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Formerly, the creatures of the world looked upon man and saw the holy supernal image and trembled with fear.

Real Human Beings

Real Human Beings

Based on Zohar Breishit 71a

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Real Human Beings: Based on Zohar Breishit 71a

Formerly, the creatures of the world looked upon man and saw the holy supernal image and trembled with fear.
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Real Human Beings
Formerly, the creatures of the world looked upon man and saw the holy supernal image and trembled with fear.

"And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be." (Gen. 9:2) This means that from now on, you shall [again] take the form of human beings, for before [the flood] mankind did not take the form of human beings.

Come and see! In the beginning it is written: "for in the image of Elokim He made Man," (Gen. 9:6) and also, "in the likeness of Elokim He made him." (Gen. 5:1) But as people sinned, they no longer maintained the supernal image, and they became afraid of the beasts of the field.

...human beings now tremble with fear of other creatures.

Formerly, the creatures of the world looked upon man and saw the holy supernal image and trembled with fear. But as people sinned, their image was transformed in the eyes of the beasts. This is why human beings now trembled with fear of other creatures.

Come and see! All the people who do not sin before their Master and do not transgress against the commandments of the Torah, keep their divine radiance of the supernal image. Therefore all the creatures of the world tremble with fear of them. But when the people transgress against the commandments of the Torah, their shape changes and they tremble and fear other creatures, because the supernal shape has left them. Because the beasts cannot see the supernal form in them anymore, they are ruled by the beasts of the field.

...He delivered everything into the hands of Man.

When the world was renewed, G‑d blessed them by granting them dominion over all, even over the fish in the sea. As it is written: "And upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand they are delivered." (Gen. 9:2) Rabbi Chiya said that into your hand they are delivered, indicating that when G‑d created the world, He delivered everything into the hands of Man. As it is written: "and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air..." (Gen. 1:28)

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
We are created "slightly less than the angels." Yet our potential for free choice, and choosing the straight way, puts us even higher than these completely spiritual beings.

Let us not live solely to make choices to satisfy our present physical needs. Go for the Gold! Seek to find G‑d in all your ways. Do not take the physical at face value. This is the way to make the terrestrial holy. This is the lesson of parashat Noah.


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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Rahmiel-Hayyim Drizin is a devoted student of many of the leading teachers of Kabbala in English in Israel and the USA. He is a criminal defense lawyer who lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.
The Zohar is a basic work of Kabbalah authored by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his students (2nd century CE). English translation of annotated selections by Rabbi Moshe Miller (Morristown, N.J.: Fiftieth Gate Publications, 2000) includes a detailed introduction covering the history and basic concepts of Kabbalah. Volume 1 (36 pp.) covers the first half of the first of the original’s three volumes. It is available online from our store, KabbalaOnline Shop.
Chok L'Yisrael is a daily study guide compiled by Rabbi Chaim Vital based on the weekly Torah Portion that includes sections of Torah, Prophets, Writings, Mishna, Talmud, Zohar, Jewish Law, and Jewish Ethics.
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