Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Golden Calf reason for having children

 Zohar (1 61a )If Israel had not sinned by making the golden calf, they would not have borne children and no new generations would have come into the world” R. Abba replied: ‘If Adam had not sinned, he would not have begotten children from the side of the evil inclination, but he would have borne offspring from the side of the holy spirit. But now, since all the children of men are born from the side of the evil inclination, they have no permanence and are but short-lived, because there is in them an element of the “other side”. But if Adam had not sinned and had not been driven from the Garden of Eden, he would have begotten progeny from the side of the holy spirit-a progeny holy as the celestial angels, who would have endured to eternity, after the supernal pattern. Since, however, he sinned and begat children outside the Garden of Eden, these did not take root, even in this world, until Noah arose, who was a righteous man and entered the ark, so that from the ark there went forth all the future generations of mankind, who spread thence into the four quarters of the earth.’ 


  1. Adam, yes. Noah, yes.
    Golden calf is yet another sin which occurs throughout the Torah and neviim, so it's the same theme as Adam and the generation of the flood.
    Even the last righteous King we had, Josiah, was unable to turn the tide of the sins of the generation, and the nation went into exile shortly afterwards.
    None of these sins were mitzvos, or Holy.

  2. However, the statement in the title is nonsense. The Torah tells of the sin of the calf in most severe terms. If anything, the sin almost caused genocide, so they would not have survived to have children, only Moses would. Had they not sinned, they would have continued to have children and may have entered Israel on a higher level.
    Professor Scholem points out that the author of the zohar at times loses his creativity and comes up with nonsensical statements. The above is a good example of that observation.


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