Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes
© 2014 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Noah's Tree Of Life
These are Noah’s words to his children after the Flood…
ELoHiM-2/Adam’s Tree of Life
Presenting me the Branch of Eden’s Tree-of-Life.
Enosh’s study had always been a mystery to me. When I looked at its small door and the tiny space it occupied in the house, it seemed small. So how in the world could it accommodate Enosh’s giant body? His attendant told me that the door to the study was always locked and no one but Enosh had ever entered it. Moreover, he said, Enosh usually spent there just a few minutes at a time. What could he study in just a few minutes? I wondered. Hence you can imagine how curious I was when Enosh took me into his study the first time. The attendant opened the door for us, and said, “I’ll wait for you here, since it won’t take too long.” When we entered, I was surprised to see how large it was. I could hardly discern the walls around it. The ceiling too was high and studded with multitudes tiny lights resembling the Milky Way. How could this large room fit into Enosh’s house? Was this the real sky? I could not tell. Moreover, I had expected to see shelves loaded with dusty, ancient scrolls. Instead, the room was empty, with only a golden chest, about half a man’s height, that stood at the center. Later I would learn that the chest was made of cedar wood, covered in gold inside and outside.
“Inside that chest,” Enosh said, “lays Wisdom that you can’t find in any other library. It is the Wisdom of eternal life.” As we approached the chest, Enosh warned me not to touch the chest barefoot, lest fire tongues would radiate from it and struck my body. If that happens, my hair would stand up like needles; my body would shake vigorously and I would drop unconscious to the ground. We had to stand on a wooden pedestal to lift up the chest’s golden lid. Enosh then pulled out a tree branch, which bloomed with flowers despite the darkness inside the chest.
“Noah, look at this! Isn’t it beautiful?” Enosh said. “This is a Branch of Eden’s Tree-of-Life. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden to live on Earth, they knew that they had lost their protection by the Tree of Life. They knew that henceforth on Earth they would face evil and the Angel of Death. They cried and lamented their loss so much, that the CREATOR in His MERCY permitted them to take a Branch of the Tree of Life with them down to Earth. He told them that whoever owns the Branch shall live forever, even on Earth.
“Adam and Eve lived on Earth a long and fruitful life, thanks to this Branch. When they felt that their time arrived, they bequeathed it to their most beloved son, my father Seth, who also lived a fruitful and long life. And when he felt that his time arrived, he bequeathed it to me. This is why I am almost a thousand years old and still going strong. So far, Noah, I have not found anyone worthy of it, to pass it on….”
He paused, as if hit by a bad memory. “Only once did I give a twig of the Branch to a disciple of mine; his name is Hanoch (Genesis 5:21). What a great mistake it was! Hanoch has subsequently abandoned our Seth’s teaching and went his own way. He still possesses the twig, and as I hear, he is still around us. It was a bad experience for me, yet I wish to bequeath the Branch one day to someone worthy of it... ”
“Grandpa,” I said alarmed, “are you planning to leave us, like Adam and Seth?”
“When my time arrives I’ll act accordingly. Look here, Noah!” He pointed at the core of the Branch, “Adam has inscribed here a message. Would you read it to me?”
The letters were small, yet discernable. I read them as follows:
“At the Beginning, ELoHiM created the Heavens and the Earth.
And the Earth was full of confusion and tangled, and darkness was over the deep,
And the spirit (wind) of ELoHiM hovered over the waters…” (Genesis 1: 1-2)
You, my sons, are very familiar with those precious words. Enosh said: “Adam inscribed on this Branch two stories: about the World CREATION, and about his own formation in the Garden of Eden.”
Enosh repeated to me the first verses. “Now Noah, who created the world and for what purpose?”
“ELoHiM created the world,” I said.
“Yes, but for what purpose?”
“I can’t tell,” I said, after thinking about it for a while.
“But the answer is here in the verse!” he insisted.
I read it again. “Grandpa, I don’t see any purpose here!”
“What is ELoHiM?” He asked.
“ELoHiM means a JUDGE,” I said.
“Well, hence Adam is telling us that at the Beginning, the JUDGE ELoHiM created the Heavens and the Earth – to stand a JUDGMENT,” he said. “This is what the JUDGE does: He JUDGES!”
“Why would he do this?” I asked.
“To reward us when we win the trial,” he said.
“Why not giving us the rewards anyhow?”
“He wants us to EARN our living, with honor,” my grandpa Enosh said.
The World’s trial
“But how can the World withstand a trial? Does it possess a mind of its own?” I wondered.
“We may never fully comprehend the World’s trial; since it is held between the World and its CREATOR, ELoHiM. He knows His creatures well. All we can say is that every item in the World, be it a rock, a leaf or a mosquito, stands before ELoHiM in judgment in its own sphere.”
“But what could the term of that trial be? What does ELoHiM expect from the stone, the leaf and the mosquito?”
“First, ELoHiM, the CREATOR of Nature, demands His creatures to abide by His Laws of Nature that He has set up. If they won’t, ELoHiM would terminate them without MERCY. You should know that ELoHiM’s judgment is meticulous, precise, harsh and merciless. His Laws dictate how our World operates. Had He changed the Laws of Nature just a little bit, we would have seen a different World. This stands true also for His Moral Laws, which He gave to Adam and Eve in Eden, as it says “And He commanded on Adam,” (Genesis 2: 16.) These Commandments are as solid as the Laws of Nature. They are: IDOLATRY, ADULTERY, BLOODSHED, THEFT, INJUSTICE, and BLASPHEMY. They reflect the CREATOR’S Wisdom. No person and no society can survive long without them.”
As he spoke, I thought again about Naama and Cain’s descendants who worshipped ELoHiM. I wonder even more why anyone would worship a harsh and strict JUDGE like ELoHiM, who operates without MERCY.
“Would you tell me more about ELoHiM, grandpa?”
Still holding Adam’s Branch of the Tree of Life, my grandfather explained to me the following points about ELoHiM’s ways:
Read also: Genesis Vs. Science, Can they Match?" By Zvi Aviner, at www.smashwards.com
To be continued