Thursday, November 02, 2006

Symbol Of Man

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Runin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass

Consequently, the second chapter, significantly starting after the Divine institution and blessing of the Seventh Day, the Shabbath, records the forming of Man. We read there: "And the Lord God formed Adam, dust from the earth , and he breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and (so) Man was a living soul This passage states explicitly that Man is composed both of the "dust of the earth" as his material base, and of the Divine "breath of life" as his spiritual constituent and privilege.
Since this passage is of the profoundest meaning and importance for our understanding of human existence and its dual nature - as expressed by the Star of David - we shall look at some of its aspects:
1) The passage brings out clearly the dual nature of Man, i.e. his earthly-material and his spiritual nature, by presenting him - and only him - as a product of both the dust of the earth and the Divine breath of life.
Speaking in terms of our symbol, the six-pointed star, we could say that the triad of spirit-intellect-feeling conditions the triad of thought-speech-movement, with both triads forming the six-pointed Star, which we could interpret in this context as a symbol of man:

2) Even in his earthly-material nature, Man is of a different stature than plants and animals. The latter were brought forth from the earth, i.e. its gross material as outlined above, and were shaped by God, while in Man's case, the earth provided the 'raw material' in its subtlest form, dust , which was given form by the Lord. This form-giving finds its foremost expression in our I-awareness, or Ego. No animal has such an awareness. Our body shape, including our upright posture and our speech organs, expresses this special feature. Normally, a child's I-awareness begins to develop along with his/her ability to stand upright and walk
In this spirit, we can also think and speak, be self-conscious and creative, rule our physical nature, judge and be merciful or severe, forgive, and pass laws - and we can use all these properties for altruistic and beneficial ends, or for selfish and destructive ones.

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