split Mankind
Enosh errors should become familiar to us, so that we would not repeat them. Thus we see how Noah’s generation split along the Attributes. Both camps ending with the same terrible BLOODSHED, that would bring upon them the Flood.
Shouldn’t’ we pay attention to that story? Doesn’t the Torah speak here directly to us? Have you not noticed that our generation too has already split into two similar camps: one following MERCY, the other ELoKiM or Allah. Unfortunately, both cams have already committed terrible BLOODSHED.
Is it incidental, that our globe is warming again, like in Noah’s time? That our oceans are rising again, like in Noah’s time? That s our shores are battered by increasingly ferocious storm, like in Noah’s Time?