The Jerusalem Post

The first creation of Adam - Where, When, Why?

 Adam images (photo credit: FLICKR)
Adam images
(photo credit: FLICKR)

In previous articles (The Red Button of Adam, Part 1, Part 2), I considered the two accounts of the creation of Adam, the first one - given in the description of the sixth day of Creation: Genesis (1:26-29) and the second - more detailed, account: Genesis (2:1-25, 3:1-24), and showed that there exist a number of insurmountable contradictions between them.

The Sages definitely realized the existence of the contradictions. Their approach could be divided into three categories:

  1. To abstain from the commentaries. 
  2. To give hints. 
  3. To try to reconcile the two accounts using ad hoc hypotheses. 

All the existing opinions of the Sages are of utmost importance and will be discussed below and in the subsequent articles. 

Having analyzed both accounts, I came to the conclusion that they describe two different creations. Namely, that the second account describes the creation of Adam which took place before the six days of Creation, described in the Torah, and that the events of the six days of Creation were the direct result of the sin of Adam. 


This conclusion resolves all the contradictions between the two accounts, but the fact of the resolution of contradictions is not sufficient to consider this conclusion robust. In my opinion, the validity of the conclusion also must be based on certain commonly accepted principles and must have explanatory power. 

The Principles

The conclusion about the two creations of Adam is based on the following principles:

  1. G-d is absolutely perfect. 
  2. The Creation has a Plan. As (William of Auvergne) said “The Creation is a goal-directed activity.”
  3. G-d never does unnecessary work for the execution of His Plan. 
  4. We don’t know why the Creation took place. 
  5. Given the creation of Information and information space - the creation of the recipient of the information was necessary. 
  6. Adam should have been created in such a zone of information space so that information exchange between G-d and Man, and vice versa, required minimum amount of work. This zone corresponds to the Sefira Malchut of the world of Atzilut.
  7. Relative death is a transition from one information world to another. 
  8. Had Adam not sinned, he would have stayed in the Garden of Eden forever. 
  9. Before the sin, Adam was immortal. From that, it follows that any kind of transition was not supposed to happen. Consequently, the creation of the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah was not necessary. 
  10. As a result of the sin, Adam actualized the ‘Other Side’ (Sitra-Ahra), the concepts of evil. 
  11. Consequently, the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah were created, since together with the ‘Other Side,’ they constitute common indivisible information space.
  12. Explanatory power: the main tenet of Judaism is our duty to restore Creation to its original state, as it was before the sin of Adam. Analysis of the second account of the creation of Adam gives us certain clues about the state of Creation before the sin. 

Below and in the subsequent articles, I will provide the analysis of the above-mentioned principles. 

The purpose of the creation of Man

Adam Kadmon

According to Kabbalah of the Rabbi Isaac Luria the first information world, created after initial contraction (Tzimzum), was Adam Kadmon (Primordial Adam). Adam Kadmon had the shape of a man.  All the subsequent information worlds were created out of the lights coming out from the different parts of the body of Adam Kadmon. 


In Etz Chayim (The Tree of Life, Volume Two, The Palace of Points, English Edition) we read: 

“We will now explain the world of points. They are the aspects of the lights that emerged from the orifices of the eyes of Adam Kadmon.” 

Here the points are Sefirot (concepts) of the world of Tohu (Nekudim, which preceded the world of Atzilut).

“The breath of the mouth (of Adam Kadmon) is the most perceptible breath of all, because whatever light descends and is revealed there is the most substantial and perceptible. The ten (sefirot) of the bound ones (akudim) came from there.”

Akudim - is the information world, which preceded the world of Tohu (Nekudim). Further on, we read: 

“In the Fourth Branch of the Gate on the Discourses of the Circular and Linear Aspects, we already wrote that they were lights. They are the aforementioned lights that emerged from the ear, nose, and mouth of Adam Kadmon. They are not circular and linear, but everything is linear only. However, the aspects of the forehead and the eyes of this Adam, which are the secret of points, have circular and linear aspects like Adam Kadmon.”

The above-mentioned text is written in highly symbolic language, typical for kabbalists, and it is difficult to comprehend. 

In my view, the message of the Rabbi Isaac Luria was that Creation begins with an Idea of Man (Adam Kadmon) and all the information space, all the concepts, all the worlds have their roots in the idea of Man.

From that follows the very important principle: 

Whatever event in Creation we analyze, we must do it from this point of view: why was it necessary for the creation and existence of Man?

