The Jerusalem Post

The ‘Red Button’ of Adam - Part 1

 Red Push Button  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Red Push Button
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

In the Beginning - Torah Hidden and Revealed: The world we live in today is a direct result of the Sin of Adam. In this article we discuss the creation of Adam and the world before the sin.

The world in which we live, good and evil, happiness and suffering, pain and relief, and even physical laws, is a direct result of the Sin of Adam. 

One of the main tenets of our faith is the duty to restore the world to the state before the Sin. How will the world look? In order to answer this question, we should analyze the state of the world had Adam not sinned, and answer many other questions, among them: 

  1. Why there are two accounts of creation of Adam in the Torah, which  in many ways contradict each other?
  2. What is Gan Eden? (Paradise) 
  3. What is the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?
  4. Who was the Serpent?
  5. What was the state of Adam before the Sin?

All these questions have troubled the best Jewish minds for millennia. There are many ideas and commentaries, but the picture is still obscure.

There are two basic approaches - literal and figurative (allegorical). In his commentary on the Torah, Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508) writes about different approaches to the analysis of the two accounts of the creation of Adam. According to Abarbanel, Rashi and Nahmanides interpret the two accounts of the creation of Adam literally. Maimonides considers them as unhistorical and of no more than allegorical significance. Abarbanel writes,”Maimonides compares the present chapter’s narrative to that depicting Jacob’s ladder or Ezekiel’s hayot (animals). There obviously did not exist in reality any such ladder or animals.” The Torah, Maimonides notes, includes factual accounts devoid of any hidden messages, such as that of the Flood and of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as stories devoid of factual content, such as those describing Jacob’s ladder (and similarly Ezekiel’s hayot). There are, however, certain stories that convey a dual message, both literal and figurative…”


How should we understand Torah – literally or figuratively? This is the issue of great importance.

The position of Kabbalah of Information is as follows: 

  1. In order to analyze the events described in Torah, we must do away with our 3D thinking and get out of 3D ‘Egypt.’
  2. Creation is a single whole information space of which our world is just a part.
  3. All the events, with no exceptions, described in Torah take place in the information space of Creation. 
  4. The division between ‘physical’ and ‘nonphysical,’ between literal and figurative in the Creation, is wrong. All the information space is equally ‘physical’ and equally literal.

In Torah (Genesis 18:23) we read, “And Abraham approached (G-d)

and said, ‘Will You even destroy the righteous with the wicked?’” Was it a ‘physical’ or ‘non physical’ approach? The answer is clear - it was an approach in the information space of Creation.

Two accounts of the creation of Adam

The Torah gives us two accounts of the creation of Adam. The first one (Genesis 1:26) begins “And G-d (El-m) said, ‘Let us make man in our image.’” The second account (Genesis 2:7), “And the Lord G-d (Havaya El-m) formed man of the dust from the ground…” Reading the two aforementioned accounts it is difficult to overlook the straightforward contradictions and inconsistencies.


1. The first account (sixth day of Creation), implies the existence of the plants which were created on the third day. In the second account we read (Genesis 2:5), “Now no tree of the field was yet on the earth, neither did any herb of the field yet grow…”

2. In the first account, the creation of animals preceded the creation of man. In the second account, on the contrary, the creation of man preceded the creation of animals.

3. In the first account, we read (Genesis 1:28), “And G-d (EL-m) blessed them…’Be fruitful and multiply’…” In the second account there is no blessing.

4. In the first account, Adam was created by the name G-d (El-m). In the second account, Adam was created by the name L-rd G-d (Havaya El-m).

5. In the first account (Genesis 1:26), we read, “And G-d (El-m) said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’…” In the second account, likeness is not mentioned, but we read (Genesis 3:4 3:5) “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will surely not die. For G-d (El-m) knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and you will be like G-d (El-m), knowing good and evil.’”

6. In the Torah (Genesis 2:18) G-d said to Adam about the ground, “And it will cause thorns and thistles to grow for you, and you shall eat the herbs of the field.” Here, the eating of the herbs was definitely a punishment. In the account of the sixth day of Creation G-d said, after the blessing, (Genesis 1:29) “And G-d said, Behold, I have given you every seed bearing herb, which is upon the surface of the entire earth, and every tree that has seed bearing fruit; it will be yours for food.”Definitely there could not be a punishment immediately after the blessing. 

In order to resolve the above mentioned contradictions we should understand the origin, structure and meaning of the Torah.

The Torah Hidden and Revealed

According to tradition, the Torah has an infinite number of levels of understanding from simple as we read (Peshat) till secret (Sod). When we refer to the commentary of a sage, we should always indicate to which level of understanding of the Torah his comments pertain.

The Seventh Rebbe gives an example of different levels of understanding of the Torah, through the description of the debate between Talmudic sages Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah about how one is to communicate Torah. “A rule of thumb in the Talmud is that whenever Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah disagree on a matter of Torah law, we follow the opinion of Rabbi Judah.” The reason was that “Rabbi Meir insisted on keeping his expositions on Torah completely within the context of the pure idea meant that those of a lesser comprehension of Torah than his could not fully relate to what he was saying.”

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the Tanna of the second generation, said that the story of the Torah is a body, the Commandments are the garments, and Kabbalah, the secret meaning, is the soul of the Torah. In order to understand the words of the sage, we should refer to the structure of Creation.

