24 August 2015

The Conspiracy of the Mekatregim, Prologue

9 Elul 5775

Prologue | Prologue 2 | Part 1 | Part 2

And G-d said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. They shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the animal, the whole earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

-Bereshith 1:26, The Stone Edition, The Torah/Prophets/Writings, Artscroll Mesorah, ed. Scherman, R’ Nosson, January 2003.

The following Midrash, from Bereshith Rabbah (which could be translated as “expanded Genesis”), is to be considered like a curtain drawn back on the Torah. We get a glimpse behind the scenes…

When creation was all but ended, the world with all its grandeur and splendor stood out in its glorious beauty. There was but one thing wanting to consummate the marvelous work called into existence by the mere "let there be," and that was a creature with thought and understanding able to behold, reflect, and marvel on this great handiwork of God, who now sat on his divine throne surrounded by hosts of angels and seraphim singing hymns before him.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness, and let there be a creature not only the product of earth, but also gifted with heavenly, spiritual elements, which will bestow on him reason, intellect, and understanding." Truth then appeared, falling before God's throne, and in all humility exclaimed: "Deign, O God, to refrain from calling into being a creature who is beset with the vice of lying, who will tread truth under his feet." Peace came forth to support this petition. "Wherefore, O lord, shall this creature appear on earth, a creature so full of strife and contention, to disturb the peace and harmony of thy creation? He will carry the flame of quarrel and ill-will in his trail; he will bring about war and destruction in his eagerness for gain and conquest."
Whilst they were pleading against the creation of man, there was heard, arising from another part of the heavens, the soft voice of Charity**: "Sovereign of the universe." the voice exclaimed, in all its mildness, "vouchsafe thou to create a being in thy, likeness, for it will be a noble creature striving to imitate thy attributes by its actions. I see man now in Spirit, that being with God's breath in his nostrils, seeking to perform his great mission, to do his noble work. I see him now in spirit, approaching the humble hut, seeking out those who are distressed and wretched to comfort them, drying the tears of the afflicted and despondent, raising up them that are bowed down in spirit, reaching his helping hand to those who are in need of help, speaking peace to the heart of the widow, and giving shelter to the fatherless. Such a creature can not fail to be a glory to his Maker." The Creator approved of the pleadings of Charity, called man into being, and cast Truth down to the earth to flourish there; as the Psalmist says (Ps. lxxxv. 12): "Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven to abide with man"; and he dignified Truth by making her his own seal. 

-Bereshith Rabbah, accessed from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/mhl/mhl05.htm on 23/08/2015. Emphases mine. 

**read Righteousness: h/t Neshama

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