The purpose of the creation of Adam:

In the Torah, 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, because the Lord G-d had not brought rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the soil.”

We read (Genesis 2:15) “Now the Lord G-d took the man, and He placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to guard it.”

What is the meaning of “to work it and to guard it” ? The Sages put forward different opinions.

In his commentaries on Torah, Nachmanides writes: “Our Sages were bothered by this. They said in Bereishit Rabbah (16:5) To “work it” and to “guard it” - these refer to the offerings. Nachmanides explains: “Their intention with this comment is to say that plants and all living things are dependent upon supernal forces, and from them their growth emanates. And it is through the offerings that the flow of blessing passes to these supernal forces, and from them it passes on to the plants of the Garden of Eden, and from these plants come into being and exist all living things in this world, through the rains of G-d’s goodwill and blessing.”

Rabbi Shneur Zalman from Lyadi, in his book “Torah Light” (Torah Or) explains that “to work it” means to fulfil positive commandments and attract light, while “to guard it” means not to break negative commandments and not to let evil enter the Garden of Eden. 

Rabbi Isaac Luria (The Tree of Life, Volume Two, The Palace of Points, English Edition) writes: “Now, when it rose in the will of the Emanator to resurrect the dead and to establish the kings that had been broken and had fallen into the world of creation, it decided and raised the lower Female Waters. Thereby, the upper coupling of the Chokmah and Binah of the inner Adam Kadmon occurred.” 

According to Kabbalah, Female Waters (Mayim Nukvin) are raised when we stick to the commandments of the Torah. By raising Female Waters, we establish the connection between the Sefira Malchut and Sefira Yesod. In response, by the coupling of Sefirot Chokmah and Binah, Almighty creates Male Waters (Mayim Duchrin), which descend and reconnect with the Female Waters. This process establishes the connection through the whole Tree of Sefirot. Here, we see a clear example of the PARTICIPATORY PRINCIPLE of the mutual influence between G-d and Man.

In his Torah commentaries, Rashi writes: “He had not caused it to rain,  because there was no man to work the soil, and no one recognized the benefit of rain. But when man came and recognized that it is a necessity for the world, he prayed for it. Then rain came down, and the trees and the herbs sprouted.”

In his book “Kabbalah,” Gershom Scholem writes, “At opposite poles, both Man and G-d encompass within their being the entire cosmos….  The process of creation involves the departure of all from the One and its return to the One, and the crucial turning-point in this cycle takes place within man.”

From the commentaries of the Sages, we can draw a conclusion that the main task of Adam was to engage in the “Top-Down” and “Bottom-Up” communications with a Creator.  

By the creation of Adam, the PARTICIPATORY CREATION, in which the actions of Man affect the Creator and vice versa, was completed.

The idea of PARTICIPATORY CREATION has its parallel in modern science. One of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century, physicist John Archibald Wheeler, put forward the PARTICIPATORY ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE, “which suggests that the Universe, as a condition of its existence, must be observed, so implying one or more observers.”

According to Wheeler, there is no infinite regress in the Universe, instead there is a circularity. The essence of the idea of a PARTICIPATORY UNIVERSE is the mutual influence between the observer and the Universe itself. The Universe is built on the principle of the feedback loop. Wheeler’s idea could be well illustrated by the phrase from the basic book of Kabbalah Sefer Yetzira: “and their (Sefirot) end enter into their beginning.”

In order to illustrate his idea, Wheeler proposed a “delayed choice” experiment in which the measurement of photon fixed its past. The experiment was conducted in a laboratory, and Wheeler’s idea was confirmed.

Here we can ask the question: “Can we extrapolate the laws of our universe on the Creation as a whole?”

In my view, with a certain degree of caution, the answer is definitely yes.

In my article ‘Kabbalah of Information, part III'  I postulated the idea that Kabbalah Information is based on the principle of the Ontic Structural Realism. 

The theory of Structural Realism was developed by John Worrall in 1989 and was aimed at reconciling the opinions of realists and anti-realists. According to Worrall, the idea of Ontic Structural Realism can be described as follows: “There is no individuality –  there are only structures.” In his work, Worrall named several supporters of structural realism. These include the outstanding mathematician Henri Poincare, Arthur Eddington, the scientist who proved Einstein’s theory of General Relativity by experiment; Hermann Weyl, one of the most prominent physicists of the 20th century; and philosopher Bertrand Russell. 

Max Born, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, viewed reality as the invariant nature of structure regardless of other aspects. He wrote,  “The idea of invariant is the clue to a rational concept of reality, not only in physics but in every aspect of the world.”

