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Chapter 1: Exegesis for PARASHAT BERESHIT

Yitzhaq Hayut-Man 19.02.2010 06:32
Chapter 1: Exegesis for PARASHAT BERESHIT

The Three Versions of Creation; numerical and language codes; the drama about the Tree of Knowledge explained, and much more...

Re-Genesis Now Project – Chapter 1:

Exegesis for Parashat Bereshit
(Gen 1:1-6:8)


The Place of Genesis in the Pentateuch, and the Pattern of the first Genesis Parashah.

I - The First Story of Genesis – World of Creation Version of Bereshit

About the Creation as Divine Utterance

Numerical Patterns in the First Creation Story of Genesis

The Letter Beytבּ - Beginning Genesis – its pronunciation, form and meaning.

The Six letters inside the first word – BeREShIT בּראשית

The Seven words and 28 letters in the first verse in the Book of Genesis

The Numbers 10 and 32 in Parashat Bereshit

The 32 Paths of Wonder

The Numbers 2,701, 37 and 73

The Twelve fold Pattern Enfolded in Parashat Bereshit

The Sevenfold Pattern and Sefer haZohar

II – The Second Creation Story – The Yeirah Version of Bereshit

Yeẓirah-Creativity and Yiẓriyut-Passion:

The Tree of Knowledge and the destiny of Adam and the Adamah-Living Earth

YHWH (YeHaWeH) – Yoẓer Bereshit

Oh Lord, thou preservest man and beast (Psalm 36:7)
The Names of the Protagonists in the Tree of Knowledge Drama
Different Understandings concerning the Serpent
About the Topology of the Garden of Eden
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Tree of Life versus the Tree of Knowledge
The Numerical Relation between the Trees of Life and of Knowledge
The Encounter with the Tree of Knowledge in our Time.
One Possible Location of the "Garden in Eden from the East" (Ẹden miQedem)
The Struggle of Qayin and Hevel and the Original Sin.
The Sons of Qayin and birth of Technology

III - The 3rd Genesis Account – the World of Action version



The Place of the Book of Genesis in the Pentateuch, and the Pattern of the first Genesis Parashah (Portion).[1]

According to the teachings of later (Lurianic) Qabbalah (Kabbalah[2]), the whole of Being (HaWaYaH) is structured in a five-stratum pattern (each as if “below” the predecessor), which are called: 1. Adam Qadmon (Primordial Humanity); 2) Ailut (Emanation or Divine Consistency); 3) Bri’ah (Creation); 4) Yeirah (Formation); and 5) ssiyah (Making or Actuality). Most of these names are gleaned from the prophetic verse (Isaiah 43:7), which details the work of Creation: “every one that is called by my name[3] I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea I have made him”. Of all these strata, only one – the fifth and lowest one – is available to sensory perception. We see the Action, but not the processes of Formation, not the thought that brings about the planning, and not the whole array of forces – haTevạ  (“The Nature”), which has the Gematria value[4] of 86, which is the Gematria value of Elohim (אלהים - the word for “God” in the Book of Genesis. It should be noted that the word Elohim is in the plural form, as a plurality of forces or “Laws of Nature”. This means that, in a certain sense, Elohim-God is identical to “The Nature”, as we shall discuss in the sequel).

The most complex is the domain of Adam Qadmon. The Book of Genesis testifies that the intention of the Creation was to form Adam-mankind b'Ẓalmenu kiDmutenu - in our Image (elem צלם) after our Likeness” (1:26) – (here too, God’s own regard to himself is in the plural form), as well as “so God created Mankind (Adam) in his own image (elem), in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them" (1:27). Namely: if the Adam is in the Image of God - also the converse is true: Elohim-God is in the Image-Ẓelem of “Adam, and this is the hidden secret of “Adam Qadmon” – who is primordial and God-Elohim (to the extent that is humanly conceivable) is made in His image.

In this context we may also note that the first word, Bereshit - commonly translated as “In the Beginning” - which gives less than one percent of its plethora of meanings - can also be read, as is done in the Zohar, not as ‘in the beginning”, but as a proper noun of a hidden entity who created God! “Bereshit created Elohim-God” – or, that through the agency of “the Beginning-Reshit” God-Elohim was created. The Book of the Zohar identifies this Reshit with the Torah, and with this – with the Sephirah of okhmah-Wisdom, and bases this identification on the verse in the Proverbs, where Wisdom is personified as saying “the Lord created me in the beginning of his way” (Proverbs 8:22). This exegesis follows that of Bereshit Raba (1:1) that notes “there is no other Reshit (beginning) but the torah”. The Zohar then equates the name Elohim (God) with the Sephirah of Binah (Understanding), which issues from okhmah-Wisdom. The first verse of the Book of Genesis can thus be understood as dealing with the creation of God-Elohim, or with the birth of heaven and earth, where Bereshit is the Father and Elohim-God is the Mother.[5]

The Book of the Zohar - which regards the Torah as an entity that preceded the creation of this world, something like a guidebook for the creation (see the introduction chapter above) – was revealed in our world at the precise beginning of the Sixth Millennium. Only at the sixth millennium of the Creation – or the sixth “Day” of the Hebrew Calendar, which is the “Day” for the creation of Adam – could there be performed the additional stage, the attempt to contend theologically with the concept of “Adam Qadmon”. From the Book of E ayim (the Tree of Life) that relates the teachings of the Holy ARI of blessed memory, there comes the conception that this Adam Qadmon is the primordial substance, which created the Torah, which in turn created God-Elohim who is the sum-total of the Laws of Nature.

The whole structure of the Pentateuch corresponds, to some extent, to this scheme of five strata: the Book of Genesis-Bereshit (the combination of the words BaYiT (house - בית) and RoSh (head - ראש) as we'll see below) is the story or Book of the Adam, as we shall presently see. The Book of Exodus-Shemot – which carries the great stories of divine revelation at the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah – represents the level of Aẓilut-Divine consistency. The Book of Leviticus-vayiqra (literally God’s Calling) – which calls upon Israel to fulfill the Torah – is on the level of Creation-Bri'ah. The Book of Numbers-baMidbar – namely within the divine Dibur-speech – is on the level of Formation-Yeẓirah, whereas the book that seals the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy-Devarim – is the summary of the practical commandments and actions that should be performed for the restitution of Adam – and relates, therefore, to the level of Action-Ạssiyah.

It is interesting and characteristic that the names of these five books constitute together a meaningful sentence, which enfolds the essence of the process of Bereshit- Creation and all the process of world restitution: Bereshit Shemot vayiqra baMidbar Devarim – “In the Beginning, Names (were) called, Objects of (the Divine) Speech”.  Namely: the Beginning of the work of Adam is to call Being (HaWaYaH) by Names (Gen. 2:20), and for this aim he calls in the Midbar – the Creation which is all made of divine utterances the Devarim, specific things that ought to be performed.

In the sequel, we shall discuss the three Genesis versions of the Creation from the perspectives of the worlds of Bri'ah, Yetsirah and Ạssiyah. These different "worlds" have different qualities. The Bri'ah-Creation is healthy – also Bri'ah – and with no flaws, it is a logical-mathematical system in which all is well – and therefore it also has no dramas, and thus likely not to interest most people. The dramas of the struggles of good and evil and the scent of desire appear only in the version of the world of Yeirah. We therefore advise whoever is not so interested in logical structures and numbers to skip to the next section – straight to the version of the World of Yeẓirah.

 1. The First Story of Genesis – World of Creation Version of Bereshit

About the Creation as Divine Utterance

It is plainly stated in the Book of Genesis that all the Creation of the six days was performed through divine utterances whose number is ten:

1.   Let there be light” – "And God saw… that it was good".

2.   Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide waters from water".

3.   Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear” - "And God saw that it was good".

4.   Let the earth bring forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth”.

5.    “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” - "And God saw that it was good"

6.   Let the waters swarm abundantly with moving creatures that have life, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” - "And God saw that it was good".

7.   Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after its kind” - "And God saw… that it was good".

8.    “Let us make Mankind in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”.

9.   Be fruitful, and multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it”.

10.    Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, on which there is the fruit yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food”.

It is not written "And God saw… that it was good", neither about the separation of the upper and lower waters on the second day, nor about the making of humankind on the sixth. It is only in the comprehensive context that it is written: "And God saw everything that He had made (with humanity inside the wholeness of Nature) and, behold, it was very good". The decision whether the creation of humans was a good idea depends upon the actions and decisions of humanity, as we shall see in the second part, concerning the issue of "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil".

Of these primordial utterances, the first seven are “sayings about”, of an objective command (“I-It” relationship in the language of Buber, or "meta-language" in cybernetic parlance), whereas the last three are “sayings to” with an address towards self and other (an “I-Thou” relationship), in an air of consultation.

The idea of Creation through speech and divine utterance returns also in later sources. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth" (Psalm 33:6), and "For ever, O Lord, Thy word stands fast in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89).[6]

There are those who assume that at the basis of the belief in One God there must be Creation out of nothing, and that that Creation must have occurred on a specific moment. In our times – those who believe so can seek a validation for the Biblical cosmology in the modern cosmological theory of “The Big Bang”.[7] But Maimonides, for example, who leaned to the opinions of Aristotle about the preexistence of the universe, claimed that there is no religious significance to the difference between a unique creation and ongoing continuing creation.

The “Alte Rebbe”, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Ḥabad (Chabad) teachings, taught, based on the above noted verse (“For ever, O Lord, Thy word stands fast in the heavens” which is in the present tense), that the whole of creation is recurring every infinitesimal period, through these ten divine utterances that keep standing there recreating the world for ever. Moreover, the letters of these utterances – according to this conception – are the raw material of all and every manifestation and these letters turn about in all their permutations and combinations to create everything, much like human speech comprising the sum of letter permutations.[8]

Our analysis of the first creation story in Parashat Bereshit will therefore relate to the structures of letters and words, in the assumption that coded in them are the primordial patterns that serve all the processes of creation and of restitution-Tiqqun. We shall examine the letters and words as if they were kind of mathematical formulae of instructions for building viable patterns.

In spite of the clear count of ten utterances, the sage Rabbi Yohanan said (Bavli, Rosh haShanah 32a): “Bereshit Ma’amar nami” (the word “Bereshit” is also an utterance). We can understand from this saying that the letters of the first word and the words of the first sentence of Genesis comprise a hidden “utterance” in which are encoded the principles of the Creation.

(This is akin to the formula on which is based the fractal geometry of the Mandelbrot Group. This is an extremely short formula: Z2 => Z-a; relating to the conditions of existence and stability of all the “offspring” derivations of every reference point in two, or three, dimensional space, which multiply by their own values and lose a fixed quantity during their “generation”. Through continuing iterations, the formula creates rich complexity – in fact infinite – of complex “landscapes”, in which stability is maintained in spite of the many reproductions – or it disappears).

Numerical Patterns in the First Creation Story of Genesis

In the first verse of Genesis, we can find primordial patterns, Tavniot Bereshit, patterns from which whole worlds were created. To start with, we find fractal patterns of self-similarity already with the first letter, the first word and the first verse of Parashat Bereshit:

The Letter Beytבּ - Beginning Genesis – its pronunciation, form and meaning.

Many Midrashim (exegeses) have already been written about the choice of the first letter of Genesis. The MaHaRaL (“Our Teacher Rabbi [Betzal’el] Loew” of Prague, the legendary creator of the Golem) explains that the letter Beyt, which is the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet, shows the duality that is in the basis of the created world. Franz Rosenzweig (in his book “The Star of Redemption) explains that the letter B expressed the specification (in his German “Besonders”) against the generalization of the first letter A (in his language “Alles”).

The annunciation of the letter B’ is the first annunciation of the child. The baby generally learns to say “Abba” (father) before “Imma” (mother), even though the mother is much closer. Likewise Creation-Bri'ah itself – namely Birth – starts with the letter Beyt, whereas the part of education and instruction – the commandments part of the Torah – start with the letter Alef  - Anokhi YHWH Elohekha – “I am the Lord Your God” (Exodus 20:2).

The meaning of the letter Beyt is Bayit – house – and that is also its shape. That first word Bereshit can be broken down (among other ways, see below) into the two words Bayit – house – and Rosh – head, one inside the other, a head inside a house. The form of the accentuated Bayt (Beyt degushah) that opens the book of Genesis -Bereshit בּראשית - is also reminiscent of the seed (the accent point) inside the womb (which is the primordial house of every born creature). These two meanings, birth and building are relevant here. The form of the letter Bayt has already been referred as exegesis[9] on the creation of the world as a process of a birth from a womb, in which one does not know what precedes what, what is above and what is below, but one got to emerge out and start contending with the world. The second word, Bara – “Created” (which is already enfolded in the first word Bereshit, as Bara – Shith {“created six”, see below}) in fact means bringing out and separation, much as at birth.

But the creation of Bereshit is also of Building, the building of the orderly world – the Cosmos – and the introduction to the building of the Temple – the House of YHWH – in the world. The creation is not an unconscious (blind evolution) but planned building, a “house”- Bayit - in which there is a “head” – Rosh – meaning consciousness, which is symbolized by the spherical human head.

(The letter that corresponds to Bayt in the in the European languages (whose script is derived from the Phoenician-Hebrew script) is the letter ‘B’, whose implicit meaning is (especially in English) is Existence – Be, Being. In the following we shall see that the letter Beyt also functions among the letters of the first verse of Genesis, in the same way that the accent point functions inside the letter Bayt, as Being or consciousness.)

