Click to enlarge
Adam and Eve
When the Holy One, the Almighty (blessed be His name!) would create the world, the twenty-two that are the letters of the alphabet came from His crown and held themselves before His eyes. Each supplicated to have itself made the beginning letter of the creative word. Many were the beginning letters of the various sacred names. But out of the twenty-two, the Most High chose to create the world through BETH: it is the beginning letter in the word BARACH, which signifies to bless.
On the first day the Most High created the heavens and the earth, the light and the darkness, the duration of the day and the duration of the night. From underneath His throne He took a stone and flung it upon chaos: that stone made the centre of the earth, and all that was made was made around it. On the second day God created the angels. On the third day He created the plants, including the plants that are chief of them all, the cedars of Lebanon. But lest these cedars, tallest of trees, should exalt themselves unduly, He created on the same day the iron that would fell the trees; also He created Paradise where the first man was to have his abode, and where the souls of the just were to dwell throughout eternity. On the fourth day He created the sun, Moon, and stars. On the fifth day He created the fishes, including the fish that is chief of all of them; namely, Leviathan, and the birds, including the bird that is chief of all of them; namely, Ziz. On the sixth day He created the animals, including the animal that is chief of all of them; namely, Behemoth.
On the sixth day He created man. But the Most Holy One took
counsel with His angels before He created him. And some of the angels said, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" He stretched forth His finger, and all the angels who said this were consumed with fire--all except their leaders, Michael and Gabriel. Then the Most Holy One commanded Gabriel to fetch dust from the four corners of the earth that man might be made from it. Gabriel went to do as he was commanded. But the earth refused to let the servant of the Lord gather dust from her surface. "I am destined to be cursed by man," the earth said, "and to have my first fair state made unfair through him. If the Almighty One does not take from me the dust for the making of man, no one shall ever be let do it." When God heard the earth say this He stretched forth His hand and He took dust from the four corners of the earth, and He fashioned man out of the dust.
When He would join the body He had formed out of the dust with the soul He had made on the first day, the angelic host who knew the power that man was about to receive from God murmured against his making. And the chief of those who murmured was that angel who was amongst the highest in the angelic host, whose wings were twelve where the others' wings were six, the angel whose name was Samael. Samael said, "Thou didst create us from the splendour of the Shekinah, and now thou dost plan to set above us the creature whom thou hast fashioned out of the dust of the ground." Man would have perished through the fire which Samael would have put upon him if it had not been for the protecting hand that God held over him. The Almighty cast Samael and his host out of heaven, and from that time that angelic prince is known as Satan, and he is the adversary of man.
God named the man whom he had created Adam, and He placed him in the Paradise which He had created on the third day. Another had been created with Adam out of the dust of the earth. This was the woman Lillith. Lillith lived with Adam in Paradise. But she exalted herself over him, knowing that he and she had been made out of the same dust of the earth. And Lillith was able to pronounce the Ineffable Name, and pronouncing it she caused herself to vanish from the sight of Adam. Thereafter she made herself a demoness.
Then Adam was cast into a deep sleep; a rib was taken from his side, and out of this rib God formed a woman to be Adam's wife, and this woman was Eve. Adam was given the east and the north of Paradise
with the guardianship of the male animals, and Eve was given the west and south with the guardianship of the female animals. A tree grew in the centre of Paradise: the man and the woman were forbidden to eat of the fruit of this tree.
Samael, who was now Satan, the fallen angel, came riding upon the back of a serpent. The animals saw Samael and the serpent, and they were affrighted by the sight. And Samael, in Eve's hearing, chanted seraphic songs, and she, thinking they were songs in praise of God, listened to him. The serpent ascended the tree and injected the poison of evil inclination into the fruit. He bent the branch on which it grew down to the ground. And Eve, after Samael had spoken to her, took the fruit and ate of it. She summoned Adam and persuaded him to eat of the fruit also. Thereupon the cuirass which was bound across each of them, and which was made of the letters of the Ineffable Name, fell from them, and they had to cover their lower limbs with leaves which the trees had cast off when Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.
Then the Most Holy One put Adam and Eve from Paradise and appointed the Cherubim who are called the Ever-turning Swords of Flame to guard against their return to it. The earth felt the curse of the fall of man. Thenceforward she had to be watered by rain from above; her fruits were subject to failure; she had to bring forth creatures that were noxious to her; also she had to have herself formed into mountains and valleys, and to know that one day she will wax old like a garment. The angels in heaven grieved over the fall of man; the sun grieved also. Only the moon laughed on account of it, and for that God was wroth, and He obscured her radiance.