According to the Kabbalah of Information, the difference between the Worlds of Atzilut, Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah is in the dimensionality of the information concepts, but the structure is invariant (the Tree of Sefirot).

In Etz Chayim, we read concerning the dimensionality, ”Indeed, there is a difference among the Worlds, and it is that Malchut of Atzilut in all the generality of its ten Sefirot dresses in the aforesaid Throne, which dresses inside the head of Beriyah. Indeed, in the rest of the worlds it is not so, for only the tenth part of Malchut of Beriyah dresses in the seventh superior Palace of Yetzirah, And so, also the tenth part of Malchut of Yetzirah by itself dresses in the seventh superior Palace of Asiyah.”

Concerning the invariance we read, “And behold, the three Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah are all complete Vessels. And therefore, they are seals of Atzilut.”

Based on the ,above we can draw a conclusion that the laws governing the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah are structurally the same. 

Kabbalah of Information on the Task of Man

According to the Kabbalah of Information, the information space is described as a hierarchy of the concepts which differ in dimensionality and complexity.  All the informational concepts of Creation belong to the Worlds of Emanation – Adam Kadmon, Akudim, Nekudim and Atzilut. The information concepts of the Worlds of Creation - Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah are lower dimensional images of the concepts of the Worlds of Emanation. 

The task of Adam was to actualize the information concepts in the original form, i.e., of the Worlds of Emanation.

In the book “Gate of Reincarnations,” (Sha’ar Hagilgulim), which presents the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria, it is written that before the sin, Adam had the supernal glow (zihara ila’a), composed of yechida, chaya, neshama and ruach of the World of Atzilut. Through these parts of his soul, he was able to actualize the concepts of the World of Atzilut. As a result of the sin, supernal glow was completely taken away from Adam.

From that point of view, the Creation of the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzira and Asiyah before the sin was not necessary. The most suitable zone of information space for Adam to fulfil his task was the Sefira Malchut of the World of Atzilut. 

As a part of his role, Adam was given the task of naming the animals. There exist different opinions of the purpose of the naming (which will be discussed in subsequent articles). In this article I would like to present just one quotation from the commentary of the Seventh Lubavitch Rebbe: “Naming as an act of Divine Service. According to the second approach above, that man’s naming of the animals was the first act of Divine Service, it follows that the naming must have accomplished the purpose of all Divine Service – to make the world more subservient to G-d. This was achieved through the naming, which connected the spiritual source of each creature with its existence on the physical plane.”

The Actualization of the Other Side (Sitra-Ahra)

Adam was given a task of the actualization of the information concepts of Worlds of Emanation.  At the same time, he was given a right, by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, to actualize the concepts of Evil.

In my article – Devil of the Other Side  I put forward the definition of Evil, as follows: 

  1. Evil (and any actualization of evil) is constituted by the transgression of at least one of the 613 commandments of the Torah (or of those commandments of the Torah that can be observed today). 
  2. There are no Evil acts (actualizations of Evil) that do not involve the transgression of at least one of the 613 commandments of Torah.
  3. Therefore, the transgression of at least one commandment of the Torah is the requisite and necessary condition for the actualization of evil. The above system of statements is succinct, conclusive, and impartial.

In the information space, any concept of Evil is presented by the  concept of the corresponding commandment with the addition of the command ‘Don’t’: 

Do-Don’t do 

Don’t do-Don’t don’t do

From that follows a very important conclusion that concepts of evil don’t belong to the Worlds of Emanation. By eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam actualized the concept ‘Don’t’ which gave rise to the creation of the zone of anti-commandments in the information space, which is an inseparable part of the Worlds Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. The amount of Evil in each World is exactly determined by the number of the commandments. There was only one commandment in the Garden of Eden and 613 commandments in our World of Asiyah. From that follows that a certain amount of commandments and anti-commandments exist in every World of Creation. It is logical to presuppose that the amount of commandments, and correspondingly the amount of Evil, increases in a process of transition from the World of Beriyah to the World of Yetzirah, and finally to the World of Asiyah. 

 The above conclusion corresponds with a teaching of Rabbi Isaac Luria.  In his book Etz Chayim, he stated that the amount of Evil diminishes in a process of transition from the World of Asiyah to the World of Yetzirah and finally to the World of Beriyah.  


  1. Before the sin of Adam, the Creation of the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah was not necessary.
  2. As a result of the sin, Adam actualized the information concepts of Evil, which constituted an inseparable part of the Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, thus making their creation necessary.

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.