The Six letters inside the first word – BeREShIT בּראשית

The first word is made of six letters, the first one of which is accentuated. The word Bereshit is divided, as already noted in the Tiqqune Zohar, to two words: “Bara – Shith”, namely “created six” (shith is in Aramaic “six”). This is the beginning of the building of the cosmos in six days. The ancient symbol for orderly building – for "Cosmos" – is the perfect cube, which has six faces.[10] The cubic pattern expresses sanctity both in Judaism (the form of the Holy of Holies and of the phylacteries), in Christianity (the cube of “The New Jerusalem” at the ending of the Christian Bible) and in Islam (the Ka'ba).

The Pythagoreans saw in the number six “the first perfect number”, because the sum of the numbers it is divided by (1, 2 and 3) equals the number itself, and regarded these numbers as the secret of the perfect creation. It seems that the author of the Book of Genesis wanted to start the account of creation with such a perfect number. The scribes of the Torah conceived of the Creation as a building process with six-stages (a perfect number). Each Creation Day is likened to a face of a cube, each face in its turn connects with the former ones, so that the Third Day – the third face of the cube – already adds a dimension of volume, whereas the sixth day, the sixth face, closes the cube and forms inner space.

The accent point in the Beyt is the clue for the seventh element, to the conscious center that is nested within the six-sided cube. The whole sentence contains seven words (combinations of letters) and confirms the Principle of Seven – the Sabbath.

The seven words and 28 letters in the first verse of Genesis

The first sentence of the Torah is made of 7 words (in the language of the Sages Tevot – “boxes”) in which there are 28 letters. In the language of Sefer Yeirah these are 7 “houses” (Batim) built from 28 “stones” (Avanim)

We claim that these two numbers are not random numbers, but are very intentional. The seven words correspond to the pattern of the seven days of creation, which are enumerated in the first creation story, which issues from this sentence. These seven words may be divided to the first three – Bereshit bara Elohim (אלהים בּרא (בּראשית - that refer to the actor (the object) and last four words - et haShamayim ve'Et ha'Aretz (את השמים ואת הארץ) – that refer to the subject acted upon. The same patternwill return in the sequel, for example in the formation of the People of Israel from three fathers and four mothers.

But there is reason to note that the number 28 is the second “perfect number”. The number 28 is divided by 1, 2, 4, 7 and 14, whose sum is 28. Moreover, these two numbers, the 6 corresponding to the number of letters of the first word, and the 28 corresponding to the number of the letters in the first sentence of Genesis, comprise the sum of the Biblically most important primary numbers 3 and 7. Thus the first three numbers 1+2+3 = 6, whereas the first seven 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 = 28. Therefore it is appropriate to start the account of the creation by the perfect creator with these two perfect numbers.

The number 28 appears, for instance, in the account of the 28 “times” – “A Time to be born and a time to die…" etc. (Eccles. 3:2) – which are also counted in seven sentences. IT also appears in the account of the Tabernacle – the length of the curtains that covered it was 28 cubits (Exodus 26:2). We earlier saw Rashi's wonder about the first sentence in Genesis (and about the need for the whole book), and his explanation starts by quoting a verse from the Psalms (111:6) "He has declared to his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the nations", where the original Hebrew verse starts with "the Power" – Ko'a כח, and apparently it is not by chance that the Gematria of כח is 28.

The wheel of 28 divisions is common to various esoteric systems and serves as representation for the schematic month: 4 weeks = 28 days. The solar calendar of the Dead Sea scrolls sect was of 364 days, which is a multiple of 28 – 28X13 = 364. In many Sufi diagrams, including in the ceiling of the dome at the El-Aqsa Mosque (not the Dome of the Rock) at the Temple Mount, there appears the motif of the wheel made of 28 divisions.

In our times there became known a structure of a zodiac wheel with 28 sections, “The New Jerusalem Diagram” investigated by John Michell.[11] Michell claims that many of the world’s ancient monuments, including the Great Pyramid and the Neolithic temple of Stonehenge in England and many others, are based on the proportions of this diagram. This diagram indicates, first and foremost, the image of the camping of the Twelve Tribes around the Tabernacle. This diagram, which is relevant for the Tabernacle and the future Temple, is already enfolded in the first verse of Genesis: the same three numbers of the letters of the first verse of Genesis – 6, 22 (see below) and 28, and the number of its words, namely 7 – are the very components of "The New Jerusalem Diagram" explained below in appendix 'C' (we shall return to the New Jerusalem Diagram when treating the journeys of Abraham, and later with the placement of the twelve tribes, which would be reveled as the outcome and the acts of Genesis and their aim.)

The difference between the two "Perfect numbers", the 6 letters of the first word and the 28 letters of the first verse is 22 letters, namely exactly the number of the Hebrew letters. The 22 letters are the "filling" (Miluy) of the first perfect number to reach the second perfect number – and the basis upon which all the words and names are composed.

(An important motif, to which we shall return in the story of the Tree of Knowledge, is that these 22 Hebrew letters are likened to wheat – itah חטה - that nourishes and sustains man and has Gematria value of 22: "and therefore the Torah is called bread, in likeness to the material bread that nourishes the heart and strengthens it… and thus compared to 'the bread of the Torah', as the sum of the counting of 'itah' (Rashaz, Liqute Torah for the Canticles 25:2).


The first verse contains seven words whereas the second verse contains 14 words – exactly twice – to testify about the harmonic multiplication and spreading of the creation. The next item in this series is 28.

The first verse (and also with half of the second – 11 words together) is composed of 11 different Hebrew letters, namely uses half of the Hebrew alphabet:

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ (והארץ היתה תהו ובהו)

We may make here an interim summary and note that the explicit story of the creation contains also a hidden implicit numerical parable (hidden at least for the generations that forgot the code) of holistic Creation and Formation.

But the numerical codes in this Torah portion are not exhausted with the numbers of letters and words, but also in the number of repetition of the key words in the story, whose counting is simpler than the calculation of letters and Gematria.

The Numbers 10 and 32 in Parashat Bereshit

In the Creation narrative that includes the ten utterances (namely the six days of creation) there appears the name of God - Elohim - 32 times, until the summary: "and God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (in the sequel, the appelation Elohim will appear three more times, in the section that deals with the declaration of the Sabbath). We have, therefore, a verbal pattern made of ten (utterances) and thirty-two (appearances of "Elohim"). This is a pattern that is treated intensively in Sefer Yeẓirah – the earliest of the Qabbalah texts[12] – and this is its language:

"In thirty-two paths of wondrous Wisdom engraved Yah (there follows a list of Ten Holy Names) and created His world in three Sepharim (commonly translated as "books") – in Sepher, Sopher and Sippur; Ten Sephirot Belimah and Twenty-Two letters" (Sefer Yeirah, 1:1-2).

The pattern of the ten Sephirot is perhaps the general basic (and hidden) pattern of Being, Creation, the Soul of Man and the World of Tiqqun (Restitution), and the majority of the Mequbalim ("Kabbalists") employed it extensively. (We may single here The Bahir, Yoseph Jikatila’s Sha’re Orah (Gates of Light) and of course The Zohar. Since their publication, it is common to see in the ten Sephirot the essence of the esoteric teachings in Judaism, though we shall later mention the later, and less known, Kabbalah). There is no need to explain it here (its essence is given in appendix 'A'). But we shall note here one aspect that is important for understanding the realization of the Acts of Bereshit in our times, and which has not yet been noted by the interpreters.

The primordial decimal Bereshit pattern, which constructs the "Tree of the Sephirot", will bring us to a system made of 1010 elements. This is according to the assumption that each Sephirah is made of a tenfold count of the Sephirah below it (in other words, that the ten primordial utterances has a fractal structure, and each one of them is made in the decimal pattern, so that each Creation utterance multiplies the possibilities ten-fold), so the sum total is 10 billion.

According to a theory developed by the English researcher Peter Russell in his book “The Global Brain”,[13] ten to the power of ten is precisely the number needed by a system, in order to grow to an incommensurably more complex system, which allows the emergence of entirely novel and far more developed characteristics. This is, for example, the average number of atoms in a living cell, and this is the order of size of neural cells in the cortex – the “thinking” portion, or the seat of consciousness – in the human brain. This order of size – 10 to the power of 10 – also pertains to the number of stars in the galaxy we belong to – the Milky Way – and this is also the estimate for the number of galaxies in the universe. Russell claims that the human population upon earth is likely to stabilize on a population of about ten billion humans, which would allow - from a quantitative point of view - the transition to a new supra-human organization, which will act as one creature, with super-consciousness, much as the brain is the super-organization of the neurons it is made of.

Also the philosopher Engels, the partner of Karl Marx, tried (in his "Dialectics of Nature") to determine a historical law, according to which “quantity turns into quality”, in the transitional stages of socio-historical development (nowadays such change is called "Phase Transition"). Russell calls this super-creature, made up of about 10 billion human beings who are connected together by the name of “The Global Brain”. But we can call this creature simply “Adam”, the one that is emerging towards the end of the sixth millennium according to the Hebrew calendar, a date that will occur at about the year 2240 of the Common Era.

The 32 Paths of Wonder

 In spite of the common exegesis of Sefer Yeẓirah, it seems that the number of “32 Wondrous Paths” is not just the sum of the ciphers (ten) and the 22 Hebrew letters, but it also a whole and meaningful entity by its own. Even traditional interpretations for Sefer Yeẓirah which explain “the 32 Paths of Wisdom” as different types of Sekhalim - “intelligences” - (such as of the RaABaD), make no inner distinction of 10 and 22 among them.

From pure numerological perspective, 32 are 2 at the 5th power. At the beginning of our discussion we have surveyed the five-fold pattern of the books of the Pentateuch and of the “worlds” in the scheme of the later Qabbalah. If we note that the number 2, just like the letter Beyt which we discussed earlier, is the sign for division and distinction, then the number 32 will serve well to represent the range of distinctions that are generated in the transitions between 5 worlds (or within five dimensions). Already in the hidden world of Adam Qadmon there is a certain distinction (signified by the letter Beyt as the beginning of the Book of Bereshit), for else it would not be possible to refer to it as a “world” that contains some components {2}; This primary distinction[14] is becoming more detailed in the world below it (Ọlam ha’Aẓilut) into further distinctions {4}; These distinctions pass further division and distinctions at the world below it (Ọlam haBri'ah) {8}, and so on at the World of Yeẓirah-Formation {16}; and then in the world of Ạssiyah-Action, which is largely apparent to our senses, there are already 32 types of distinctions. The number 32 is associated with Wisdom-Ḥokhmah, precisely because it requires wisdom to observe the existence of the primary distinctions – as well as of the possibility of annulling these distinctions and return affairs to the state of Unity.

It is possible to understand this by geometry, which is already present in the Sefer Yeẓirah. It is possible to imagine This World (Ọlam haZe[15]), or the World of Ạssiyah, as a three-dimensional cube ("Cartesian Space") that has 8 vertices, 6 faces and twelve edges. It is also possible to imagine a four-dimensional hyper-cube (Tesseract) that relates to the 3D cube much like the cube relates to the surface square, and which has 16 vertices, 24 faces and 32 edges. Sefer Yeẓirah characterizes this fourth dimension as a "Year" or "Change (Shanah) – namely the dimension of remembered Time. It is even possible to imagine a five-dimensional "hyper-hyper-cube", which has 32 vertices. Sefer Yeẓirah characterizes this fifth dimension as the dimension of Nefesh – namely "soul" dimension.

This means that the number 32 characterizes both the 4D hypercube and the 5D Hyper-hypercube, and the 32 edges of the hypercube are akin to the 12 edges of the 3D cube in the visible world. Here is shown again the connection between the numbers 32 (i.e. appearances of "Elohim") and 10 (i.e. Divine utterances), for just as the square is composed of four lines and the 3D cube is composed of six squares, the 4D hypercube is composed of 8 cubes whereas the hyper-hypercube with its 32 edges is composed of 10 hyper-cubes with 32 edges each.

An important and intrinsic importance of the number 32 in the Hebrew Scriptures is that when 32 is written by letters it is denoted as לב that can be read as Lev, which means "Heart", the metaphorical seat of feelings, especially love and compassion, and is thus connected with "Wisdom of the Heart".


There is a most magnificent representation of the principles expressed by the number 32 to be found at the Temple Mount – in the magnificent pattern on the ceiling of the very Dome of the Rock.[16] It is likely that contemporary Moslems are not aware of these meanings (much like most Jews nowadays are not aware of the meaning of the numbers and patterns in the Torah), but it is very likely (and there are supporting sources to it) that the Sufi artists-designers of the shrines at the Temple Mount belonged to ancient sects of “Free Masons” and of secret knowledge (such as the circles of Pythagoreans and Mequbalim), who admired King Solomon and studied the secrets of the Temple of Solomon and of the Tabernacle, and who strove to have “the Spirit of Wisdom” like Beẓal’el[17] (the architect of the Tabernacle) who knew “to combine the letters from which heaven and earth were formed” (Talmud Bavli, Berakhot 55a) and of "the wise-hearted" artisans who built the Tabernacle.[18]  At any rate, it is noteworthy that in the sacred precinct of Jerusalem there are found even today specific (albeit unrecognized) representations for the secrets of Bereshit and of the Temple. In the sequel we shall use this pattern to explain the secrets of the Trees of Knowledge and of Life.


The Numbers 2,701, 37 and 73

There is yet another interesting numerical pattern connected with he first verse of Genesis, which we shall mention here only in passing (but will expand on it in the final chapter). The Gematria value of the sum of all the seven words in the verse is 2,701. This number itself is a "triangular number" (the number of elements in the patter of a triangle – i.e. 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28…)[19], but is also the product (and hence a rectangle) of two interesting numbers – 37 x 73 = 2,701. These two numbers are "figurate numbers" and their figure is of a six-pointed star, like "the Star of David".

