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Torah Scents – Part 3

Today we study the information found in Chapter 2 – Fragrant Stories of the Bible
of the book Mystical Aromatherapy, The Divine Gift of Fragrance, by Avraham Sand. In this series, I’m specifically focusing on information regarding Biblical references. There is so much more information in this amazing book. I highly recommend it.

Chapter 2 – Fragrant Stories of the Bible
The Aromatic Garment of the Garden of Eden
"Adam and Eve’s garments were imbued with the fragrance from the Garden of Eden."

Clothing was needed after Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Man began having Yetzer HaRa (evil inclination). When they became aware of their bodies, they sewed fig leaves together to make temporary garments. In His Compassion, H-Shem made them more permanent clothing.

“G-d made garments of (leather) skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.” 

Shabbat 28b:6
The Gemara asks: What is the halakhic conclusion reached about this matter of the taḥash that existed in the days of Moses? Rabbi Ela said that Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said that Rabbi Meir used to say: The taḥash that existed in the days of Moses was a creature unto itself, and the Sages did not determine whether it was a type of undomesticated animal or a type of domesticated animal. And it had a single horn on its forehead, and this taḥash happened to come to Moses for the moment while the Tabernacle was being built, and he made the covering for the Tabernacle from it. And from then on the taḥash was suppressed and is no longer found.

These garments are known as the Garment of the Balancing Forces (Meil Hatzedaka). According to the Midrash, snake skin was used. However, other opinions are that clothes were made from the skin of the rainbow colored unicorn that H-Shem made for the coverings of the Tabernacle. These garments were highly treasured and preserved for future generations.

The beautiful garments were engraved with Divine Names, designs of animals, mystical symbols, and invocations. They were imbued with the fragrance from the Garden of Eden and whoever wore them had special powers:

  • the power to subdue the beasts
  • the power to alter the ordinary

The attributes of the deer (passion & zealousness) were also embedded in the garment.

There are at least two interpretations as to what happened to the garment. It is believed that Adam and Eve gave the garment to Seth, who then passed it down to Noah, who then to it into the Ark. One theory holds that it was passed down to Abraham, who wore it when he took Isaac to Mt. Moriah. It was then handed down in the following order: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Yaakov, Yosef, Moses (Moshe Rabeinu), Joshua, Elijah, Elisha.

“Because the Garment carried the specific attribute of mediating the elements of Creation, it is logical that it would be infused with the aromatic essence of the Garden, because Air is the mediating Element. Since the Aroma of an object expresses its essence, the Aromatic Garment emanates the very essence of the Garden of Eden, the primal essence of Creation itself, and it reflects the Mind of the Holy Blessed One at the time of Creation.”

Another theory is that Noah gave it to Ham (his wicked son), who gave it to the wicked King Nimrod; and that Esav killed king Nimrod in order to get the garment. Nimrod then gave it to his Mom, Rebecca (Rivka), who then used it to disguise Yaakov for him to get Isaac’s Blessing. Yaakov then gave it to Yosef (the coat of many colors).

This is believed to be the same garment that :

  • Yosef’s brothers dipped some of this garment in blood to give to their dad as an implication that Yosef had been attacked by wild beasts.
  • Potifar’s wife grabbed it when she tried to seduce him
  • was worn by Elijah the Prophet
  • was passed down from prophet to prophet until it was hidden by the Prophet Jeremiah inside the Ark of the Covenant just before Solomon’s Temple was destroyed and is safely hidden there to this day.
The Cave of the Patriarchs

After Adam & Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam was allowed to return to the Garden to gather up heavenly spices. These spices are gifts that we all need for healing at every level in order to regain our holiness to be able to ultimately return to the Garden of Eden in perfect health and with peace of mind.

Adam found a special cave that he chose as the burial place for Eve. He was able to discern this special place by a Great Light and a Heavenly Fragrance which was emanating from within. It is believed that this special cave is one of the entrances to the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden).

Abraham, who was the first person to rediscover it since Adam, also recognized the same cave by its fragrance and buried Sarah there. According to the Zohar, Isaac also recognized the fragrance of this cave. It says that Isaac saw “two caves that were one” and he saw the Divine Presence (Shechina) there.

“When he began to dig, a heavenly voice proclaimed to him that the first man and his wife were buried there. He then saw them sleeping on two beds, with candles burning over their heads.”

This cave is known to this day as Me’erat HaMachpela (‘the double cave’). Its scent is believed to be the same aroma as that of the Temple Incense and it is believed to be the place where heaven and earth meet.

"The cave illustrates the paradox between that which is holy and sacred compared to that which is coarse and earthly"

Personal note: To me, there is a correlation between the above paradox and the ceremony of Havdala. (See previous post in this series).

The next blogpost in this series will continue with the information found in Chapter 2 – Fragrant Stories of the Bible: The Story of Noah

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