Orthodox Judaism/Enoch


In Genesis 4 I have been studying Enoch and Enosh.   In verse 26 it says that"At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD."   Can you give any insight as to whether Enoch was bad and Enosh was good?  I thought that calling on the name of the LORD was good but I heard a Rabbi say that it was the beginning of idolatry.  Why did Moses single out Enoch and Enosh and is calling on the name of the LORD good?

Thank you for your kind question. Enoch and Enosh represent the first generation born outside the garden. Once expelled, they did not have face to face (so to speak) contact with G-d. As such, they (and each subsequent generation) would have to search for and call out to G-d, rather than being in His presence every moment of every day. Liken it to being in the kitchen with your wife; You need not scream out "honey!" To get her attention, she's right there with you. Whereas if you're in the living room and she's in the kitchen you might have to holler to get her attention. Even Moses, of blessed memory, did not enjoy this 24/7/365 closeness with G-d, although he did speak with Him face to face. We will enjoy the close relationship once again in the World to Come.

The generations after Gan Eden did become idolatrous and a whole lot of other bad stuff too. Once again, I doubt you would enter into an adulterous affair or refuse to wash the dishes with her in the kitchen with you. Man was simply not prone to this type behavior in the Garden. There is really not enough about either men in the Bible to say definitively of their righteousness other than their names (Enoch means 'dedicated' and Enoch means 'mortal' and the fact that the latter "walked with G-d and was not" while the former is known from a Midrash to be an observer of the Sabbath.

Hope this helps. Shalom!

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Ovadiah ben Avraham


Willing to answer and research general Halakhah questions in any field, including medical ethics. No synagogue or ritual type questions except by non-Jews looking for a brief summary.


Yeshiva and self-study

Jewish Spiritual Humanism

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