Sunday, October 30, 2011

Noah – Pleasure and Rest

These are the chronicles of Noah: Noah was a righteous man, faultless in his generation. Noah walked with God.”

Noah is the first person who is mentioned as being righteous, and this is the first time that the concept of righteousness is mentioned at all. The concept of righteousness was implicit in the creation of the world from the very beginning. For example, God said, “It is not good for a man to be alone, I will make a wife for him.” Thus, it was implicitly made clear what God considered "good": for a man to get married and establish a family.

The next righteous person mentioned is Adam's son Seth, about whom it says, “And Adam had a son in his likeness and form,” that is, just as perfect as Adam when he was created, but again, this is implicit. Actually, all ten leaders of the generations, mentioned between Adam and Noah, were righteous – and that is why they are mentioned – but the concept that a man is created to be a “philosopher”, a “decent person”, a “moral person”, mentioned in various philosophical and religious teachings, is made obvious here for the first time. Why is this?

Noah represents the concept of Foundation, or Righteousness, of the Supernal Father (Aba Ilaa), a spiritual entity that God constructed out of the remnants of the initial souls that broke up, because they could not imitate God in doing good to others. Now the new spiritual entities could interact with each other, could mature, and thus could interact both with the humanity and the Creator. The righteousness of the Supernal Father is the reflection of the righteousness of God, and is the strong feeling of “right” and “wrong” that each human has inside.

The Foundation of the Supernal Father extends into and gives life to the Foundation, or righteousness, of the Cosmic Man (Zeir Anpin), which can be thought of as the sum total of human spirituality interacting with the Divine. The righteousness of the Supernal Father is shared with the Supernal Mother (Ima Ilaa), and it also is the source for the righteousness of the Cosmic Female (Nukva), who reflects God's presence in this world.

The name of Noah embodies the above concepts, because it means “pleasure” or “rest”, “menuchah” in Hebrew. On the physical level, the curse of Adam was lifted from the earth in the days of Noah, and Noah also invented the plow, to simplify the working of the land.

Art: Giorgio De Chirico - Love Song