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Achieving Man 2.0

Achieving Man 2.0

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Woman 1.0 was a harsh and judgmental version, not at all user-friendly. The only hint to her in Genesis is Adam's enigmatic dual metaphor, "This time [she is] a bone from my bones, flesh from my flesh." The "bone of my bones"—her name was Lilith, with a personality as inflexible as a dry bone. Adam dumped that one fast.

"Flesh from my flesh" refers to Woman 2.0, a.k.a. Chava (somehow that became "Eve" in English). She was more easy-going, less critical, far more responsive—as flesh is relative to bones. This worked really well for a long-term relationship. (You can't say "user-friendly" on 2.0, since this is more of an interactive, client-to-client relationship. We'll get to that soon.)

1.0 relied on technology from the World of TohuThe two versions had much to do with the technology implemented. 1.0 relied on technology from the World of Tohu. That's a world, previous to ours, which is built on absolutes. Absolute light, absolute darkness, absolute kindness and...absolute harshness.

Tohu Technology was an all around failure, resulting in a major system crash throughout the cosmos. In the aftermath—and pretty much in response to that disaster—the World of Tikkun was formed.

In Tikkun, everything was balanced and harmonized in a holistic and relativistic system. Light was tempered with darkness and darkness with light. Kindness knew what it means to be harsh—and could even use that harshness if necessary to attain even greater kindness. As for Harshness, it lost its autonomous modality altogether, becoming no more than an adjunctive function to Kindness.

So it was with Lilith and Chava (Eve). Lilith was a woman of absolutes, intolerant of anything but perfection in her man and in his relationship to her. Not a great recipe for a marriage. Chava was ready to look the other way for the sake of the relationship, aware that things are never perfect, but love can make it work. She contained within her some of Adam and could feel his heart's rhythm within her own.

Woman was upgraded. The problem is, Adam wasn't.

The first sin of humanity can be traced to Adam's failure in response to Chava: According to the Ari (Rabbi Yitzchaak Luria, 1534–1572, supreme master of the Kabbalah), Adam was meant to wait until Friday night to have relations with Chava—which is the appropriate time for those relations. He failed in this regard, resulting in her loneliness, which allowed for that whole snake-virus invasion.

Woman was upgraded. The problem is, Adam wasn'tThis is how the Tzemach Tzedek (Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, 1789-1866) elucidates and illuminates this teaching of the Ari: When it comes to sanctity and getting things right, preparation is everything. In order to be involved in this relationship in a human, inner way, both parties need to prepare and wait for the appropriate timing. Shabbat night is the appropriate time for Chava. She is Shabbat. This is her time. Besides, she needs to first develop an emotional relationship with Adam. She needs to exist first as a person in his eyes, and only then can she truly bond with him.

So we see that Adam also retained remnants of the earlier Tohu protocol, namely its top-down hierarchy. Tohu was all about unidirectional data flow: Information descends from the Infinite Light to create and sustain a world—and that's where it stops. No dynamics for user feedback. Zero learning curve. Basically, the end client ("user") is treated like just another accessory to the hardware/software and I/O.

That's the way, after all, that the world was originally created. G‑d spoke and it was. There was no interest in user feedback; you couldn't ask the created beings, "What do you think if we do it like this?"—because there were no created beings, no users, since that's what was being invented. So creation, initially at least, was entirely a top-down protocol.

All this was reflected in Adam's attitude toward Chava. He treated the relationship in a top-down fashion, as though she was no more than an accessory to him. Bad deal for Chava, not too good for Adam, either. Adam also needs time. His role is to be more than a seed-delivery mechanism. He needs to be the Provider and Protector of his family. When he charges impetuously into a physical relationship driven by his own hormonal urges, he effectively reverses roles: Chava now holds the goods and he's down on his knees begging for them. Or grabbing them and causing even more harm.

Adam was stuck in the old protocol. He should have learned from G‑d's own modality-shift with him: Having created the world, G‑d turned to Adam to initiate a two-way, interactive relationship. Adam awoke to a latent world, where life lay just below the surface of the soil, "for there was no Adam to work the soil." In this case, Adam was bright enough to figure out what was demanded of him. He prayed for rain, "and a mist rose to water the garden."

Adam was stuck in the old protocol. He should have learned from G‑d's own modality-shift with himFrom that point on, the protocol had changed. If the initial act of Creation was a free lunch, the soup kitchen was now closed. From now on, nothing in the entire cosmos could receive without giving, or give without receiving. Not even Adam or Chava.

Ever since, this has been the greatest challenge of every man who has felt for a woman: the challenge to be a man and rein in his own one-way urge. The challenge to recognize that, hey, there's someone else here besides me, this is a person, an "other," a "not-me"—and maybe she's not in the same space as me quite yet. The challenge to wait and to share.

