© 2020 Drew T. Noll

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Babel

In the beginning... These are the words that were spoken by Hashem, creating the world that we still believe we can see today. This is sadly not the case. The world we see today is only a Klippah or shell of what it once was. ‘In the beginning’ means that before the beginning occurred, there was no time, space, or matter, and to bring it into existence, G-D spoke it. Does this mean that Hashem has a mouth and a tongue? Of course not, but that is for another time. The essence of a word, we have to conclude from this, is that it is not what we use to label an object, but what is contained within that object or the essence or soul of that object. The word came before the object, bringing the object into existence. That is why we use the same word in Hebrew for ‘word’ (דבר Dvar) and for ‘thing’ (דבר also Dvar). They are one and the same. However, the important distinction is that the word came before the thing.

When Adam, in Gan Eden, was asked by Hashem to name the animals, Adam only needed to read the words that were written in the soul (Nefesh) of the animal. In this way, Adam and Hashem shared the action of creating the world as partners. Every word was imbued with creation and every object was imbued with its word.

The Tower of Babel is often used to tell kids a kind of fairytale about how we went from one language in the world to many. This is also not the case. The way the story really goes is that there was one language at the time, Loshen Kodesh (Holy Tongue) or ancient Hebrew. It was the language that was formed from reading the words from the souls of the objects scattered throughout our environment. When man built the tower, it was meant to wrestle control of creation from Hashem by using that Holy Tongue language. Hashem broke down the ability to see the words just enough so that we would be prevented from destroying the world.

When the prophets roamed the earth, all human kind could see into the nature of nature. Many could divine the nature of what an object was, solely based on its name. That is why we had such a hard time with idol worship, because the object itself was glowing with divine spark and creation. The prophets were standing on the shoulders of everyone else and gleaning the higher levels of existence, so when prophesy was removed from the world, we all tumbled down.

As the world gets more and more advanced technologically, we find more and more ways of communicating. We are inventing new words and potential new languages on a daily basis now. Computers use a variety of codes that can be referred to as languages. Kids have developed codes with text messaging and instant messaging. Hybrid languages have sprouted up in the last century and before as well. We have moved so far from that original Loshen Kodesh that, with every technological, social, or cultural step we take, we are becoming more and more bonded with the Klippah or shell of the world.

Klippah starts with the letter Kuf (ק) in Hebrew and it is also the word for monkey. A monkey is, as Darwin would have said, a close relative of us humans. The sad difference is that we are becoming more related to a monkey spiritually. The more technologically advanced our species gets, the further away we get from the core of reality and the more we bond with the thin outer shell of the universe; the piece that we can still see.

Maybe our fascination for magical lights emanating from magical boxes and our over powering drive for the next level of entertainment derive from this urge to look into an object and see its soul. We are so busy scratching our pits with the other monkeys that we forgot how to look and to see into things; to be engaged by them and build ourselves together into the human giants that we once were.

Babel is now... being such technologically advanced monkeys, we just can’t see it anymore...

Shalom Alechem