 Chapter 1: Exegesis for Parashat Bereshit

Both numbers are made of the ciphers of the basic numbers of Genesis and Sefer Yeẓirah – three and seven. Additionally, both numbers have Gematria values as the word okhmah (Wisdom, חכמה); Ḥokhmah has common Gematria value of 73, and in "small Gematria" (in which letters receive the number of their ordinal position in the alphabet) its value is 37. This amounts to a geometrical statement that the first verse indeed means "In (compound) Wisdom God created the heavens and the earth". This is just the beginning of the appearance of the "Star Number" of 37, which will still accompany us in the sequel in many different guises, especially concerning the Tribes of Israel, and they will be summarized in a general appendix at the end of the book.

Chapter 1: Exegesis for Parashat Bereshit

A figure of the third Star (hexagram) Number – 73 (Gematria of Ḥokhmah-Wisdom), where each of its units contains the second Star Number – 37 (Gematria of Yeidah – Singularity) and each of both contains the first Star Number – 13 (Gematria of Ead {One} and also of Ahavah {Love}), rendered in darker color. The number of elements is 73 x 37 = 2,701, which is the Gematria of the first verse of Genesis.

The Twelve fold Pattern Enfolded in Parashat Bereshit

The decade pattern of the ten utterances and the ten Sephirot is surely the hidden, yet recognized, pattern of Being (HaWaYaH), of the Creation, of Adam and of the World of Tiqqun, and we shall still mention and use it a lot in the sequel. But there is still another hidden pattern enfolded in the first verse of Genesis - and which is extended and interpreted in the sequel of the book of Genesis in the story of the sons of Jacob and the founding of the tribes, and in the rest of the Bible in the manner of the camping of the tribes around the Tabernacle and the division of the land into homesteads – and that is the pattern of the Twelve.

It is instructive to note that the Sefer Yeẓirah, which was the first to make explicit the principle of “The Ten Sephirot”, does not deal with accounts of tens, but prefers counts of 3, 7 and especially 12. We know that the usage of the twelve, as in the division of the Zodiac, was very common in the ancient world and also in Israel, and evidence for this abounds in the mosaic floors in synagogues from the Second Temple period and onwards, as well as in hymns to the zodiac signs which apparently were voiced in those same synagogues.

It is therefore perhaps surprising to find that the Twelve is not mentioned explicitly in the Story of the Creation (and one may even suspect that it is intentionally hidden, so as not to add validity to the worship of the stars and constellations which were current in the ancient world). Yet there is no doubt that this principle was implied. If we accept that the story of Creation-in-six-days amplifies the concept of Cosmos as a cube, then elementary spatial geometry shows us that every cube of six faces also has twelve edges. Whereas the conceptual cube is constructed from the six faces, an actual cube is hewn or constructed from material, and when a cube is built in actuality, the construction is through the setting of twelve edges. In the Book of Genesis, too, there is a need for the birth of the Twelve Tribes and their establishment upon earth in order to realize the divine plan, which is expressed in the pattern of the six days. But it is also true, as we shall se in the sequel, tat the Scriptures prefer to go beyond the dozen to the 13.

The Sevenfold Pattern and Sefer haZohar

As we have shown above, there are seven words in the first verse and there are also six paragraphs in the first account of Creation – corresponding to the seven days of Genesis-Bereshit.

The sevenfold pattern is of course, before all else, the pattern of the seven days of creation and the “Seven Sephirot of Construction”. The names of most of these seven lower Sephirot are derived from the verse of David: "Thine, O Lord, is the Gedulah (Greatness), and the Gevurah (Power), and the Tif'eret (Glory), and the Neẓaḥ (Victory, and the Hod (Magesty). For Kol (All) that is in heaven and on earth is thine, thine is the Mamlakhah-Malkhut (Kingdom)" (II Chron. 29:11).

The Zohar exegesis for Parashat Bereshit builds the parallels between the seven days of Genesis and the seven lower Sephirot, “The Sephirot of Construction” in great detail. The Zohar deals, as noted, with the first word – Bereshit and translates it to Aramaic: “Bara Shith” – or “created six”. Namely: in the beginning there was created the six-fold pattern of the Sephirot of Construction, and with them the world was created in six stages.

Already the Talmud dealt in various passages to the concept of “The letters of Creation”: "Beẓal'el knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and earth were created" (Bavli, Berakhot 55a), and Rabbi Ạqiva (the greatest authority for the Talmud) was known as one who would expound about each and every letter in the Torah and related intensely even to the תגים that decorate some of the letters. But it was only about a thousand years later when the Mequbalim in general, and the Zohar and its offshoots in particular, set to formulate a whole systematic scheme, in order to interpret each word and each letter in the account of Bereshit, and to show how are encoded in them the basic instructions for the building of the worlds.

The Zohar thus regards the word ELoHIM (אלהים) – God – as the dynamic combination of the concepts of MI (מי Who?) and Eleh (אלה these), in accordance with the verse: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who (MI) has created these things (ELeH). The Zohar details and presents Creation as a dynamic process within God-ELoHIM, a process in which MI (Who) created – that is brought outside of it – Eleh, “These”. The Gematria value of the letters of Eleh is 36, namely six squared, which reinforces the identification of these Eleh with the more overt six “Sephirot of Construction” and the six days of Genesis. Each day of the Creation has a parallel among the Sephirot: The 1st Day – Ḥesed (Grace, Love), 2nd Day – Gevurah (Severity, Judgment), 3rd Day – Tif’eret (Beauty, Articulation), 4th Day – Neẓa (Overcoming, Eternity), 5th Day - Hod (Thanking, Splendor) and 6th Day – Yesod (Foundation, Thoroughness). These are the overt Sephirot. We prefer not to rely on Gematria in our exegesis, but in such a case, of using basic numbers and their squares, we deem that the Gematria are based on the authentic numerical patterns and codes of the scriptures.

MI (Who) is connected with the number 50 (its Gematria value) – a number associated in the Qabbalah with the concept of “The Fifty Gates of Binah (Understanding)”. The number 50 is found explicitly in the scriptures in connection with the counts of the years of the jubilee and of the days between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost, and literally “weeks”). It is made there of the 49 days of seven weeks (just as the number 36 is six sixes) and an additional day. We can therefore understand the meaning enfolded in this Midrash about the name ELoHIM as containing the revealed and the hidden together. The six sixes of the created world issue from the hidden seven sevens, of the secret of the Sabbath, and of the unique One which is above all. (The legend says that to Moses were revealed “the 49 Gates of Binah, but the 50th Gate, the most hidden one, remained hidden from him too). This means that the same geometric pattern that we saw in the word BeREShIT, is also found in the world ELoHIM (God) – as the array of the Laws of Nature composed like a square (of 6x6) of EleH  (These - 36) nested within the square (of 7x7) of the hidden MI (Who?) – Whereas the One, which is even more hidden, surrounds and connects them all. In this sense, Elohim-God has a three-stratum structure or Image, related to the Ẓelem Elohim (Imago Dei) –which Adam was created with.

The process of Creation is cyclical: Creation is the splitting of the (potentially identifiable) Eleh from the hidden MI, namely Who? In the course of creation, EleH – These – are separated from the MI – Who? – fall down, and become manifest as heaven and earth. Their ability to reunite is dependent on the answer to the question “Me bara Eleh?” (Who created These?). In the very ability to reach in consciousness the One God – these return and connect. The process of the rectification of the divinity, the return of the Elohim to the pristine unity, is tied to our reaching awareness of God, and in the realization and answer to the question “Who created These?”

The identification of Bereshit with Bayit – House – and Rosh – Head – forms a framework for the entire Bible. The Hebrew Bible opens with the verse "Bereshit God created the Heavens and the earth" and is sealed by the declaration of the emperor Cyrus (whom the prophet called Messiah {Isaiah 45:1}) in the end of the Book of Chronicles: ""The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house in Yerushalem which is in Yehudah; Whoever is among you of all his people – the Lord hid God be with him – vya'l (and let him go up)". So “the House of God” is already implied in the first three words of the Bible, and in the proclamation that completes it. This final call for action seals the intention in the creation of heaven and earth.

Chapter 1: Exegesis for Parashat Bereshit

The first verse of Genesis
as “The House of Elohim”

 This means that the whole Torah could be regarded as given primarily for teaching to build "the House of God". And indeed, if we examine the Torah quantitatively, we find that whereas the Torah allocates for the whole description of the whole process of Genesis, the creation of Heaven and Earth and all their host, including humankind, mere 34 sentences (and in the strict action, until "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host" only 31 sentences) – the erection of the Tabernacle, a man-made temporary structure, is described in detail through 256 sentences[20] that deal with the plan of the Tabernacle, its design and construction, and another 75 sentences about  the design of the priestly garments and their preparation.[21]

This means that from the perspective of the Torah – the erection of the Tabernacle-Mishkan, which is the prototype of “The House (of God) in Jerusalem which is in Judea”, is seven times and more (or – when calculating also the instructions about th garments - ten times) more important than the creation of Heaven and Earth and all their host. The Torah, which begins with Bereshit, which comprises as we have seen both “House” for the “Head”, continues then to elucidate the conditions required for completing the creation of the world through the construction of the “House” in order to house the divine “Head”, the divine presence – the Shekhinah – in this world.

The sages have noted that the construction of the Tabernacle was made in the same pattern that heaven and earth were created. In the book Eẓ Ḥayim ("The Tree Of Life" – the primary cannon of the later Qabbalah) the building of the temple is paralleled to the structure of the various worlds (Gate 43, the drawing of the worlds, lam hasiyah).

Just as the story of Bereshit repeats in three different versions (see below), so also the description of the erection of the Tabernacle is repeated in much detail three times: first time in the description given by the Lord to Moses – which corresponds with the level of Creation-Bri'ah and revelation; second time in the description given by Moses to Beal’el – which corresponds with the level of Formation-Yeẓirah; and another, third, time about the construction itself – namely at the level of Action-Ạssiyah. Now – as we have noted the correspondence in the patterns – we can return to the different stories of the creation.

The first creation story is sealed with the aim, which is the subject of the Sabbath (which in the Qabbalah is that of the Sephirah of Malkhut): "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host. And by the seventh day God ended his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and performed" (or rather – "created to be performed" by us). The concept of Sabbath-Shabbat (שבת) should be understood also in the sense of returning-hashava and answer-Teshuvah (תשובה) – the answer to the question of the meaning of human existence, of returning the world to its creator, to prepare His House and to sanctify the world.

Note that the expression "the seventh day" (Yom haSheviịi) repeats here three times, in three kinds of regard. It is also interesting that the first verse about the completion of the creation ("Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host".) has (in the Hebrew original) 22 letters, a full creation from the first Hebrew letter to the last, whereas the whole passage (which is recited every Sabbath night) has 144 (Hebrew) letters, a "square number" of a dozen dozens 12x12 = 144.

The First Commandment in the Torah

It is customary to count 613 commandments given to Israel through the Torah. These commandments include also "the Seven Noahide Commandments", which we shall discuss in the next chapter, the first one of which is the divine command to the Adamic couple on the "day" of their creation, namely "Be fruitful, and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue her" (Gen. 1:28). This commandment has to do with the relationship of humankind – Adam – and the Living Earth – Adamah, and it is already given at the stage of reation, and therefore it can be seen as a special kind of commandment – actually the mother of all the commandments, the kernel from which all the other 612 commandments issue from or facilitate its complete attainment. This first commandment can be divided to four sub-commandments that form a series:

"Peru" (be fruitful) – the primary and natural basis for the growth of humankind is the fertility – Piryon – which is connected with passion. But fertility alone does not secure multiplying, not as long as mortality, and especially child mortality, is rampant.

"uRevu" (and multiply) – Increase in numbers comes through the formation of a double infrastructure – material and cultural. With increase (Ribuy ריבוי) there comes also struggle (Riv ריב) ("Malthusian Law"). The struggle between brothers, which we shall find below started with Qayin (Cain) and Hevel (Abel), and only the provision of a cultural-civic infrastructure – of civilization – allows the peaceful coexistence. It is only at precisely our times that the enormous increase of humankind is happening, which for the first time will allow the transformation of humankind to something like a multi-cellular creature of over ten to the tenth power interlinked individuals (as was explained above).

"mal'oo et ha'Are" (replenish the earth) – here enters the inter-relation between Adam and Adamah. In the next Parashah we shall find the people of the generation that preferred to concentrate in a distinct "City and a Tower" instead of spreading over the whole face of the earth. The first commandment aims for a multiplying that fills the whole glob, in order to transform the entire earth into an intelligent super-being.

"veKivshu'ha" (and subdue her) – this is a word that seems problematic. Yet again, only in our times, where the problematic becomes evident, it is already possible to understand the full meaning of the first commandment.

It is evident that if there are Ribuy ve'Riv – increase in numbers and contention, there is also violent occupation, of overtaking the other and his homestead territory. With the filling of the earth with humans, the relation to the earth is in danger of reaching situation of occupation and exploitation that deprives the will to life of the other – and of the whole earth. It seems as if the entire humankind, through the global economic system, has declared a war of conquest upon the earth, to exploit her treasures that she gathered through huge eras – and especially the fossil fuels that have been hoarded as if the whole earth were a giant egg that serves to get out of her the mature Adam and get abandoned.

