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Lo Tov Heyos HaAdam Levado


The verse, “It is not good for the man to be by himself; I will make him a helper as his counterpart” is mystically interpreted as a reference to the Divine names “Havaye” and “Elokim” and their respective roles in G-d’s creation of the universe.

This also has a practical lesson to teach man in his worship of G-d, as alluded to in the verse, “And Havaye Elokim made for Adam and for his wife garments of hide, and clothed them.”

THIS WEEK, having just celebrated (on the holiday of Simchas Torah) completion of the yearly cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle, we read in the Torah the very first portion in Genesis, the portion called Bereishis, which tells of the creation of the universe and of the life of the first man, Adam, and his descendants. As with all of Scripture, each item in the Torah bears an infinite number of complimentary interpretations on various levels of depth; from the verse that tells of G-dथcision to create Chava , the first woman, we may derive some insight into manಯle in this physical world.

Regarding the creation of Chava (Eve) we read (Genesis 2:18) 襠man being by himself is not good; I [G-d] shall make for him a helper as his counterpart.ፊstyle=’mso-footnote-id:ftn1′ href=”#_ftn1″ name=”_ftnref1″ title=””>[1] The reason for this is that it would have been for some reason unsatisfactory to G-dà°¬an if man alone were put into the universe; G-d saw fit to introduce a second factor that would provide the help necessary to bring the Divine plan to ideal realization. This may be understood in its mystical sense as a reference to the opposing forces brought into play by G-d in creating the universe, especially in light of the fact that the Hebrew word ⮥gdo奄 (ã ¨is counterpart଩terally means both ï²²esponding to himᮤ opposition to him.ﺰ>

It is written (Psalms 84:12), ï² G-d, the L-rd, is a sun and a shield.䨥 two references to G-d in this verse (í¤” and 襠L-rdࡲe expressed in Hebrew by the Divine names Havayeï³°an>(the Tetragrammaton) and Elokim. Although G-d Himself is by definition nameless and unknowable, the numerous Hebrew names for G-d express the ways He manifests Himself in creation (e.g., 쬭Merciful,꓁lmightyë ´he Tetragrammaton, Havaye, usually refers to the purely creative aspect of G-d, the unmitigated benevolent force that would bring ï­¥thingé®´o being out of ï´¨ing.á³ is well known, however, from Jewish mystical tradition, this creative energy direct from G-d Himself is so powerful, so intense, as to actually preclude creation as we know it. This is something like the way the sun itself is so brilliant that its light would simply blind our perception of everything else 祲e it not shielded or dimmed in some way. We would not be able to make out, say, the articles of furniture in a room if the sun itself were right outside the window, for our perception would be overwhelmed by the light. Were G-d to have created the universe using just the creative emanation represented by the name Havaye, we would also not be able to perceive the created things as separate entities unto themselves; at best, everything would be a function of G-dliness, overwhelmed by the all-pervasive force, but for this physical world as we know it 鮍 which each thing seems to exist in its own right, without a visible connection to G-d 䯠be created directly by the brilliant 駨t裂G-d Himself would not have been possible. G-d had to shield some of this light, allegorically speaking, concealing it from our perception, in order for the universe as it is to have been created, and it is to this aspect of G-d ê´¨e concealing, restraining force that allows us to exist as we do 䨡t the name Elokim refers.ï³°an>This is what is meant by the verse mentioned above: ï² G-d, the L-rd, is a sun and a shieldê²¥ads in Hebrew, ï² Havaye, Elokim, is a sun and a shield,鮥., the creative energy of the name Havaye is, like the sun, overwhelming, and the name Elokim shields it from our perception so that we may exist in our own right, in a manner of speaking.

