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…
TUBAL CAIN’S CONFESSION
As I entered Tubal's room, the attendant stepped out again, as if he had been ordered by someone to leave me alone with Tubal, should I give him his dagger. Who could this someone be, if not the shrewd Tzilah? As I entered, the stench coming from Tubal’s wound was overwhelming, along with other dense odors of urine and feces. Rotten food was scattered all over the floor, evidence for his temper tantrum. No one seemed to bother cleaning the floors. His misery was complete. He ignored me, and I set by his bed.
“Tubal,” I said softly, “how are you today?” I waited, but he gave me no answer.
“Tubal, I need to talk to you.”
“Go away, leave me alone,” he finally whispered faintly, his face to the wall.
“I need to talk to you about your dagger.”
He turned his face to me. “You’re going to give it to me, as you’ve pledged!” he said.
"I’m sorry but I can't. But I have a request from you: Would you teach me to make more metal for more ploughs?"
He remained silence so I continued: “I’m going to plant an orchard on your warehouse…”
He burst in tough laughter, mixed with coughing. "You know, Noah, you have the talent to say and perform the exact opposite things that my people would have said or done!”
“Yes, we the Seth family are different” I dared to say. This was the truth and I would not hide it. He sank into thoughts then turned his face to me.
“I don’t know why, but I like you, Noah the son of Lemech. I have not said these words to anyone, ever.” He searched my face at length. “Under other circumstances,’ he said, “we would have been enemies. Now you are asking me to deliver to you the secret of my craftsmanship, something I thought to take with me to my grave. Perhaps this is my destiny, to leave the secret in your hands. Do you want to hear how I discovered my strong metal?”
"My ears are open," I said.
“How old are you, Noah?” He asked, softly.
"I’m only sixteen years older than you, but among the Children of ELoHiM of my age I am a survivor. Most of my friends have perished in war or badly crippled by our conflict with Seth. So I've no quarrel with ELoHiM. I've lived longer than anyone had expected…
"Soon I'll stand before ELoHiM to be judged, and I don’t fear it. Regardless what people say about me, Noah, I swear I've never killed anyone with my own hands; never. It is only my weapons that have killed so many. And I think there must be a difference in ELoHiM’s eyes.
"I was born into a tribe that desperately needed protecting weapons. Noah, does ELoHiM forbid the making of weapons for defense? I don’t think so. And for the Children of ELoHiM at that time, Self Protection was an emergency, like a religious creed. We were attacked from all sides. We therefore cherished our defensive weapons. We decorate them even today and dance with them in our celebrations. For they allow us to pay back to our enemies according to ‘measure for measure,’ in ELoKiM’s ways.”
The Seth people would never dance with weapons, I thought. We would dance only with Adam's Tree of Life in our hands.
"When I was about your age, Noah, the Children of ELoHiM tribe was in shambles and on the run. We've always been engaged in skirmishes, protecting ELoHiM’S honor and Laws, responding in violence to anyone who had breached our treaties and rights. Despite our violence we kept ELoHiM’S Laws meticulously. We committed no atrocities and no crimes, for generations…”
Enosh told me how cruel you tribe has been, punishing sinners severely for petty crimes, I thought.
"Back then, Noah, our tribe was poor. Besides our weapons and honor, we had nothing. My half brother ‘Yaval the shepherd’ is still living a modest life, very sensitive to his honor. Since our family happened to live at the outskirts of Cain’s compound, I had always had very few close friends. Besides, even as a child I showed more interest in science and metal craftsmanship, than playing with my peers. While they played with toys and later with girls, I spent long hours in the workshop, often by myself. My mother Tzilah purchased for me an oven where I could experiment with different metal ores. You wouldn't recognize me on those days. I was always covered with dark rust, dirt, and ashes. People saw only my eyes peeking at them through the dark mask. But I loved it!
"Then one day, Noah, I made my first strong metal-alloy. You can’t even imagine my thrill. I first took a bar out of the oven and hit with it other metal bars in the workshop. They all broke easily to small pieces. I hit with it heavy furniture and other metal tools and weapons and they all broke right away, while my new bar didn't show even a dent. What made me especially proud, Noah, was the method by which I found my ore. It took me a long process of experimenting, recording and analyzing to discover my alloy. I arrived at a precise formula that I kept in my hand, by which I could repeat my discovery at will and produce more strong bars as I wished…”
Yes, ELoHiM consulted His Wisdom and Science and made Adam accordingly.
"So I melted my new metal bar and made of it a strong sword. I still keep that first sword in my workshop. I held it up, stepped out and walked straight to the main hut, where the Children of ELoHiM leaders, Aza and Azael were dining with four hundred armed men. Two armed guard, the giant nefils (Gen. 6:4) stood by the gate, bored. I ran forwards to the first nefil holding my sword up and shouting, 'Stand up you bastard and defend yourself!'