But nowadays it is also possible to understand that the aim of this commandment has to do not with conquest – Kibush – but with Kvishah – Paving the ground in the sense of building Kvishim, namely roads – of building a global system of continuous tracks and paved roads in which fueled (or electric) vehicles transport the products of the global industries to every place of human habitation. The roads are like the veins of the new humankind super-organism. The fuels that were hoarded in the depth of the earth move all the processes that connect and unify all the places of habitation (the Oikumenos) – not to abandon, but to make it a living being.

Let us see the figure of the first commandment.


By Grace (Hesed)

By Might (Gevurah)


Be fruitful

and multiply


replenish the earth

And pave her


II – The Second Creation Story – The Yeirah Version of Bereshit

Yeirah-Creativity and Yiriyut-Passion: The Tree of Knowledge and the destiny of Adam and the Adamah-Living Earth

"These are the generations o the heavens and the earth when they were creates (b'
), in the day that the Lord God made (Asot) te earth and he havens… ND THE Lord God formed (vayizer) man (adam) of the dust of the ground (Adamah)… And out of the ground (Adamah) The Lord God formed (va'yi
er) every beast of the field… " (Gen. 2:4,7,19).

Here we have the second Story of the Creation, which is entirely different from the first one. Not just different but quite the reverse: Adam was formedvayyier (וייצר) - on the day the creator made Asot (עשות) - Heaven and Earth, before there were plants and well before the Lord formedvayier (ויצר) the animals. This is no longer the “objective” account of the primordial creation, but the story of Yeẓirah, a dramatic story in which humans and their passions are in focus.

The Hebrew word Yeirah – Formation – is associated with the Hebrew words Yeer – instinctive-emotional urges – that appears later in this story (Gen. 6:5, 8:21), and the word has to do with ur – to form or fashion and its product urah – “Form” or “shape” – as well as with ar –“narrow”, and also “enemy” – and its female form arah – trouble. Yeirah – Formation – has to do with artistic fashioning from already available raw materials, which is distinct from Bri'ah – Creation that is bringing out something entirely new, “ex-nihilo”. This distinction hardly exists in English. Thus Yeirah would be translated as “creativity”, yet we should keep the Hebrew distinction in mind). The Yeirah - Formation - of Adam from the living earth – Adamah - (Gen. 2:7) is written as vayyier (וייצר) – with the letter Yod written twice; whereas the subsequent formation of the animals from the living earth (Gen: 2:19) is written as vayier (ויצר), with but one Yod. The sages explained that extra letter in this formation, accompanied with breathing into Adam the Breath of Life - Nishmat Hayim – resulted in Adam having two inclinations – Yetser's – both a goodly and an evil inclination.


YHWH (YeHaWeH) – Yoer Bereshit

But not only is the order of the Creation reversed, but even the main protagonist, the Yoẓer, or the Creator Himself, is called here by a different appellation – YHWH Elohim, and no longer just Elohim. There are those Biblical critics who saw in this the vestiges of a negligent editing of two or three different traditions that were preserved. Others see in it the mark of different writers – or even lady writers.[22] But we do not accept this simplistic explanation and are looking for a method that calls for this difference and requires it, in order to explain the richness and depth in the story of Genesis

Let us therefore return to the verse in Isaiah (43:7): "All that is called by My name and for My honor, I have created it, formed it even made it", and to the claim that the world was created, formed, and made in different strata. From this follows that until now the account dealt with Ọlam haBri'ah, “the World of Creation”, which is a world of (mathematical and structural) laws, whereas now it turns to deal with Ọlam haYeẓirah, “The World of Formation”, which is the world of creativity, feelings and urges - Yeẓer.

And indeed, this is confirmed by the wording of the text. In contrast with the opening words of Bereshit Bara – more or less “Foremost Created” – here we have vayyier YHWH Elohim et ha’Adam…. Vayeer… kol ayat haSadeh – “Then the Lord (YHWH) God (Elohim) formed (or rather “would form” – as explained in the introduction) the humans (Adam)… and (would have) formed all the animals of the field”.

This is why there is now required also a change in the name of the Creator and Fashioner - YHWH[23] - a name that can be called upon. For how would a human being call his maker when he calls Him(/Her): Elohim – which is in the plural form? That whose meaning is hidden (the letters of Who (are) These)? Elohim-God, as we already noted, is many different forces/laws; or – according to its gematria – “The Nature”. Should man appeal to the Nature?

But YHWH is a primary form of communication. According to the Torah Or (Torah of Light) of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the “Alte Rebbe” and founder of the important ḤaBaD school of Judaism), the first letter of this name, the Y’od (which has the form of the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, almost a point) – is Ẓimẓum-contraction, the wise focusing on the point of what is to be communicated to the other (which the wise can tell that it might be received by the other); the second letter of the name, H’eh - which has the expansive form (and pronunciation, like breathing in or out) – is the building and expansion of that point for elucidation; the third letter of the name, W’aw (meaning “hook” and which has the form of a line, and is used in Hebrew as the connector) is the “pipe” (Ẓinor) of communication through which the information is transmitted to the receiver; and the additional, final, H’eh, is the building up of the information at the receiver’s mind. So this divine Name has to do with Wisdom and Understanding.

Another way to approach this divine name is to relate to its literal meaning – Being, Existence, HaWaYaH – rendered in a grammatical form that signifies both becoming and its cause. The letters of YHWH repeated three times are the letter (in Hebrew) for “Was-Is-and Will be” (היה-הווהיהיה), and the name represents the three of them together, an eternal process of Being which is beyond time and for which Time is completely meaningless. The repeated invocation of this expression – HaYaH-HOWe-WeYiHiYeH is a good way of cleaving to the Lord.

The name of YHWH, which first appears in conjunction with the story of the Garden of Eden, is also the Name that would connect with the ideal existence of Israel in the statue of “the People who know Thy Name”. But through the many generations of exile there has grown a huge avoidance from relating directly to the Holy Name of YHWH, and without reflection there has grown a whole system of strange names (that most often are like words of revulsion) that threaten to make the Jew forget the experience of the Lord his God – and this is perhaps the real expulsion from Eden in our times.

(On the other hand, there are many gentiles who have no compunction from trying to call the Lord by names like “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”. Such appellations are quite meaningless, and their users (some of them regard this name anyway in derision and revulsion) are not informed about the issues, intentions and meanings involved with this awesome subject. Both gentile and Jew refer to YHWH as a proper name, which misses the whole point altogether.)

The recoil from “pronouncing the name of the Lord in its letters" (lahagot et shem YHWH be’otiyotav”) is based perhaps on a proper sense that it is not possible, in fact, to pronounce the Name in its true level. This is a name that is composed from vowels without any consonants, from the three softest and most subtle letters in the Hebrew alphabet, those that serve to mark the future tense, that which has not yet happened. This “Tetragrammaton” (four-lettered name), YHWH, makes a perfect representation of the process of creation-formation, in which “things” pass from the realm of taciturn thought to the letters of speech and into action. The description of "And a river issues from Eden to water he garden and from thence it would part and branched into four streams" (literally "heads" – Rashim), is also correct for the holy Tetragrammaton, YHWH.

When the letters of the Tetragrammaton become more material (the vowels turn into the consonants nearest to them in pronunciation), this name become realized into four primary meanings, from which the whole world is formed and maintained:

1)   Existence – Havayah – and subsistence – Hivuy. As noted above, “was, is and will be” – Hayah, Hovveh ve’Yiheyeh. These comprise the New Adam.

2)   Will – Yahav – or Passion – Ta’avah. “The Holy One desired to dwell among the lowly" – nit’avah haQadosh Barukh Hu lishkon bataḥtonim[24] – and that is why He created the world.

3)   Love – Ahavah – without which surely the world would not survive - with all its subjects (like Yohaveha – He would love her – Ye’ehavuhu – they will love Him – etc. The 13th century Mequbal Rabbi Avraham Abul’afia prophesied that before the Redemption there will be revealed an important Holy Name AHWY. This prophetic name may be associated with the pronunciation of Ehevi – (please) Love (me/us, addressed to a feminine form of the divinity.)

4)   Experience – awayah – of the presence of the divine in life and action.

Significantly, it is in the first Creation Story, when the creator is impersonal, He calls His creations by names: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night... And God called the firmament heaven... And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas... " (Gen. 1:5, 8, 10). But in His personal appearance in the second Creation Story, He leaves the work of calling names for the Adam. It is the Adam who will fill the world with knowledge and imagination. (We shall return, in the next portion, to the issue of the Name in the context of the sons of Noah: Shem, am and Yefet

About the Gematric-Geometric Meaning of the Name of YHWH

It is evident that the number 13 (2 x 13 = 26) is meaningful in the Bible (and the Gematria of 13 for both Ahavah – Love – and Ead – One – are also quite appropriate). For example, the fact (or incidence?) that the numerical values of the names of the Patriarchs make multiples of 26 (and hence also 13) in a descending series begs attention (Isaac-Yiẓḥaq (יצחק) – 208 = 8x26; Jacob-Yaạqov (יעקב) – 182 = 7x26; Joseph-Yoseph (יוסף) – 156=6x26). But our approach gives inherent value for Gematria only when it contains also geometrical message. The symbolic-geometrical meaning of the number 26 is in its connection with the cubic number of 27 = 3x3x3 – three to the power of three, namely length, breadth and height – to create a possibility of "interiority" and of "exterior" or "environment" – one interior cube and 26 that surround and envelope it. This means that from the central point within a cube, one can observe the 3-dimensional space from its 26 directions: 6 faces in directions of Up, Down, Right, Left, Forward, Backward; 12 edges in combined directions (such as up-forward, Left-Down, etc.); and 8 vertices in triple directions (such as Forward-Up-Right, Forward-Down-Left, etc.). These twenty-six directions have symbolic meaning of the relationship of one person (situated within the 3D physical body to another person and/or the environment. The number 26 therefore represents the sum of our types of relationships to others and to the world around us, and enables to sum up the rectification of our relationships in each of the types of humanly meaningful relationships. The full realization of the divinity in this world means the recognition of infinity beyond the restrictions that surround one in all the twenty-six meaningful directions one might be oriented in.

Examining the Gematria of the Name, which is 26, this also corresponds to the word Kabed – Respect – as is written: "Respect (Kabed כבּד) your father and your mother…" (Exodus 22:12), whereas with the full spelling, the word is Kavod – Glory (כבוד) – which has Gematria value of 32 (a number we've already examined) through the addition of the letter W'av (ו) that derives from the Name of YHWH and which draws vitality (ayut חיות) from a higher world (the expression Kvod YHWH – the Glory of the Lord appears in the Torah 10 times. The Kavod (Glory) is the visible aspect of YHWH, the invisible deity.

The value of 26 is already enfolded in the pattern of the New Jerusalem (which is implied, as we saw, in the number of letters in the first word and the first verse of Genesis). When dividing the circle with it to 28 equal parts, then a 360 degrees circle has sections of 360/28 = 12.86 degrees and approximately 13 degrees.[25] The twelve sections of "moons", or of the Tribes, that are formed by drawing the New Jerusalem Diagram are of 26 (25.71) degrees. In addition to the four cardinal directions to the North, East, South and West, the New Jerusalem Diagram marks additional eight meaningful directions, which are at an angle of about 26 degrees Left and Right of the four cardinal directions. In the sequel, when discussing the journeys of Abraham and the positioning o f the Tribes of Israel, we shall see the implications of this. We may note here just that the greatest monument of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt (in which the New Jerusalem Diagram was applied partially), the number 26 appears explicitly. Whereas the ration between the width of the Pyramid to its height is 22 to 14 (half the diameter of 28, which indicates the squaring of the circle and drawing the New Jerusalem Diagram), the slope of the corridors hidden within the pyramid and leading to the sacred inner chambers inside it is of 26 degrees.[26]

Oh Lord, thou preservest man and beast (Psalm 36:7)

Also the terms "Behemah" ("Beast" - בּהמה) and "Adam" (Human - אדם) are related to the Name of YHWH through the method of Miluy ("Filling in"). "Miluy" is the mode of writing the name of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet through all its letters, where in some instances there are alternative ways to spell out the name of the letter. There is a Miluy of YHWH (י׳וד ה׳ה ו׳ו ה׳ה) that has the Gematria value of 52, which is the same as that of Behemah ("Beast") and twice that of the basic value of the Name, which is 26. This is actually an automatic repetition of the letters of the Holy Name, much like natural reproduction. On the other hand, there is a Miluy (י׳וד ה׳א ו׳או ה׳א), known as Name of Mah" or Miluy Alephim, that has Gematria value of 45, just as is "Adam" (אדם), and its connection to the Name of YHWH is with addition of the letter Aleph א - which denotes training – Iluph – and instruction, as is written "veA'alepkha okhmah" (Job 33:33). The Lurianic Qabbalah is actually built upon four types of Miluy to the Name of YHWH, which we shall treat in the next portion (parashat No'a), in which we shall also present a fifth Miluy.


The Names of the Protagonists in the Tree of Knowledge Drama

In the version of the World of Yeẓirah, there is (as noted above) room for emotions and inclinations (Yeer), which are the basis for all drama. Let us first relate to the names of the three protagonists of the second Creation Story, the Yeirah account, or the Story of the Garden of Eden: Serpent-Naash, Eve-avvah and Adam. The names of the protagonists are very loaded, both concerning their Gematria-geometry clues and concerning their semantic meanings.

