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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.
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Aaron Milavec Cincinnati 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. Reply

Joseph Jacksno III dallas 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. Reply

Anonymous 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. Reply

Robert Zantay New York, NY/USA 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. Reply

Anonymous Tokyo, Japan 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. Reply

christian obianigwe onitsha, nigeria November 13, 2007

it is interesting Reply

julie s. NY 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? Reply

Tzvi Freeman (author) Thornhill, Canada 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. Reply

vedaal 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? Reply

julie sergel NY 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. Reply

Anonymous September 4, 2007

A message we all need This is what I will call a juicy article. I use the word juicy because the nectur of what life is about drips from the turth of this article when it is cut open and gushes if you bite it. I did both and was sated with the truth.

Thank you Reply

R. Gartner Chicago, IL via chabaduchicago.com August 31, 2007

Adam and Chiava I thought the passage was well written with poignant thoughts! I can understand a little the stated needs of Chava and the importance of Adam having to wait and see whether she was ready to engage in intimate relationships. His mistake was one of impulse. Perhaps most or all men carry this mistake in them. But, I feel that Chava's need to be in a proper emotional and spiritual space before intimate relations can apply to men as well! When I was growing up, I had a difficult time accepting the overtures of various girls my age, more or less, to become intimate. Now, much later, I regret that I was such "a prude," but I wonder if perhaps a reason for my unusual hesitancy was also a need to "be ready," to be in an open emotional space with created bonds of interest and attachment. What can one do? Ah, the irony of it all! Thanks Reply

Mark Siet San Clemente, ca via jewishsc.com August 31, 2007

Forgotten History The story you tell about Lilith of is a myth and illustrates the duality of exegsis which those who came after were so prone to.

It is interesting that you split woman and not man as an excuse perhaps for woman's supposed sin.

However here is what happened. Men are terrified that woman might take over in terms of spirituality so they discount woman or elevate her to this high spiritual level only to distance themselves from their own sexuality and the feminine principle that resides within them. It is a blockage that has literally masked this feminine spirit within man. This blockage takes place via the dialectic of laws seen through talmudic literature that reinforce the good old boys code of rabbinical literature.

What is important? Simply Torah without Midrash each interpreting according to his own inner connection. This is how Mashiach will come into our midst. Whenl we stop fear and teaching only love this day will remain forever out of our reach. Reply

Anonymous Palm Harbor, FL August 29, 2007

Adam and EVe THank you for this wonderful article. It brought home the whole man woman relationship to me. It's my wish that many men and woman are reading this and if they don't already have a wonderful give and take relaionship, they will from here on.
Had my husband understood his role in this way we would still be married. I'm certain it's difficult for men to reign in their impulses but it's necessary to create a holy union and bring forth other souls. Reply

Joel Miller Montreal, Canada August 29, 2007

Achieving Man 2.0 This is a really great way to explain things that start from a very esoteric level to the practicle. I think, however it could do without the computer references. We don't have to be relevant or cute to connect to these ideas, we need simplicity and even though many of us are involved in the latest technology, we are capable of understanding things according to immediately accessible paradigms. Reply

Kelly Iowa, USA August 28, 2007

Launching the upgrade I found the above article very helpful, rather like those little update files my computer automatically downloads for me in the background. But soon after the download my computer raises a little window and asks if I'd like to reboot to let all these great new changes take hold, and here's where I'm a bit frustrated personally. I'm not sure I'm taking ful advantage of these updates.

I'm trying to be consistent with my downloads (Torah study), and I believe I'm doing my best to choose the reboots ("Today if you hear..."), but when it comes to actually runnng the software I'm not terribly impressed with the output.

I've no complaints with the software or hardware, in fact I see it working very well in other cubicles, but I want to see it more effective in my own work-stattion.

I noticed Adam had a little nap before Chava was brought online, but I don't find any "direct" indication that he ever woke-up. Could it be I am still sleeping? How can I wake-up to real shalom habayit? Reply

joy Houston, TX August 26, 2007

great! Rabbi Tzvi is a master at merging science with literary artistry, a style reflected in the theme of this essay as well; how two different modalities (male/female) work together to achieve a holistic universe.
I was blessed! Reply

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