Genesis in the First Chapter (1:26) tells us that G^d said “Let Us make Man.”
How can a G^d Who “is” One work as a team? Is this not confusing people into polytheism?
Well, have you ever heard of someone who doesn’t believe in monotheism because the Torah employs the plural here?
But we know that G^d too keeps the Commandments. It says (in Leviticus 19:14), You shall not place a stumbling block in front of the blind.
The Rabbis, however, are not apologetic. It says at the end of Hosea, For the ways of G^d are straight; the righteous walk in them, and sinners stumble over them.
Rather, the Commentators suggest about this seemingly Royal plural that G^d was including the Angels. He was teaching us that as bosses, we should also consult the people working under us.
Nice, but I have another, more simple idea.
G^d first created the inanimate (water, light, darkness, dry land, outer space) and the plant world in all its variety. Then He created the animal world in all its variety. Now He wants to create a ruler over this all, to subdue and rule over it (Genesis 1:26, 1:28).
The correct thing to do is to ask the subjects: Shall we make (us) a king? I was thinking about making him “resembling and looking like [all of] us [together]” (Genesis 1:26). That means: he will have inanimate parts, plantlike aspects, animal functions and a Divine component.
And if you’d object: But the Earth, Plants, Animals don’t talk, I would answer: This comes to teach us that we also should talk to people in our care who can’t talk or help.
I once needed to put a night splint on a patient’s arm. He told me: We need to put on the splint. I said friendly: We? What are you going to do for it? He said: I put my arm at your disposal. I thanked him for the insight.
And when we put a sweater on a small child, we can roll up the sleeve and put it in front of her hand that she can put it through the sleeve – she’s not a doll to dress.
When we change diapers, we should do it together with the child. Now we’re going to open your diaper; now we’re going to roll it up; etc. A baby is different from a potato that we’re peeling.
Though maybe we should also talk to the potato, to show our respect.
Why at 10 people does Abraham stop pleading against G^d destroying Sodom? He goes down from 50 to 45, then to 40, 30, 20 and lastly to 10 (Genesis 18:23-33). Five would not be worthy of pleading for?
My answer is simple. Abraham doesn’t try to save the righteous. He tries to save the wicked, on behalf of the righteous!
Now, 10 is the minimum of a community and if there was a community of righteous, the wicked could be ignored because of their holiness. That doesn’t work with less than 10.
He didn’t have to ask mercy for the few righteous; Their own merit can save them.
Shabbat shalom and Chag Shavuot sameiach!