The principle of Miluy and completion is expressed through the names of the parties. As we have shown, the Gematria value of Adam is 45, which is also the characteristic of "Shem haTiqqun" – Name of Rectification – or Shem Mah, whose essence is the filling of the Name of YHWH with Aleph (the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet) - י׳וד ה׳א ו׳או ה׳א. The letter Aleph has to do with training - Iluph – and its form is derived from the pictogram of a harnessed bull – thus meaning the training of man's animal soul. The name avvah – Eve – expresses distinctly the principle of Miluy and propagation. The Gematria value of avvah is 19. This number is a "Gnomon"[27] (completing number), which adds to a cube of 9x9 to make a cube of 10x10 – 9x9 + 19 = 10x10.[28] Likewise, 19 is the number that completes from a cube of 2x2x2 to a cube of 3x3x3 – 8 + 19 = 27. The pertinence of Miluy is appropriate not only by Gematria, but also by the Gematria of both words: the inclusive term of Adam Veavvah – Adam and Eve – 45 + 6+19 = 70. The number 70 represents completion in the Torah – the number of nations that issued from No'a and his sons is 70, and in the beginning of the Book of Exodus we find that the number of Jacob and his sons who descended to Egypt is also 70 (exodus 1:5), which hints that the Children of Israel are the representatives for all the nations of the world.

And since the drama takes place by "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" let us also note that the names of the protagonists represent different modes of knowledge, and they are tested, therefore, through the Tree of Knowledge.

The Serpent – Naash – has to do with guessing/speculation – Niush. The Serpent-Naḥash develops many theories, and would like to verify them, but is not interested in testing and experiencing himself. The Serpent guesses what will happen to the one who would eat from it, but prefers to remain outside the action and not to change himself. He leaves the experience – avayah – to avah-Eve, who prefers to live – Ḥayah – and to experience – avoh –herself.

Adam is the middle position between these two. Adam medameh-imagines the experience-Havayah to himself, but joins the action only when pressed. On the face of it, there is no great difference between speculation-Niḥush and imagination-Dimyon, but in fact there is a considerable qualitative difference. The Adam, who was indeed formed from the taciturn (domem) earth-Adamah, was also formed with a similarity-Dimyon to his maker – on one hand, it is God’s wish “Let us make Mankind-Adam in our image-elem after our likeness-kiDemutenu, whereas the human aspiration is Adameh le’Elyon – “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). The entire pattern of the Adam is the pattern of the Tree of the Sephirot (see the preceding chapter), which is also the pattern of the Torah-the Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18) with its 248 (Rema) members and 365 (SheSaH) sinews, in body and in soul.

The serpent, who does not want to change – is punished by change. He was erect, but was sentenced to go upon its belly. (In this context, a side note: today we are aware, through recent research on the ancient dinosaurs, that the reptiles – among which the serpent belongs – were indeed with legs and erect bodies, so that the snakes that survived them, indeed lost their legs).

No less interesting is the common vulnerable state of these three protagonists: Traditional interpreters and translators refer to the word Ạrum (Gen. 3:1) given about the serpent as “crafty”, but this word means in Hebrew also “naked”. It is well known that the serpent is the animal that sloughs (sheds) its skin, and remains in certain times naked and vulnerable (and aware of it). Adam and Eve did not feel naked before they ate of the fruit of the Tree, but through the experience there came the knowledge. So the serpent managed to make them naked as he was.


Different Understandings concerning the Serpent

Christianity, which grew through the exploitation of the story of the Garden of Eden as the story of the absolute "Original Sin" (see below) conceived of the serpent as the total evil – the real Satan who is the personal rival of God (Naash has the Gematria value of 358 and with the Kolel[29] has value of 359, same as Satan – שטן). Opposed to classical Christianity there were Gnostic sects (like the Ophites) who, therefore, admired the serpent and used it in their rituals. In many ancient traditions, the serpent is the symbol of wisdom. But in the Hebrew Scriptures Satan (who appears in the Book of Job) is not an independent power opposed to God, but is another servant of God who operates by way of opposition. The concept of the Qabbalah is still more intricate. As noted, Naash has the Gematria value of 358 – but so is the word Mashi'a – Messiah, משיח. And thus against "serpent of impurity" there is also "serpent of holiness", who is the Messiah. And indeed, in the book of Numbers it is told about the serpents who were sent to punish the Children of Israel and who killed many and against them the Brazen Serpent that healed from the venom of the snakes (21:8-9).


The three of them are representatives of an alternative world – the paradisiacal world, of the Garden of Eden. 

We are dealing here, as noted, with the World of Yeẓirah/Formation. The beautiful expression of the World of Yeẓirah/Formation is the place called the Garden of Eden (Gan Ẹden), which forms a very intuitive image that appeals to every person. We all regard a beautiful garden, full of trees, as a desirable thing. In translations, the Garden of Eden is called “Paradise”, from the Persian word – that was also absorbed in the Hebrew language – Pardes. The word Pardes appears in the last and latest part of the Hebrew Bible. Thus the beloved appears in the Canticles (4:13) as Pardes Rimonim – an orchard of pomegranates – while the poet of Ecclesiastes (2:5) describes the ultimate riches through the Pardes: “I made great works for myself…. I made gardens and orchards (Pardesim)…..”.

In the Talmud we meet again with the Pardes, with the story of the four sages who entered it and what happened to each one. The medieval scholars would translate this as Pardes as the acronym for Peshat-literal, Remez-hint, Derash-exegesis and Sod-mystical/secret (meanings of the Biblical text), but it seems that the intention (Ezraḥi, 1997) of the sages was to the original meaning, to the Garden of Eden (regarded as the Holy of Holies in the Temple), to the passage through the Cherubs and the “bright blade of the revolving sword” (Gen. 3:24), with the attending dangers, for entry to the Tree of Life.

The image of the ideal garden is thus deeply imprinted in the human condition (something like the “D.N.A Gene” – which remarkably has the same letters as the Hebrew “Gan Ẹden). It is not fortuitous that at present – the end of the Sixth Millennium according to the Hebrew Calendar, namely, the end of the Sixth Day of "This World", the “day” of the creation of Adam and his appointment for the caretaker of the Garden – there is growing ecological consciousness, with the strong nostalgia of return to nature and to the Garden. But it should be noted that Adam was not introduced into the garden for pleasure, but “to till it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). That is: if Adam’s primary task were accomplished, if humankind only succeeded to keep the ecosystem undamaged from the beginning – there would have been no need to disturb the ecological balance further through the development of agriculture.

According to the Biblical view – the garden of Eden is still extant, and the way to it and to the Tree of Life is a possibility, that is why it was necessary “to place “the Kruvim (cherubs) and the bright blade of a revolving sword to guard the way to the tree of life”, so as to make it 'difficult to those who seek to return to the garden, so that one cannot return there just by whim. And since the Temple was destroyed and the Cherubs upon the Ark of the Covenant disappeared – the re-entry is still more difficult and dangerous, as would be testified by the experience of those four sages.


About the Topology of the Garden of Eden

And a river went out of (the Garden of) Eden… and from thence it was parted, and branched into four streams”: the Pishon, the Giḥon, the Ḥiddeqel and the Prat. Let us try to examine what are these four rivers. Concerning the Ḥiddeqel and the Prat – there is little doubt that what is meant are the rivers called the Tigris and the Euphrates. Their origin is in the inner Taurus Mountains in Turkey, where they separate, and then return and unite a little North of the city of Basra, in order to flow into the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf. Concerning the Giḥon and the Pishon there is no semantic continuity, especially since the only water source that kept the name Giḥon is the pulsing (ga) spring around which there developed Jerusalem. But this is a tiny spring, compared with the immense water sources of the Euphrates and the Tigris (albeit there is a prophecy that in the future a great river will go forth from Jerusalem). It is necessary, therefore, to examine the further hints given by the scriptures about their basins – the Pishon “which compasses the whole land oh Ḥavilah, where there is gold” (2:11), whereas the Giḥon “it compasses the whole land of Kush”. From these Rashy deduces that these are the Nile sources, the White and the Blue Nile, which separate in East Africa, in the present Ethiopia, and return to unite near Khartoum, to flow together into the Mediterranean.

If so, we are dealing here precisely with the four rivers that gave the life to “The Fertile Crescent”, and which enabled the existence and development of humans in ancient times. It was not for nothing that when Lot, Abraham nephew, decided to settle “at the plain of the Yarden (Jordan), that it was well watered everywhere” (Gen. 13:10) it was compared to the waters of the Nile “like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Mirayim (Egypt)”.

Upon reading the sentence: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and branched into four streams”, we intuitively assume there was a single source from whence flow these four streams – but this is not so. Not only do these rivers not meet, they even surround the whole region of the Fertile Crescent, from the North and from the South. We should then assume a source river that surrounds the whole region of the Fertile Crescent as if in a circle, actually existing in a surrounding higher dimension, and gives the gift of water, that is – the vitality (Ḥayut). The river that went out of Eden seems to have disappeared, along with the garden, but left behind the four streams, that still preserve a few facets of paradise. Without them, the whole wide region that is considered as the cradle of human civilization would have been a desert.

The original Bible was written in Hebrew, the language of the people of “Ẹver haNahar” – the other side of the River – and is marked by the character of that environment. The site of the Biblical Garden of Eden must have been here, in the Fertile Crescent that is in the Middle East. But since this region is, in fact, at the center of the earth’s continents,[30] at the sacred center-point for all humankind, the ancient Biblical parable (Meshal haQadmoni) holds a universal meaning for all humankind. In fact, the name of that small river of Jerusalem, the Gion, means a spring that stops and disappears, but then would spring forth (yagi'a, יגיח) again, suggesting that paradise may re-appear at Jerusalem. 

But it is not mere geographical territory that we are dealing here with, but mainly with psychological-symbolic territory. We have already related to the river from Eden as surrounding. With this, we return to the Qabbalah symbols, where a world surrounds a world: the World of Ạssiyah-Action is the central circle, and is limited to concrete things. It is in turn surrounded by the World of Yeẓirah, with which we are dealing here, and which is structured to contain still much more.

Thus, for example, the separation of the surrounding one into four streams: The pattern of the Four is called in the ancient Hindu teachings “Mandala” (which actually means in Sanskrit a circle), and is a model of the world. Such a model, made of four elements, is not exclusive to Indian beliefs, but is common around the world, ever since the times of ancient Sumer.

The psychologist Jung reported that people who have entered into chaotic states, and have started to reorganize their lives – are inclined to draw Mandala-type drawings with clear four-fold symmetry. Often these drawings also contained two trees in the middle. This cannot be explained away by referring to the Judeo-Christian tradition within which Jung operated, because such elements appear already in ancient Sumerian art.

Let's leave for a moment the fourfold pattern and return to the Qabbalah sages, who formed from the story of Genesis seven-fold patterns: seven mansions of the lower paradise and seven of the higher paradise, and against these seven kinds of earth and seven regions of hell.[31] These patterns derive from the pattern of the Creation in seven days and the Sabbath, as well as on the first seven words of the Torah (Bereshit bara Elohim et ha’Shamayin ve’et ha’AreIn the beginning God created Heaven and Earth”).


The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (2:9). These two trees bring the drama of the Garden of Eden to a climax. The Tree of Life has all the flow of vitality in it. Man is lodged in its web, like a fish in the water, and is not able to perceive it, because he cannot (as long as he lives) to regard life in a detached view that brings awareness. The Tree of Knowledge, on the other hand, requires a certain detachment, an examination and inquiry, and then a merger, just like with the sexual union which Da’t-Knowledge represents (“And the man knew avvah his wife” (4:1). The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil contains also the knowledge of the end, awareness of death, which leads to a tragic view of the world, a world where every individual is destined to expire.

At first, Adam was only forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. As if God was wary lest His children acquire education and knowledge. Ostensibly, if they would only taste of that tree, there would be revealed to them the most arcane secrets of the Creation. But what was that knowledge to which “the eyes of them both were opened”? – "and they knew that they were naked” and vulnerable.

Thus – sexual knowledge, the ability of making a sexual selection and reproduction, seems to be the most basic knowledge, is the one that makes them to be as gods. This is also the way that God discovers that the transgression was made “And He said – who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee that thou should not eat?

Till here, we have became familiar with the kind of man that was completely under the rule of the urge (Yeẓer) and instincts, who “there was not found a help to match him” – or as RaShY interpreted, he was constantly in heat. When he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, sex became a conscious thing. “And the man knew Ḥavvah his wife”. And clothing is the counter-measure. There is no incest (Giluy Ạrayot – Hebrew for “uncovering the genitals”) without clothing.

The Aggadah goes still further and brings an assumption that Adam kept himself separate from his wife for a hundred and thirty years (Rashi for 5:3). Such separation would have been inconceivable under the conditions of ignorance of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The urge, or natural inclination, is of the characteristics of the Garden of Eden, whereas choice belongs to the outside world.

With Knowledge came shame – "and they knew that they were naked – and the covering with leather – r עור - cloths. The first utterance of creation is Yehi Or – "Let there be Light". The Qabbalah regards the beginning of the process of creation as the formation of something like cloth that covers the infinite,[32] which cannot be grasped in any way, and this cloth is made of combination of letters of light. The Aggadah of Midrash Rabba (Beresit Rabba section 20, paragraph 12) tells: "For the man also and for his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them", in the (book of) Torah of Rabbi Me'ir (the name "Me'ir" means "enlightening" and is very pertinent here) was found "garments of Light" (Or אור). Some of the sages understood from this that at first Adam and Eve had only "etheric bodies" of light, and after their choice focused only on the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (and not the entire tree) they lost the vision of the bodies of light and felt themselves naked.

den means, literally, refinement or delicate. Light – which appears in the Torah as the first created thing – is, according to current scientific view, vibrations in a five-dimensional continuum. We can say that the expulsion from den is actually the loss of the five-dimensional perception and descent to the mere material, three-dimensional world.