If he fails, he becomes a slave and in the long run, despised and used by the woman he believes he has conquered. If he succeeds, he unites with her and is respected by her. The children that are born from that union are granted peace between their own bodies and souls. In miniature, he has repaired the entire cosmos—and that itself is reflected systemically throughout all of Creation. Everything starts at home, even world peace.1

Footnotes
1.

Sources: See Yahel Ohr (Tzemach Tzedek al haTehillim) 127:8 (page 498); Likutei Torah L'ha-Arizal, Breishit; Derech Mitzvotecha, Mitzvat Pru Urvu; Reshimos 50, 51.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Discussion (17)
August 4, 2016
Wow! I am impressed. R. Freeman is keenly aware that men in our society are given a set of "how to be a man" rules that are hard on their women, hard on God's animals, hard on the environment. So, R Freeman is finding the Tikkum Olah.

Thank you, thank you, R. Freeman.
Aaron Milavec
Cincinnati
November 12, 2014
wow!
This gives me peace in my "wonder" of how I see women. I certainly know I can do better but had no idea of how to bring it into a holy context.
Joseph Jacksno III
dallas
March 21, 2011
This article is an absolute
This article is extreme in its 'absolute' polarizing of men and women.

It is Adam's fault that Chava/Eve decided to act on the suggestion of the serpent? Such a view is patronizing to adult women as it places them in the role of irresponsible child not responsible for her actions.

This article seems to suggest that a wife's bad behavior is because she is driven to it by a bad husband while a wife's good behavior is inherit in her being female version 2.0

Rabbis can learn much by opening their eyes to the larger world or society outside their own observing how modern westernized women behave.

The gift of feminism has exposed the dark side of many western women and have set women back.
Anonymous
December 1, 2010
This is myth not God's word
You really shouldn't put any serious thought to the Lilith myth. It is not contained in God's Holy Word, which is all given by inspiration by God to his holy prophets, who did not write down what they thought, they wrote what God inspired them to write though the Holy Spirit , which was upon them. Adam's helpmate was Eve, no one else.
Robert Zantay
New York, NY/USA
June 29, 2009
interesting topic
I believe Lilith and Chava represent the nature of the woman mind, how it is changed so easily by its environment. In our modern society, where we are educated equally, most women intend to have the personality of Lilith, independent. Which may be annoying to men cause it is hard for a man to lose his ego and obsession toward women and wanting to have the pleasure whenever THEY want it. in the times when women were treated unequal and uneducated most women had the personality of Chava. but dont forget Chava is the one who got them both kicked out of Eden. I believe the forbidden fruit represent money and power. Chava will stay home, loyal and co-dependent but will make you bust your ass for her addictions towards diamonds and pearls to set her mind off her life as a slave of man. Lilith=independent, sexual, fun, stuborn, crazy, temperish. Chava=co-dependant, conservative, simple, loyal, ignorant, materialistic. which would you want cause you cant have both.
Anonymous
Tokyo, Japan
November 13, 2007
it is interesting
christian obianigwe
onitsha, nigeria
November 4, 2007
Good points, but...
Good points here, but, don't you think, with the Tree there (knowledge of good and evil), that, it was inevitable, at some point, for this to happen. I was just discussing this the other day. If there were no need for repair--individually and collectively, would man be content with life in Eden, as it were given? If so, for how long?
julie s.
NY
November 3, 2007
to vedaal
Perhaps being softened up for dialogue with Adam also softened her up to dialogue with a snake.

There's a downside to nearly anything.
Tzvi Freeman (author)
Thornhill, Canada
November 2, 2007
Achieving Man 2.0
" ... Chava was ready to look the other way for the sake of the relationship, aware that things are never perfect, but love can make it work. She contained within her some of Adam and could feel his heart's rhythm within her own.

Woman was upgraded. The problem is, Adam wasn't. ... "

so, why did this new 'upgraded' version of Woman want to drag Man down with him?!

the expected conduct of a 'perfected' version, would be for her to say something like, "I messed up, but You still have a chance. Don't even THINK of eating that fruit! Over my dead body! If you want to help me, Pray to G-D, and explain that since I didn't hear the command 'directly' from Him, I added the part about not 'touching' it, and got messed up. You still haven't broken G-D's command, and I'm not going to let You!

(at least that's the way the 'script' might go today ;-) )

so, is there a teaching that explains why She acted as She did?
vedaal
September 6, 2007
So Much to Take in!
I think this was a masterfully crafted piece, woven with so much to think on--and glean from! I love it! It teaches many things, but it first requires that we be not like Adam, in rushing in (to say), more so (as prescribed in the Ari) taking time (to hear).
I was fortunate enough to have a moment like that. (I saved this to read some time ago.) As I read the responses, I was in total agreement with some and amazed, if not confounded, by others.
Such a beautiful article, surprising that it wouldn't be fully received.
julie sergel
NY