"The giant nefil must have thought I was a deranged boy, since my face and body were completely covered with ash and dirt. Besides, who in his mind would dare to attack a nefil? And yet my sword was stretched at his throat! At first he tried to scare me off: 'kid, go home to your mother’s milk!' But with my sword approaching fast at his throat, he had no choice but to draw his own swords to defend himself. Then our swords crossed just once, Noah, just once! And in a second, his sword broke to pieces, leaving him holding only its wooden handle. He stared at me in disbelief, not comprehending what had happen. The entire hut with four hundreds men stopped eating and watched us intensely. You could hear a fly!
"'Now you, bastard, come on and defend yourself!' I yelled at the second nefil guard as I charged in his direction. He too drew his sword and we crossed—just once. In another second he too held only the wooden handle! The metal blade lay shattered around his feet. The two nefils backed away from me in horror.
"Oh, Noah, I'll always remember that moment of wonder and dismay, as four hundred of my tribe's best men stood up and clapped their hands in my favor. What they had just seen was a miracle in their eyes: A young weird lad completely covered by ashes defeating two giant nefillim guards by simply breaking their mighty swords to pieces! No one had ever done that before.
"Then our two revered leaders Aza and Azael rose and came to me. I handed them my new sword and they examined it from all sides. Then they called several of their armed men and used my sword to hit their shields which broke on contact. Then, Noah, Aza and Azael smiled. Do you know what that meant to me to see that ferocious, master warrior Aza and Azael smiling? Each raised my sword toward the sky triumphantly, handing it to one another, as if we, the Children of ELoHiM, had already used it to smash all our enemies, as if we had already conquered the world. The entire camp rose, hailing me as a hero and yelling at in my honor. Aza and Azael then bowed to me—to me Noah, to me!—and gently gave me back my sword."
Tubal’s eyes shone as he spoke. For a moment he was once again that promising young scientist, who had just discovered something that would make his clan the most powerful military power on Earth.
"From that day on, Noah,” he continued, “I, Tubal the Son of Lemech, was treated like a prince of our Cain tribe. I could have anything a man would wish—girls, properties, gold, silver, precious stones—you name it! But I wasn't interested in any of that. All I wanted, and received, was a larger oven and an unlimited supply of rare ore from every corner of the Earth. Our people were dispatched to dig ore for me in far away mountains and forgotten deserts, and they brought me an endless supply of materials for my ongoing experiments. My new swords, spears, arrowheads and shields made our warriors victorious in all combat. No one—not even the King’s army—could withstand our new weapons. I became a household name in Cain camps. People nicknamed me Tubal Cain, meaning the one who has put spices on Cain's deeds. If Cain killed with his hands, here came Tubal Cain and taught his people to kill by ultra sharp and strong metal. I took this as a compliment."
He stopped, clearly exhausted. "Won't you rest?" I asked.
Carried away by his own story, Tubal ignored my question. "So let me tell you what happened next. Drunk with success, I tried to improve my weapons by testing them on living targets. I mean living creatures of ELoHiM! So I hunted, not for food but for the sake of my weapons, to determine their efficiency. First I tried them on animals, then on people. I didn't shoot them myself, but I witnessed close hand as my gangues used my newest weapons on prisoners. My ears and eyes were oblivious to their agony and pains. My Science was all I cared about.
"You see, my people corrupted because of me. Equipped with my weapons, my gangues raped, robbed and butchered as they pleased. Some of Cain’s preachers have promulgated the notion that Man should intentionally act mercilessly, in the name of ELoHiM. They mocked Seth’s teaching of the Merciful YHVH. Aza and Azael became so wealthy and corrupt that they took any woman as they wanted—married or not."
Editor: As it says—
"There were the Nefilim on Earth those days,
And after that when the Children of ELoHiM
came to the Daughters of Adam
and they bore children…" (Gen. 6:4)
"Then Noah, don’t laugh, but the very unfortunate Aza fell in love with my sister, Naama. The poor man did not know her before so he ended up losing his mind. They say she made him marry a horse for a wife. Noah, only Naama would do such a thing! They say that the confused Aza lives now happily in a fancy barn with his beloved horse, completely deranged…Can you imagine a greater fall than that?"
Editor: ‘Nefil’ in Hebrew refers to a giant, but also a "fallen" person.
“Tell me about your sister,” I said. “She has mentioned to me that she would marry me…”
“Marry you…are you sure?”
“Should I be careful? Would she make me marry a horse?”
“Yes, she might do just that!” He grinned widely, exposing his teeth.
I remained quiet so he said: “As you see now, I don’t deserve to live on. I made my tribe corrupt. My accident was not incidental. I see in it ELoHiM’s hands. I am a sinner in ELoHiM’s eyes and a evil person in YHVH’s eyes. Only death could atone for my sins and evilness. You understand now why you need to give me my dagger.”
“Not before you’ve given me the secret of making the hard metal,” I said. In my heart I thought, tough, that I would never surrender his request, ever.
He did not say a word anymore so I left his room. The curtains on the walls were moving. A shadow was flying. Someone had been listening to our conversation. Oh, Naama, we need to iron out many issues between us. So why wouldn’t you come down and speak to me as one girl, without splitting?
TO BE CONTINUED