This change of the letter Aleph (א) with the letter Ạyin (ע) has Gematria significance. The Letter Aleph has the value of one and it symbolizes unity and oneness, whereas the letter Ạyin has the value of 70 and it symbolizes multiplicity (as we saw from the combination "Adam and Eve" (Adam veavvah) has the value of 70 and will see concerning the 70 nations).

It is for a reason that there formed traditions that identified the Tree of Knowledge with wheat (e.g. Genesis Rabba 15:7). According to this theory – Adam was punished with the subject of the transgression. They sought to eat of the fruit of this garden – and that was given them, for ever, with the good and the bad of it. There ended the age of “Of every tree of the garden thou mayst freely it” (2:15) and instead there came the age of “in the sweat of face shalt thou eat bread” (3:19).

We have already mentioned in the introductory chapter the importance of the cultivation of cereals for the development of human civilization, a development that transformed humankind from the pastoral stage to that of fixed settlement – that ostensibly saved humankind from the fear of hunger, but got us bound in slavery to the earth, and initiated the problems of population density. These brought about the formation of social classes, to landowners and serfs and the provision of "clothes" of walls and fences, but – in the spirit of the Tree of Knowledge – also to further specialization and knowledge. In other words – which we shall further discuss in the next section – here lie the roots of the continuing conflict between shepherds and agriculturists, between those that get enslaved to property and the people of freedom, between the patriarchs, who were taken out of their land and brought to other places, and their offspring, who were educated by the Torah to become permanent settlers.

There is, therefore, no wonder that the picking of the fruit was attributed to the woman, who was – as the archeologists concur – the mother of the domestication of plants and of agriculture. The men were the hunters-gatherers and they pushed for the wandering life, whereas the women became the growers of cereals and fruits at fixed places, and pulled the men for sedentary life upon their homesteads.

The entire Torah is a testimony and admonishment about the dangers to the human spirit entailed by servitude to the soil. Idolatry was strongly connected with the tenure of the soil – at every place in the world, the cult of the gods of corn required sacrifices, including human sacrifices, and in the environmental conditions of the Middle East the main object of idolatry was to force the sky god(s) to bring the rain.

That is why already in the first story about the beginning of humankind – the story of Adam and Eve and their sons – this conflict is already enfolded. In the next stories, about the further attempts to re-establish humankind, we shall see the development of this tension. In the first war between brothers in human history according to the Book of Genesis – the struggle between Cain and Abel, was the prototype of the struggle between agriculturists and pastoralists. “Noah Ish ha’Adamah” ("the husbandman of the soil" (and really of the “living earth” or “Gaia”), was the next one chosen to establish a new humankind. After he failed, Abraham and his family, a family of wandering shepherds, were chosen for the next experiment. It was important for the editors of the Torah to teach a nation of agriculturists who incline after the deities of the land that their forefathers were shepherds, men free from servitude to the soil and its negative influences, and who worshiped a single superior God, and not the gods of Canaan, the idols of rain and of cereal.

Cain, the founder of the first city, is the representative of the great idolatrous kingdoms, such as Egypt, Assyria and Babylon that were powerful and enslaving. The tribes of the Torah were meant to have a collective memory of free shepherds, unfettered by social and religious domination, whether they themselves come to settle in great walled cities or when dominated by urban cultures. The self-image of the nomad is of a relatively free person, who can develop his potential through choice and not through coercion.

It is the woman, as we noted, who observed the fruit of the Garden of Eden and the potential of its separation from the tree and the cultivation of its seed.

The Qabbalah[33] regards the transgression not in the actual eating from the tree, but in eating the fruit, or in its language in “the cutting of the shoots” (kiẓuẓ biNeti’ot). The trees of the Garden of Eden are formed, according to the Qabbalah, in the pattern of the Tree of the Sephirot (see appendix 'A'), and that man and his wife transgressed in that they separated the Sephirah of Malkhut (“Kingdom”, concrete reality) from the rest of the Sephirot (the more abstract and causal realms), namely, they chose to separate the food part of the tree from its other parts, which together comprise the whole of the tree. This utilitarian and exploitative behavior neglects the reciprocal relations and the factors that form and create, and limits itself to the pleasurable things that issue from them. This is an exit from the world of Formation (Yeẓirah) and certainly from the World of Creation (Bri'ah), which is the world of Health (Beri’ut) and wholeness. (In this context it is fit to recall the “Indian Bible”, the Bhagavad-Gita, according to which human vocation is “to act without desiring the fruit of action”, a practice that even Mahatma Ghandi confessed at the end of his life that he did not succeed to accomplish).

We shall deal in the sequel extensively with the implications of the characteristics of the Tree of Life upon those who eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and just note here that the curse of the Tree of Knowledge of our times – namely of science and technology – has brought eventually to a human population increase that it is doubtful whether the earth can accommodate.


The Tree of Life versus the Tree of Knowledge

"The tree of life also in the midst of the garden" (2:9), namely, embedded in the garden, in its overall pattern and in every detail thereof. This is a distinct case of the Self-similarity noted before. Therefore, the Tree of Knowledge may be embedded within the Tree of Life and vice-versa, as we saw that the knowledge hidden within the Tree of Knowledge includes also the knowledge of death.

Ostensibly, Death was the punishment expected to those who eat of it: “for on the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die”. But from God's response it can be understood that there was no instantaneous death lurking in the case of the Tree of Knowledge, because the creator then says (3:22) "Behold, the Adam is become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and noe, what if he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, amd eating, live for ever" that if the man would only eat later of the Tree of Life he would not die, from which we may surmise that the man was due to die from his inception, regardless. Moreover, Adam who transgressed and was expelled from te Garden lived long (nine hundred and thirty years) and begot many offspring. Thus the real, and automatic, punishment of any man who eats of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was the knowledge of death, the fear of death. The very awareness of death changed his conception of time and all his being.

The names of the two sons of Adam testify to this conception. With the one there is an attempt to contend with this dire verdict and to increase possessions – Qinyan – from thence the name Qayin, with the other, Abel – Hevel, meaning also "vanity" - there is resignation in the manner of Ecclesiastes: “Havel havalim ha’Kol Hevel” (“vanity of vanities, all is vanity).

Among the legends of the Hassidim there is a story of "The Holy Brothers" Rabbi Elimelekh and Rabbi Zusiah, where Rabbi Elimelekh asked his brother: "My holy brother, please tell me, we have learned that all the souls of humankind were present with the first Adam,[34] therefore you must have been there with him at the Garden of Eden. So when he ate of the forbidden fruit, why did you not restrain him from this?" and Rabbi Zusia answered: "Of course I have been there, and I am the one who forced his hand to take the forbidden fruit and eat of it". For the puzzlement of his brother he explained: "If Adam would not have listened to the voice of the serpent, he would have been tormented all his life – his eternal life – that maybe he made a mistake, and would always be tormented in doubts, perhaps the serpent spoke the truth? So I wanted him to experience and to know for fact that the serpent had lied".   

This story is in the spirit to the Hassidic Midrash of the Alte Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the RaShaZ, the founder of the aBaD movement, in his book Torah Or), there is a measure of compassion in the new edict that was issued on Adam “and now what if he puts forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eating, live foe ever”, rather than a punishment. For initially, it was not prohibited to eat from the Tree of Life. But after they became knowers of “Good and Evil”, and good and evil became mixed within them, they would most likely suffer for the rest of their life. The angels, like God Himself, are not influenced by the evil, but are capable of observing all the worlds with a detached, objective, quasi “scientific” observation. Whereas man ends up fighting with evil for the duration of one’s life, and it is better for him that this struggle will be relatively short, for a few decades, rather than endure for millennia.

Ever since the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the Trees of Life and of Knowledge must balance each other, and the struggle is now at its fiercest. Let us then examine the assumption we brought at the introduction chapter, according to which we are living now at the sixth millennium, namely at the “Sixth Day of Creation” – the epoch of the creation of Adam.

A close examination shows that this Sixth Day started about 1240 C.E. It is quite interesting that these are the years in which there developed the Kabbalah in general and the Book of the Zohar in particular, and there became known the Tree of the Sephirot, as the pattern of the Trees of Life and of Knowledge.

A thousand years earlier there was developed the symbol of the Cross, the symbol of the separation between body and spirit, between earth and heaven and which denies the concept of the Tree of Life, through the belief in the doctrine of “The Original Sin” – the “sin of the First Adam” – from which there is no restitution. The concept of the “Original Sin” is a late invention of the founder of Christianity, St. Paul, (with preludes at the Dead Sea sect) – an invention that gave the church an enormous power over its believers, by explaining to them that they are all sinners from their human nature and would certainly perish in hell unless they obey all its dictates. Since then there took root in humankind the opinion that the moral of the entire Bible, and especially of the story of the Garden of Eden, is to tell about “The Original Sin”.

But in fact in the entire original Hebrew Bible there is no single divine teacher or prophet (who dwell at length upon the iniquities of the people) who saw in the story of the Tree of Knowledge any special “sin” that is worth mentioning. Moreover, the whole pattern of the Torah, as we have shown and will do so in length in the sequel, is of ongoing restitution and not of an unredeemable original sin, and the exegesis of the Church fathers is an arbitrary interpretation based on a small section which goes against the entire context of the Torah. Regarding the terrible sufferings that this doctrine inflicted upon many millions of human beings, we may well see in the formation of this doctrine (of the original sin) the very original sin of Christianity.

The Qabbalah - and especially the Zohar – believe that the whole vocation of man is in the ability to change and mend. It was not for nothing that the Zohar called the Cross “The Tree of Death”, as an antithesis to the elaborate Tree of Life it proposed.

For this comparison between the two religious conceptions I would like to add here also the Moslem conception, whose impression appears in the decorations of the Dome of the Rock at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and especially upon the inner side of the Dome. These decorations include many vegetal motifs, and the pillars between the many ornamental gates inside the edifice resemble a palm (Tmarim תמרים) garden of a desert oasis as well as the "Timurim" (תימורים) of the Jerusalem Temple. The architecture of the Dome of the Rock can be seen as an attempt to depict the Garden of Eden.[35]  The pattern within the ceiling of the Dome can be seen as a visual representation of the Tree of Life and a visual exegesis upon the Sefer Yeẓirah, within the canons of the non-figurative Islamic art. In this pattern there are 32 special figures, decorated with vegetal motifs, that surround the center which is related to the One God and which form – together with the spaces between them – 160 “leaves” or “fruits” (160 is the Gematria value of elem – the Image by which Adam was formed – as well as of – "Tree"). Each couple of such figures – along with the spaces between them, form one Qabbalistic tree, and the entire ensemble is the pattern (Zelem & Dmut) of a tree, which is made of many trees, and which is difficult to perceive as such, because we are, in a sense, inside it, as components of it.


The Numerical Relation between the Trees of Life and of Knowledge

"Tree of Life" – Ẹẓ haḤayim (עץ החיים) <=> 160 + 5+68 = 233, and:

"Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil"  – Ẹẓ haDaạt Tov veR (עץ הדעת טוב ורע) <=> 160 + 5+474 + 17 + 6+270 = 932; whereas 233 X 4 = 932;

Thus "Tree of Life X 4 = "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Four Sephirot sets of four worlds one above the other constitute the Tree of Knowledge. The Knowledge of the Name – HaShem – symbolizes the joining of the four worlds.


The Encounter with the Tree of Knowledge in our Time.

Since the middle of the sixth millennium (and in the Common Era, since the 18th century), science – namely “scientia” – namely Knowledge – underwent a tremendous development. Human knowledge started admittedly to accumulate in former millennia. We know about Chinese wisdom of Greek philosophy. But the tools, the technologies, have gathered momentum only in recent times. Two main thrusts pushed this development: that of achieving a military advantage, and that of achieving economic advantage. The welfare of the whole world as a living system – namely the Tree of Life – has never been the main concern of humankind.

But the amazing outcomes of the technological race will force us to return and to taste of the tree of life. The human population of the earth has grown five-fold in the last hundred years and with global industrialization, the amplifying pollution could bring about a global ecological catastrophe. If we desire only the “fruit” of the Tree of Knowledge – the technological exploitation of science – and disregard its whole structure, the mutual connections among its levels and branches, and maintain them as separate scientific branches and disjoint disciplines; if we will not wise up to use the bio-ecological knowledge about the importance of the mutual relationships among the various natural factors, if we will not bring the technological development into a sustainable stead-state, the Tree of Knowledge will overwhelm us, an ecological disaster will happen, and we shall bring on us the curse of the Tree of Knowledge by our own hands: “cursed is the ground (Adamahthe Living Earth and female for of Adam) for thy sake” (3:17).

It seems that there cannot be a more important message for our times – we live now at the end of the sixth millennium and just before the encounter with the Tree of Knowledge and of a global ecological catastrophe. In order to overcome the environmental catastrophe it is necessary that all human beings upon the earth will decide and act together, and from this issues the transformation of all humankind to an individual – into Adam.