Now, all the above is relevant to our discussion, as will be understood from the following:

The Divine Presence is compared to a mirrorﳰan>in Scripture (as in the verse (Numbers 12:6),  vision [also meaning 鲲orɠmake Myself known to him.`mirror is essentially a piece of glass covered by a thin sheet of silver; without the silver covering, the glass would be transparent and for optical purposes practically nonexistent. A person can see only that which is in front of them; this is not changed by a sheet of glass, since the light passes right through the glass. Paradoxically though, blocking the passage of the light through the glass by means of the silver coating serves to increase the person঩eld of vision, since the light reflects off the mirror and allows them to see what is behind them as well. Just as the silver blocks the light, yet by doing so allows it to reach places it never could before, so too does the name Elokimﳰan>block and shield the name Havayeﳰan>饴 this allows the Divine plan to be realized in a manner which would not have been possible otherwise. This is because the very reason G-d created the world as a distinct entity (rather than something imperceptible in its own right ᳠discussed above) to begin with is so that we could conduct ourselves in accordance with the will of G-d, and please Him thereby. (There is a big difference indeed between something that is completely nullified in relation to G-d because G-d overwhelms it, and something which is not by nature nullified and overwhelmed in relation to G-d, but which defers to His will anyway, voluntarily nullifying itself, so to speak, in relation to G-d.) If the universe had been created by G-d using the emanations represented by the name Havaye alone, this voluntary deference to G-d on the part of the creations would never have been possible, since we would not have been able to exist in our own right anyway. It is only by the name Elokim 쯣king the light䨡t we can attain what would have been impossible otherwise, namely, the voluntary deference to G-d discussed above.

We are now in a position to understand the mystical interpretation of the verse, 襠Man being by Himself is not good.䨥 phrase 襠Man⥦ers to G-d, who is called the 塶enly Man賥e Ezekiel 1:26), and in this context it refers to G-d manifesting Himself solely through the name Havaye: 䠩s not good for the Man, Havaye, to be 須imself栴he only factor in the creative process. Rather, as the verse continues, G-d says ෩ll make him a helper in opposition to him,䨡t is, by coming in opposition to the all-pervasive, overwhelming light of the name Havaye, by 쯣king鴬 the name Elokimﳰan>acts as a helper, since it reflects the light to places it could not previously reach, as explained above.

All this is also symbolized by the verse (Genesis 3:21), Havayeﳰan>Elokimﳰan>made for Adamﳰan>and for his wife garments of hide, and clothed them.䨥 term 餥鳠frequently used in mystical literature as a metaphor for anything not sanctified specifically to G-d, for all mundane things. Rather than be openly revealed, G-d covered man with the physical, mundane covering of the universe, with the intent that we take even the non-holy elements of life and make them holy by utilizing them in our service of G-d. (For example, a cow is just a cow, but if a Jewish person eats that cow in order to get the energy and strength necessary to worship G-d properly, he or she has infused that cow with an element of spirituality.)

The Hebrew terminology used here beautifully expresses this. One of the reasons the term 餥鳠used in the sense we have been discussing is that hides are naturally raw and unrefined, and must be thoroughly worked over 갯unded, soaked in acid, etc. 䯠become beautiful leather. Similarly, the mundane is the ᷠmaterial究en humanity, which must be strenuously refined in order to bring out the underlying spiritual element. In Hebrew, this is called ibud, working over and refining, the hides, a term that is etymologically related to avodah, service or worship of G-d. True avodah, worship of G-d, consists of ibud, refining the 餥s鮠our own personalities and in life in general. Finally, the term for one who accomplishes this is oved Elokim, which literally means servant of G-d, but has the connotation of who refines (oved) the coarseness and mundane elements of existence brought about by the concealment of G-dliness through the name Elokim.ﳰan>

Lo Tov Heyos HaAdam Levado
Mayim Rabim Lo Yuchlu L'Chabos
B'Etzem HaYom Hazeh Nimol Avrohom
Erda Na
Chayei Sara
V'Avraham Zakein Ba Bayamim
Vayachp'ru Avdei Yitzchok
Vayashkeim Lavan Baboker
Vayeavek Ish Imo
VeHinei Anachnu M'Almim Alumim
Ner Chanukah Mitzvah L'Hanicha
Vayigash Eilav Yehudah
Chachlili Einayim Miyayin