Thursday, November 02, 2006


The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
Should this Ego- or I-awareness then be a double-edged gift? Like all other forms, the Ego- or I-awareness as a special form of our feeling and thinking also has its borders and fences. These, in turn, entail separation. We feel separated from one another, and even from God our Creator. Feeling separated causes fears and yearning, yearning first for our parent's love; then for a life partner; for some form of unity in groups, nations, Mankind; and a yearning for God .
This feeling of separation is an outcome of our being created in God's image which, however, is but the base, or starting point in our journey towards God's likeness. The latter we can never fully achieve, since God is infinite, and thus always 'beyond'. It is for this reason that ancient religions stress the importance of the way, as Judaism in its Halahah (literally Way), the early Christians (known as "followers of the Way"); or the Chinese Tao.
Striving for success is more often than not propelled by the yearning to be recognized and loved. Disappointments in these struggles may lead to feelings of guilt, anger, envy and depression.
Thus, it turns out that this seemingly double-edged gift of Ego is meant to face us with a constant challenge: our ongoing decision as to which of the two above alternatives will dominate our lives: the spirit of fear and carnal drives, or the spirit of the Divine attributes. God as the "God of spirits of all flesh" (Numbers 27:16) asks us constantly "Adam, where are you?", and rewards us accordingly. As a help and guide on our way, we were given the Torah, literally the Divine Instruction, which tells us about the "breathing of the breath of Life" into our nostrils.

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.

In Our Image, After Our Likeness

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
The principle of polarity works also within the known spiritual world. Examples of this are judgment and mercy, law and grace, severity and goodness, each of them forming a power field, with their harmonic interplay being an indispensable precondition for the proper functioning of human society. Love comprises both of these aspects. Thus, true lovers, for all their mutual affection, will always respect and honor one another. Love would degenerate quickly if it consists only of lavish kindness. On the other hand, it would not be love if only severity prevailed.

The Bible indicates this in the two different accounts of Creation, namely chapters I and II of Genesis. These two chapters are not two different traditions (E and J) put side by side by clever editors, as some modern scholars like to point out. They are closely interrelated through their common and central theme of ADAM.
In the first chapter, which speaks mainly of the creation of nature, the term Elohim (God, the purposefully directed creative force) is used. This term always goes with the aspect of the law, e.g. the laws of creation, of nature, of cause and effect. In some instances, the word Elohim must be translated as judge.

The creation of Adam, too, is recorded under this aspect. To be more accurate, verse 26 of the first chapter, which introduces the Divine intention, reads: "Let us make Adam (man) in our image, after our likeness." The following verse (27) then records the actual creation of Adam in God's image, but significantly omits the term "after our likeness". The Torah indicates by this omission that the "likeness" of God is not merely a product of that part of Creation, which is subject to the rigid laws of nature. It is rather the goal of a process of development and growth beyond these laws. Only Man enjoys this privilege and destiny.