One Possible Location of the "Garden in Eden from the East" (Ẹden miQedem)

Stories about a paradise or a "Golden Age" appear in almost all the ancient myths and in many religions, not only in the Torah. Thus there is prevalent in Asia, especially among Buddhists, the legend of "Shamballah" – the city of the Just and the Immortals that is hidden among the mountains somewhere at the center of Asia. In the 20th century there started searches by European mystics[36] for Shamballah or Agharta as the ancient spiritual capital of humankind. Nowadays there is a tendency to locate the place of this Shamballah or primordial paradise by the Altai Mountains in central Asia, by the border of Mongolia, China and Russia-Ciberia, and regard it as the ancient place from where there issued the major human races.[37] This forlorn place is indeed at the very center of the continent of Asia, which is the continent where most of humankind dwells.

We mention this possibility (or speculation) because it would become meaningful when we shall discuss the journeys of Abraham (at the Lekh-lekha portion). But now let's return to the Genesis portion.


The Struggle of Qayin and Hevel and the Original Sin.

It is with the story of the struggle between Qayin (Cain) and Hevel (Abel) that the main narrative of the Torah begins - a narrative that the works of creation in six days is only its introduction - namely the series of struggles between the brothers. Their names change from stage to stage, but they are the same people – they are us. The names of the first enemies-brothers also have gematria-geometrical significance. The name of the elder is Qayin (קין), whose Gematria value is 160, like Ẓelem (human image), Ẹẓ (tree) and Sel. The first two terms already appeared in the first and second Creation narratives, and we have already mentioned the edifice of the Dome of the Rock, the ceiling of which is decorated by a pattern that corresponds both to the Divine Ẓelem and to the Ẹẓ (Tree) of Life. Nowadays it is becoming evident that the spot of the Dome of the Rock is also "The Stone of Contention" over property that affects the whole world and is, in fact, the most likely spot for precipitating a World War.

The name of the younger brother Hevel-Abel, on the other hand, is used to denote something insubstantial, vanity and outbreath – as the opening of the book of Ecclesiastics (1:2) declares: "Havel Havalim… ha'kol Hevel" translated generally as "Vanity of vanities… all is vanity". But the Qabbalah turns this meaning around and Hevel denotes the outbreath (Hevel haPeh), from which the letters of speech are formed, thus causing all that is accomplished by speech. The Gematria value of Hevel is 37, the same as of Yeḥida – singularity, the highest level of the soul, and of haKavod the medium in which HaShem – the Lord YHWH, but also just "The Name" – becomes visible, and of Degel – "Flag" - the visual sign that identifies a nation or group. 37 is also the value of okhmah – Wisdom – in "Small Gematria" (where letters get the numerical of their ordinal value from 1 to 22). The number 37 represents two geometrical patterns – of the hexagon and the hexagram - such as of "the Star of David" in the Israel Flag.[38] The number 37 is also a 3D Gnomon (completing number) that, when added as cover to a cube of 3x3x3 makes a cube of 4x4x4 (37 + 27 = 64). In as much that the surface hexagonal form of 37 is used as a three-dimensional cover completing a cube of three to a cube of four, it gives a hint to progression from three-dimensional cube to a four-dimensional hypercube.

Not only is the ancient struggle for inheritance not forgotten, but it seems to get stronger these days. In the legends of the sages the motif of struggle and envy is presented already to the first creation narrative and the competition between the sun and the moon, "the lesser light" against "the greater light". However, in that creation narrative it is written "that it was good" (1:19). In the second, Formation (Yezirah) narrative, the struggle appears in full strength. Also the word "sin" – which is not mentioned at all in the case of eating from the Tree of Knowledge – appears explicitly in the story of Qayin and Hevel "sin crouches at the door, and to thee shall be his desire" (4:7). Sin is the offspring of desire and inclination – Yeer. "The original sin" is not with the Tree of Knowledge but of brotherly envy and rivalry. Interestingly, the word atat - sacrifice to atone for Sin (et) – will appear 32 times in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.

What divided Qayin and Hevel? They competed on the love of God, on matters of worship and sanctity. They both asked that their offering would be accepted. God could have accepted both their offers. A possible reason for the preference of the one and the rejection of the other's offering is hinted by the difference of the offerings. About Hevel it is written that "he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat (choice) parts thereof", while Qayin brought just "of the fruit of the ground". Here the offering of the firstlings gave preference to the young. Qayin, the elder brother, was prevented from bringing the firstlings of the fruit of the ground, because it was the same ground (Adamah, actually "Living Earth") about which his father Adam was told "cursed is the ground (Adamah) for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of your life, Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee… ". The sheep were already complete and perfect, while the ground still needed much "to till it and to keep it" (2:15) from the thornes and thistles which are the firstlings of the ground.

In Midrash Tanḥuma for Genesis (item 9) it is told: "And Qayin talked with Hevel his brother" (but is not written what he said). What did he tell him? Let us divide the world and I am the firstborn and will take twice the portion, Hevel told him (that) this is possible, then Qayin told him, if so I am taking as my extra portion the place where your offering was accepted, then Hevel told him, you will not take it, and it was over this matter that there issued a fight  between them, as it is written "and it came to pass, when they were in the field" and else where it is written (Jeremiah 26:18), "ion shall be plowed like a field". Accordng to this Midrash and additional ones, the place of sacrifice of Qayin and Hevel was in ion at the Temple Mount – the spot that is (as already noted) the place of the severest contention till our time. According to Rabenu Baḥayeh (for Gen. 4:14), "and from thy face I shall be hid – this can be interpreted that 'from thy face' means 'from the place of Thy Dwelling (Shekhinah), namely the place where the people see the face of the Lord God of Israel, and this instructs that the first Adam dwelled at Mount Moriah and there he had his offspring".

Once that Hevel's offering was accepted while Qayin's offering was rejected, entered the envy that crouched at the opening, and this envy would still seep through history till it gets its complete rectification. Parallel to the seven stages of creating the world through divine utterances the Scriptures narrative would come in seven stages of rectification of the true Original Sin (the one for which the word atat – Sin – is explicitly mentioned) – which is the envy and enmity among brothers. The conclusion of the story of the Creation – Beriah (connected with the word Bri'ut, namely "Health") – is that all humans are brothers, are Bnei Adam, "The Sons of Adam" (that is, "Sons of Man"). But we know the bitter truth how great is the envy and the enmity among the Bnei Adam – and murder of brothers, fratricide, is the clearest manifestation of it. In our subsequent survey of the Book of Genesis we shall find in it six cases of struggle between brothers are described as six stages (that are parallel to the parable of the six creation days), in which the conflict among brothers gets gradually refined (mit'den – connected with den) and its dangers get mitigated, until it reaches its complete solution. We shall reach the seventh and completed stage only in the Book of Exodus (especially after the giving of the Torah and the building of the Tabernacle), which is the relationship between the brothers Moses and Aharon, who succeed in complementing each other and both serve the Holy. The six stages of rectification of the relations between brothers in the worlds of Action (siyah) and of Formation-Inclination (Yeirah) parallel the six Days of Creation in the world of Bri'ah, whereas the seventh stage, of the Holy Brothers, parallels the Shabat (Sabbath).

The sages too have seen the processes of corruption and rectification as seven stages, which they related to the seven heavens. Midrash Tanuma (Naso, item 16):

"The Holy One told him (Adam), I was desirous to have a dwelling in the Lower worlds as I have in the higher worlds, and I commanded you about one thing and you did not keep it. Immediately the Holy One lifted his dwelling (Shekhinah) to the first heaven. Where is that stated? It is written "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden" (Gen. 3:8). As they transgressed the command, He lifted his Shekhinah to the first firmament. Then Qayin stood up and slew Hevel, immediately He lifted his Shekhinah to the second firmament, etc. (as related earlier for Pequde item 6). Said the Holy One, I have created seven firmaments, and till now there are evil ones to transgress. What did He do? He crumpled all the first generations and upheld Abraham. Since Abraham was upheld, he refined with good deeds, the Holy One descended from the seventh to the sixth firmament. Then came Isaac and stretched his throat over the altar, He descended from the sixth to the fifth etc. (there). Eventually Moses came and drew her (the Shekhinah) to earth, as is written "And the Lord came down upon mount Sinay" (exodus 19:20). And it is ritten, "I am come into my garden, my sister, my bride" (Canticles 5:1); when? When the Tabernacle was erected".[39]

(By the way – from the story of Qayin it is apparent clearly that "The First Adam" of the World of Yeirah narrative (that which started about six thousand years ago), was not the first human being. After he slew his brother, Qayin was afraid "that anyone that finds me shall slay me" (3:14), which means that there were other people around and they already knew some moral norms, and right after that it is told that Qayin had a wife and that he started to build a city. Is there a need for a whole city for one small family?)


The Sons of Qayin and birth of Technology

Lemekh (same letters as Melekh – King) was the sixth generation from Qayin, and viewed himself as much greater sinner than his forefather: "If Qayin shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lemekh seventy and sevenfold". Lemekh is the only one whose offspring is detailed: "And Lemekh took to him two wives, the name of the one was da and the name of the other was Ẓillah. And da bore Yaval, he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle (in Hebrew Miqne, implying that he bought himself (Qana) the legacy that Hevel left). And his brother's name was Yuval, he was the father of all such as handle the lyre and pipe. And Ẓillah, she also bore Tuval-Qayin, forger of every sharp instrument in brass and iron, and the sister of Tuval-Qayin was Na'ama" (4:19-22). The names of the sons are close to each other – Yaval, Yuval and Tuval and they appear as the makers of technology – specifically as the kinds of technologies that would have been required for the building of the desert Tabernacle, but they were apparently used in Qayin's City and led to corruption. Interestingly, all this progeny of Lemekh is told in 36 words, perhaps paralleling those "These" – Eleh – of the formula of God-Elohim made of the lofty Mi and the lower Eleh who are liable to fall down.


The 3rd Genesis Account – the World of Action version

The third version of the Story of Genesis appears in the Book of Genesis chapter 5, and it brings a still different version about the creation of humans: “This is the book of the generations of Adam (Man). In the day that God (Elohim) created humankind-Adam, in the likeness of God he made him; male and female he created them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam (Man), in the day they were created”. (It is interesting to note that from the perspective of Ọlam ha'Ạssiyah, Adam was only in The Likeness of God, but not in the Divine Image – Ẓelem, as is related in the version of Ọlam haBri'ah).

Let us compare this new version to the two former versions of the story:

Undoubtedly, the version we study now is syntactically similar to the 2nd version and goes still farther from the 1st version. Let us lay them in parallel:

2nd Version                                                3rd Version

Eleh – These are                                       Ze Sepher – This is the book

Toldot – the generations of                      Toldot – the generations of

haShamayim ve ha'Arez behibar'am     Adam
the heavens and of the earth

when they were created

beYom ạssot YHWH Elohim                   beYom bro Elohim Adam           
Earth & Heaven
                                       biDmut Elohim ạssa oto

                                                                  zakhar uNeqevah bra'am

in the day that Lord God                          In the day that God created mankind,

made the earth and the heavens               in the likeness of God he made him;

                                                                  male and female he created them.

There is, thus, a parallel between heaven and earth and Adam – being both male and female – and there is a parallel between “Eleh - these” (as a part of the essence of God-Elohim = Mi Eleh, as we explained above), which is a kind of counting, and book-Sefer, which is accounting and noting. The Zohar sees in “The Book of the Generations of Man” (Sefer Toldot Adam) mentioned here a real book, a book in which are noted and counted all “the forms of the generations of Adam”, namely all the souls of the children of Adam (and of Enosh in the sequel):

This is the book for the generations of Adam: for pictures (figures, namely souls). Rabbi Yiẓḥaq said – the blessed One showed the first Adam the pictures of all the generations that will come into the world, and of all the sages of the world and the kings of the world who are destined t rise for Israel. When he saw that King David is born and quickly die, he told (God) from the years (which should be mine) I add for him seventy years. So they subtracted from Adam 70 years and God gave them to David… “This is the Book” (Sefer) – really a book. As we have already explained that when Adam was in the Garden of Eden, God brought him down a book through the holy angel Raziel (“God’s Secret”), who is charged with the holy heavenly secrets. In this book were engraved superior marks and the Holy Wisdom, and seventy-two types of wisdom were spreading from it into 670 engravings of supreme secrets…  At first, he used to study it every day and to use the treasures of his Lord, and the supreme secrets, which were not known to the ministering angels, were revealed to him. But when he transgressed the command of his master the book flew away from him, and Adam would טופח his head and cry, and went into the waters of the Giḥon spring onto his neck…  In that hour, the Blessed One gave a cue to the angel Raphael (God’s healing), who gave him this book back. And Adam used to work with this book, and left it for his son Seth and all his offspring until it reached Abraham, and with it he knew how to contemplate the glory of his master. All this has already been explained, and this book was also given to Enoch and with it he gazed at the highest Glory” (Zohar for Genesis, 358-365).

This is not a fixed predestination, not as the Church taught – an unredeemable “Original Sin”, but a possibility of re-writing, or “re-biography”. Adam saw that King David is born and dies at birth – and he changed this. He was punished by the book flying away from him – “and Adam would hang down his head and cry” – and the book was returned to him.

But the possibility for restitution rises also from the plain verses. In the last sentences of the second Story of Genesis is written: “And Adam (Man) knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Shet; For God, said she, has appointed (shat) me another seed instead of Hevel whom Qayin slew. And to Shet, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh: then men began to call upon the Lord (YHWH) by name”. Shet is a giving new birth, or new creation, or re-writing - namely a Tiqun-restoration – instead of Hevel who was slew by Qayin. Actually, it is only about Shet-Set it is told that his father "begot a son in his own likeness – Demut – after his image – Ẓelem" (5:3), which is the Image of God that Adam received – which is told neither of Qayin nor of Hevel.[40]

And indeed, “the generations of Adam” is the story of the children of Shet and Enosh, and not of Qayin, who is no more mentioned in the scriptures, as if he withdrew to another country, in which perhaps the flood did not occur.[41]

This third version seems to disregard issues of flora and fauna, which are so important in the first two versions, and deal exclusively with humans and their deeds. But as we shall see, it is actually this version that contains the most extreme “ecological message”, as it is the story that comes to discuss the matter of Noah.