According to Kabbalah, Creation consists of the worlds of Emanations (Tzimzum, Adam Kadmom, Akudim, Tohu, Atzilut) - Hidden Worlds and Worlds of Creation (Beriyah, Yetzira, Asiya) - Revealed Worlds. The dividing zone in the information space of Creation, between Hidden and Revealed worlds, is Sefira Malchut of the World of Atzilut, which is at the same time the Sefira Keter of the World of Beriyah. In this zone, the huge compression of Information occurs, and information entropy diminishes, like in a process of physical phase transition. The Worlds Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya have a structure similar to the World of Atzilut, which proves that the Almighty is absolutely efficient and doesn’t do unnecessary work.

The same process was applied by the Almighty in the creation of the Torah. Kabbalists speak about two Torahs, – Hidden and Revealed. The Revealed Torah (which we read), is a result of the huge compression and simplification of the information contained In the Hidden Torah.

Below are some confirmations: 

1.  Zohar (Hidden in the Beginning) (  

“Rabbi Abba said: The Higher World is concealed, and everything associated with the Higher World is also concealed, because they are all part of the sublime mystery of the day in which all other days are contained.” But, since the Higher World is concealed, and everything that is associated with it is also concealed, the verse (merely) states “Bereshit (In The Beginning)…”

2. Torah commentaries by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher (Volume 1):

“According to the plain meaning of the text…the meaning of the word Bereshit (Hebrew) is “in the beginning.” If nonetheless the Torah did not write an unmistakable word such as Bereshona (Hebrew) “at first,” this is because the expression Bereshit (Hebrew ) includes so many more and exalted meanings than does the word Bereshona (Hebrew).” 

3. The Holy Ari: “Creation Hidden and Revealed” (

The fact that the Torah begins with the letter Beit of Bereshit teaches that the Torah has or contains two aspects: Peshat (its simple or literal meaning) and Sod (its deeper meaning). For the Torah in which the Holy One took delight (before creating the world), as well as the Torah that the tzadikim (righteous people) learn in Gan Eden, (Paradise), is none other than its level of Sod (its deeper meaning). Indeed, the Torah studied in Gan Eden was the initial Torah… Therefore, (the fact that the Torah begins with the letter Beit) also teaches that the Torah (that we have here in the physical dimension) is the “second” Torah, the one that was enclosed (assumed the lower form of this world) and which is a “garment” for the initial Torah (its soul). Again, for this reason the Torah begins with a Beit, which itself is the second letter of the Alef-Beit….Alef corresponds to the dimension of Atzilut, the “first” world, in that it precedes, Beriya, the “second” world. This teaches that the Torah that we have comes from Beriya.”

 4 .The Holy Ari: “For the World of the Chariot” (

“The Torah does not (here) speak about the world of Atzilut, but rather about the world of Beriya. The Torah is therefore called “The Torah of Beriya.” And therefore the Torah begins with the letter Beit, for the Alef (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet) alludes to Atzilut (which is both the first world and begins with the letter Alef), while the letter Beit (the second letter) alludes to Beriya, which is (both) the second world and begins with the letter Beit….”

The meaning of the entire verse is thus:

In the beginning  - i.e. with the power of Imma of Atzilut,

G-d created i.e. Imma of Beriya created,

The heavens - i.e. Zeir Anpin of Beriya,

And the earth - i.e. Nukva of Zeir Anpin of Beriya.

Note Imma - Sefira Binah, Zeir Anpin - Sefirot - Chesed, Gevura, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Nukva-Sefira Malchut.

In his seminal treatise “The Guide of the Perplexed,” Maimonides writes, “Know that there is a difference between ‘the first’ and ‘the principle.’ Namely, a principle exists in the thing whose principle it is or simultaneously with it, even if it does not precede it in time….The word indicative of ‘the first’ in our language is tehillah (beginning) that indicative of the principle is reshith. For it derives from rosh (head), which in view of its position is the principle of the living beings.”

I fully agree with the position of Maimonides that the word beginning (reishith) (Hebrew) is not ‘quite’ temporal. Here are the examples: 

  1. “Beginning of Wisdom is the fear of G-d” (Psalm 111 - 10)
  2. We can also say ‘beginning of the road’ etc…. 

In my view the beginning indicates the group of events which precedes other groups of events but not preceded by any other groups of events. 

I state that beginning (the first word of the Torah) includes Hidden Torah and the account of six days of creation.

In ‘The Guide of the Perplexed’ we read “…The nature that will necessitate in time the states of existence that have been promised, is created since the six days of the Beginning. And this is true.”


Analogous to the process of transition from the Hidden Worlds to the Revealed Worlds which takes place in the Sefira Malchut of the world of Atzilut (described above), there is a process of transition from the Hidden Torah to the Revealed Torah, which takes place in the first word Bereshit (in the beginning). 

The logical question is, how can we know something about the Hidden Torah? In order to understand that, we should remember that the Revealed Torah is the result of the huge compression and simplification of the information contained in the Hidden Torah and both are inextricably connected. Therefore, by studying Revealed Torah in depth we can derive by induction some ideas and concepts of the Hidden Torah. I will employ this type of analysis for the explanation of the two different accounts of the creation of Adam. 

To purchase Eduard Shyfrin’s book ‘From Infinity to Man: The Fundamental Ideas of Kabbalah Within the Framework of Information Theory and Quantum Physics’ please click here.

To purchase Eduard Shyfrin’s book ‘Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind’ please click here.