The Tiqqun-restoration for the issue of the two contending brothers is so clear and pronounced that even the names of the generations of Qayin and of his brother that replaces him – Shet – are almost completely parallel:




                        Qayin                                                    Qenan

                        Ḥanokh (Enoch)                                   Mahalal’el

                        Irad                                                       Yered

                        Meḥuya’el                                            Ḥanokh

                        Metusha’el                                           Metushelah

                        Lemekh                                                Lemekh

  Yaval, Yuval, Tuval-Qayin and Na’ạmah.               Noaḥ

The two lists count six generations of people bearing almost identical names, and we cannot assume this is coincidental. This is rather a deliberate re-writing of “the generations of Adam” which lays the foundations of humankind from Shet and Enosh, rather than from Qayin. Compared with Yaval, Yuval and Tuval, the makers of technology (that could have been used for the Tabernacle), there come Noah and his sons, the builders of the Ark. We shall expand on them in the next chapter.

The most interesting figure in this list, which will still incite the imagination of the coming generations, is the figure of Ḥanokh (Enoch), who was considered in the apocrypha and in the Dead Sea scrolls and the New Testament, and eventually also in the Kabbalah, as “The Minister of the Face”, the archangel Metatron, the Cosmocrator in charge of the whole world. But the comparison above makes his figure still more interesting. The first “Ḥanokh” is the son of Qayin, on whose name the first city was called: “And Qayin went out of the presence of the Lord, and dwelled in the land of Nod (namely wandering), to the east of Eden. And Qayin knew his wife; and she conceived, and bore anokh: and he built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, anokh”. The name of the son, and therefore also the name of the city, has to do with restoration, education-Ḥinukh, namely, the way by which humankind strives to improve and restore culture from one generation to the next.

It is written about this Ḥanokh: "And anokh walked with God after he begot Metushelah three hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. And all the days of anokh were three hundred and sixty five years (365, a meaningful number both cosmologically – the number of days in a solar year; and from Torah perspective – the number of the negative commandments – don'ts). And anokh walked with God, and he was not, for God took him" (4:22-24)

Since it is not written expressly that Ḥanokh died, many traditions assumed that he did not die but ascended alive to heaven, as was the case with the prophet Elijah. Thus there formed a group of Biblical figures who exist beyond and over death. This group includes Ḥanokh and Elijah, as well as the enigmatic figure of “Malki-edeq (Melchitsedek) King of Shalem… a priest of the most high God", with whom we shall still deal. This group pertains to the secrets of the ultimate redemption.

In the next chapter we shall therefore return to examine the symbols connected with the name of Ḥanokh – the first city and the heavenly figure, and in the one later we find the connection with the figure of Malki-edeq King of Shalem, and glean a hint and expression of the existence of a perfect heavenly city, against the earthly city that needs education and improvement.

In any case, from this place and on there starts the historical story of "the World of Action" (Ọlam haẠssiah), that serves as the stage for the actions of the patriarchs who are archetypal figures who operate in This World (Ọlam haZe). The six stages of brotherly relations in the Book of Genesis take place upon the historical background of "This is the book of the generations of Adam" and will chart the route to the rectified world to come.



A - The Tree of the Sephirot Pattern of the Qabbalah 

B – Worlds and Dimensions of Genesis (for lovers of Geometry).

C – The "New Jerusalem Diagram" in the first verse of Genesis.

[1] Parashah means "Portion" (also "affair" and is near Perush, which means "explanation". The Penteteuch is divided into 53 Parashot (multiple of Parashah) which are publicly read in the synagogue on Shabbat. The Book of Genesis comprises of 12 Parashot. The form Parashat (in the title above) means "the Parashah of".

[2]  The form "Kabbalah" is more common, but is not based on the exact transliteration rules (of the official Israel Academy of the Hebrew Language), where the Hebrew letter Qof (ק) is transliterated as Q. The word derives from the root QBL (קבלת), which means "receive". Thus the word Qabbalah means "reception" or "acceptance". It first meant "(personally and secretly) received knowledge", but came also to mean "the knowledge of how to receive (accept) in order to give" and the knowledge of making analogies (Haqbalah הקבלה).

[3]  recall that Adam is the one who calls names – Gen. 2:20

[4] The sum of the numerical values associated with the letters that make up the Hebrew word under consideration.

[5] Since the Torah is written without vowel marks (Niqud) and is written as a sequence of consonants, it can be read in a variety of ways. For example "Bereshit (In the beginning) Bara (created) El-haYam (the God of the Seas) Heavens and Earth" – which provides a pagan creation myth. An interesting possibility is that the first verse can be read as a commandment: Bereshit bra Elohim – "Initially (you should) create a God" – namely, before anything else, you should believe that God exists, that even paganism is better than disbelief and might be the first step of recognizing the Lord.

[6] Also the verse "every one that is called by my name I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea I have made him" (Isaia 43:7), which we shall discuss in the following can be understood to mean that everything was created, formed and made through the invocation of the Name, HaShem of YHWH.

[7] See works by Gerald L. Schroeder: (1) His original book: "Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony between Modern Science and the Bible", Bantam Books, 1991. The book is described at: (2) A short article by Schroeder: "Time and the Age of the Universe", in B'Or ha'Torah, Number 11, 1999. (3) His recent book: Gerald L. Schroeder: "The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom", Free Press; Reprint edition, June 2009.

[8] The Book of Tania, Gate of Unification and Belief.

[9] Midrash Rabba for Genesis 1:10

[10]  In his essay “The Meaning of the Numbers in the Book of Genesis: a Pythagorean and Numerological Interpretation”, Dr. Me’ir Bar Ilan of Bar Ilan University, Israel, dedicates a primary place for the number 6, precisely because it signifies conscious building, because a brick or hewn building stone has six faces. According to his analysis, the basic numerical pattern in the Hebrew Scriptures is of “n + 1”, so that the 7, the seventh day of Genesis, is of a different quality than of the six days of Action.

 [11]  The original explanations in John Michell's books, especially "The Dimensions of Paradise", Thames and Hudson, 1986.

[12]  The Sefer Yetsirah – "The Book of Formation" – is traditionally attributed to the patriarch Abraham, who marks the beginning f the Third Millenium of the Hebrew Calenar. But its appearance was in the beginning of the Fifth Millennium (since 240 C.E.), in which Oral Torah passages started appearing as written books. The Book of the Zohar is traditionally attributed to the sage Shim'on bar Yohay who lived at the end of the Fourth Millennium when the 2nd Temple was destroyed, but it made its appearance precisely on the beginning of the Sixth Millennium, and to some extent is the herald of the era of the rectification of Adam.

[13]  Russell, Peter (1983): The Global Brain. J.P. Tarcher, Los Angeles.Also and

[14]  The issue of distinctions and consciousness is treated well in Spencer Brown’s “The Laws of Form”.

[15] The Hebrew expression Ọlam haze literally means 'The world of the "Zeh" (זה)', and this "Zehhas Gematria value of 12. Sefer Yeẓirah describes the world as product of "Twelve Diagonal Boundaries" that spread to infinity.

[16]  We have already mentioned that a representation to the number 28 can be found in our times at the ceiling of the dome of the El-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount, a smaller dome than its neighboring Dome of the Rock.

[17] It is written about the wisdom of Beẓal'el and his team: "See, I have called by name of Beẓal'el the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Yehudah. And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to contrive works of art, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholi'av, the son of Ahisamakh, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that Ii have commanded thee" (Exodus 31:2-6).

[18] The expression Ḥakham Lev ("wise-hearted" חכם לב ( appears in the scriptures exactly seven times (6 times as Ḥakham Lev and one time as Ḥokhmah b'Libo - "wisdom in his heart"), all of them connected with the building of the Tabernacel in the book of Exodus.

[19]  A triangular number of n rows has n x (n+1)/2 elements. 2701 has 73 rows and 73 x (73+1)/2 = 2,710

[20] 256 = 4x4x4x4 – an immense emphasis of the Principle of Four and the squarethat characterizes building, and a hint about building in four levels of worlds.

[21]  Detailed calculation of the verses dealing with the construction of the Tabernacle:
     90 verses about the command to build the Tabernacle.
     43 verses about the garments of the priests
   123 verses on the design of the Tabernacle by Beẓal’el
     32 verses about the preparation of the priestly garments
     43 verses about the inauguration of the Tabernacle

[22] Bloom, Harold and Rozenberg, David: The Book of J. Vintage Books, 1990.

[23]  We write this name in its generic form – YHWH – without yet going into the immense subject of the pronunciation of this name. Some of these will be revealed gradually in the course of this exegesis, while others need more preparation and even personal transmission to worthy students.

[24] Midrash Tanḥuma for Naso, item 16, also similarly Midrash Bereshit Raba 3:9 and baMidbar 13:6.

[25]  The division of the circle to 360 degrees derives from a Babylonian idealization of the number of days in te yearly cycle (which is actually about 365.24 days), and does not pay respect to the pattern of seven. The yearly calendar of the Dead Sea scrolls sect, which sought to include the sacred division of seven days to the yearly calendar, consisted of 364 days. If we relate to the circle as comprising of 364 degrees, then its division by 28 provides sections of 13 degrees and their multiple of 26 degrees.

[26]  There is no limit to the many speculations about the meanings of the geometry and the numbers that characterize the Great Pyramid. But the figures that we brought above are the clearest and most characteristic of the Great Pyramid and there is no argument about them.

[27] The gnomon of 19 was the secret ot the sacred architecture of ancient Egypt, see Schwaller de Lubitch: "The Temple of Man". translated from the French (1949) by R. & D. Lawlor. Inner Traditions International, Rochester Vermont, 1977; Christopher Bamford (ed.) Rediscovering Sacred Science, Lindisfarne Books, 1994. 

[28]  The Tenth represents in the Qabbalah the Shekhinah (divine immanence) and the Sephirah of Malkhut (both feminine), which completes an intention into action.

[29] It is quite customary for Gematria calculations to include the word made of calculated letters as additional one. This additional inclusive point is called kolel, namely the inclusive unit.

[30] The majority of the continents – Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia – are situated at “the Eastern Hemisphere” versus the two Americas at “The Western Hemisphere”, and the median line is, therefore, not at Greenwich but about 30 degrees east. Likewise, most of the continents’ areas – Asia, Europe North America and most of Africa – are north of the equator, and the median line is about 30 degrees North, so that the intersection of these two median lines is at the Middle East. The Land of Israel is situated at the middle of “The Fertile Crescent”, and it is fairly obvious that symbolically, Jerusalem is the most significant sacred center in the midst of the Middle East. Therefore the proper place, Biblically and geographically, for the appearance reappearance of the Garden of Eden is in the region of Jerusalem.

[31]  The mansions (Heikhalot) of Ẹden are detailed in the Book of the Zohar, portions of Bereshit and of Pequde and are further detailed in later Qabbalah books (extant in Hebrew) such as Emeq haMelekh ("Valley of the King") of Naftali Hertz Bakhrakh and Shaạre Gan Ẹden ("The Gates of Paradise") by Ya'aqov Qapil.

[32]  This pertains to the Lurianic Qabbalah, according to the version of Rabbo Yisra'el Serug and its developments, such as Emeq haMelekh by Naftali Hertz Bachrach. This Qabbalah accepts the version of the Sefer Yeẓirah according to which the world was created (or formed) from letter combinations, and expands immensely upon it .

[33]  For example, Rabenu Baḥaye interpretation for Genesis 2:9.

[34] According to Bereshit Rabba for Exodus 40 – "It was said: 'where were you when I founded the Earth' (Job 38:4), this teaches that all the Neshamot (eternal souls) were connected with the first Adam, this one connected with his head, this with his nose, and that was connected with his hair…..". A similar version is found in Midrash Tankhuma ki tisa chapter 12.

[35]  Grabar, Oleg and Nusseibe, Said (1996): The Dome of the Rock. London, Thames and Hudson.

[36]  The value of Shamballah was emphasized in the Theosophy of Madam Blavatski. The Georgian Gurdjief and the Russion Nikolas Roerich conducted long treks to find it. 

[37]  Perhaps the largest collection of arguments for this is in the book by Jeoffry Ashe: "The Dawn before the Dawn", Holt, 1992. See review at

[38] There will be provided a general appendix on "the Hoshen Number" of the base of 37 at the end of the book

[39]  The Midrash on "I am come into my garden", as connected with the Temple has been the backbone of the Ḥabad (Chabad) in the last generation. 

[40] It is also noteworthy that the Gematria pf "Shet" is 700, which is a great amplification of the principle of Seven and a name made of letters from the word ShaBaT, whereas the value of his son's name is 357 = 3 x 7 x 17 – the multiplication of the base principles of the Three and the Seven and also of 17, that has the Gematria value of Tov (טוב) – namely "Good".

[41]  It is possible to interpret Qayin-Cain as pertaining to “China”, namely, to conclude that Cain is responsible for the formation of the larger part of humankind (the Mongol and Amerindian races) which is not included in the part of humankind (Hebrew Enoshut, from the name of Enosh), namely the children of Shem, Ḥam and Yefet (the Semitic, Ḥamitic, and Caucasian races) with whom the Biblical history used to deal till now.

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