The name of the first man created and the name of his descendants who make up the human race is the same: Adam. Adam is the name of humanity when humanity reaches the highest possible planes at the pinnacle of existence. Technically, in the Torah the term Adam may refer to certain exclusive types of people, but generally the term Adam can be applied to humanity as a whole. Because of his perfection, Adam is sometimes called the "son of HaShem", which leads many Christians to compare him to their savior's corporeal existence, even though such a comparison is not justified. Even though Adam is a phrase commonly used by the Torah to describe people, there are other terms also which describe people and each term has its own connotations.
The opening words of Chronicles not only echo three generations of world humanity, but they are also an allusion to the three levels of human being. Each word in this verse can be used to refer to humanity as a whole. The creation of these three types of people is hinted to in Genesis 1:27, which uses variations of the word for creation three times. Rabbi Moshe Eisemann (of
The Talmud records an Amoraic and Tannaic disagreement as to whether the Shekhina, the Holy Presence of HaShem, rested specifically in the west or this spirit could be found in all directions. A marginal note to Tosafos records an explanation in the name of Rabbi Yitzchok bar Yehuda of Magentza/Mainz (a teacher and relative of Rashi). He explains that when Adam was created, in his final form, he was facing eastward. This side-note asks according to Rabbeinu Yitzchok bar Yehuda, it is unlikely that Adam would have been created with his back facing toward his Creator (according to the opinion that HaShem rests in the west), and therefore, the editor of the Gilyon disagrees with this premise. Nonetheless, Rabbi Yechiel ben Shlomo Halperin of
Many explain that Adam was called so because the word Adam comes from Adamah which means "ground" and Adam was created from the earth. However, this cannot be true because all the animals were also created from the earth, so the animals should also have been given the title Adam and the title is not so special because it could easily apply to all animals. It is clear from the Scriptural usages of the word Adam that Adam never refers to animals, only the first man and his descendants are called Adam. The Maharal, Rabbi Yehuda ben Betzalel Loew of
A unique title is conferred by G-d specifically upon Ezekiel, and upon no other prophet. Through the book of Ezekiel, G-d refers to the prophet Yechezkel as the "son of Adam." In addition, He refers to the Jewish Nation as "Adam", for example, He says, "You [plural tense] are Adam" and "The entire house of
The author of the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, rules that the corpse of a gentile does not ritually contaminate. The Talmud explains that the Torah writes, "When an Adam dies in a tent", and the term Adam only applies to Jews, not to gentiles. This latter assertion is based on the words of the prophet Ezekiel who said, "'Now you are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are Adam, and I am your G-d'—the word of HaShem, the G-d." In this verse, HaShem says that only His flock, the Jewish Nation, deserve the title "Adam". However, this is not an axiom accepted by all because Tosafos points out that Rabbi Meir dissents and feels that the term can appropriately be applied to gentiles. Rabbeinu Yaakov Ish Tam (a 12th century Tosafist) explains that only when the term Adam is used without any modifying definite articles does it refer specifically to Jews, but when the term is used with such articles (e.g. "the Adam"), then it can refer to even gentiles as the Talmud itself understands. The Talmud understood that even a gentile who learns the portions of the Torah relevant to him could receive the same reward as a Kohen Gadol (High Priest). Rabbeinu Meshullam ben Nosson of Melun (a contemporary of Rabbeinu Tam) explained that only concerning punishments does the Talmudic dictum that only Jews are called Adam applies. This is because HaShem uses the euphemism of Adam when referring to punishments for His nation instead of actually referring to His nation explicitly. However, concerning other matters, all of humanity (both Jews and non-Jews alike) can be called "Children of Adam", because in such contexts the term means "descendants of Adam" which can apply to everyone.
In his marginal glosses to Yevamos 61a, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chayos (1805-1855) explains that the intent of the Talmud was not to exclude the gentile nations from being under the general category of the human race. Rather the Talmud was saying that when the Written Torah refers to Adam, it is another name of referring to the Nation of Israel. Similarly, in other books of religious ethics and manners, when the book writes that "people are obligated to do such-and-such" or "people are not allowed to do such-and-such", it does not refer to all people, rather it only refers to adherents of those specific religions or philosophies. So too, when the Torah refers to "people" without specification, it refers to the Israelite nation. Nonetheless, others argue on the Maharitz Chayes' understanding of this discussion, and they adopt a seemingly "racist" view of why the Torah only refers to Israelites as man. The Maharal explains that the difference between a Jew and a gentile is as great as the difference between a person and an animal; they are in different categories.
Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1990) explains why only Jews are called Adam. He says that HaShem created Adam with one responsibility, namely, to worship Himself wholly. Nevertheless, after Adam sinned, he was no longer suitable for this mission, and so this role shifted from being his role to his descendant's role. However, not all of Adam's descendants are included in this obligation. Only a specific nation, which HaShem has specially selected for recognizing His sovereignty, is charged with the mission of spreading awareness of His existence throughout the world. That nation descends from Abraham, who was the first to recognize HaShem on his own. Moses, at his deathbed told the Jewish Nation, "HaShem only sought to desire your forefather, and He chose their offspring after them, from all the [other] nations." It was for this purpose that the Jewish Nation was chosen above all the other nations, to fulfill this mission. Just as the Messiah will be anointed with the special role of uniting Jewry and bringing world peace, so too the Jewish nation was appointed to serve as a continuation of the role of Adam by accepting HaShem as their King. In the moments preceding the infamous sin of the Forbidden Fruit, the Serpent (Nachash, commonly translated as "snake") seduced the only living female woman and engaged in relations with her. At that moment, the snake injected a spiritual impurity into Eve, which continued to be present in all future humans. However, when the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai after their exodus from
Rabbi Shlomo (Gustav Karl Friedrich) Wolbe (1914- 2005) explains what it means to "be a man." He writes that a man recognizes his places in the world. Great men recognize their role and understand that there are those who are superior to themselves and there are those inferior to themselves. Evil men, on the other hand, become haughty, and many instances become bent on world domination. This can explain why Rabbi Yochanan said that Adam is an acronym for ash, blood, and bile in the middle of a Talmudic discussion about haughtiness and superficial pride. When a human realizes who insignificant he truly is, he will see that he is only a conglomeration of blood, ashes, and bile. According to this understanding, one can even understand that Adam refers to the Adamah (ground), and that the fact that humans are made from the ground and destined to be buried there serves to remind man about his role in the great scheme of existence and especially in comparison to the greatness of man's creation. A man, by nature, is a damager, whether intentional or inadvertent. A man must also rely on others, therefore only a married man is a true man, and so the Rabbis introduced a blessing detailing the creation of man to be said at every Jewish wedding. Since a man needs to rely on others, he needs land upon which to stand, so the Talmud also said that a man who does not own real property is not called a man because the Torah says, "And the land was given to the sons of Adam." Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman (1875-1941) writes that the degree of one's manhood is measured by his amount of fear of heaven, as King Solomon wrote, "In the end, [after] all is heard, fearing HaShem and observing His commandments is all [there is to the definition of] man."
During the years 1911 through 1913, anti-Semitism was at a high in
In contrast to the term Adam, the term Enosh and its parallel plural form refer specifically to male men, not to females. Although the term Enosh embodies a lower form of man, the pluralized form of Enosh, Anoshim ("men") is sometimes a higher form of man. Rashi explains that every instance of the phrase Anoshim refers to important righteous people. He explains that the spies were important and righteous people—even Zimri ben Salu of the tribe of Shimon—before their sins, they were leaders of their respective tribes. The same is found regarding those Tzaddikim who made up Pinchas and Elazar's army. This terminology is also used by Chanah in her supplication to G-d that she should bear Anoshim equal in stature to Moses and Aharon. Even later in Jewish history, the Men of the Great Assembly, who succeeded the prophets during the period of the
The term Ish and its female parallel, Isha, mean "man" and "woman", respectively, but they can also mean "husband" and "wife". The Talmud understood that the term Ish could refer to a few people or entities. In once instance, the Talmud proves from various Scriptural verses that Ish refers to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The Scripture refers to Moses as both an Ish and an Adam in the self-same verse. Moses' protégé, Joshua is also described as an Ish whom the spirit of HaShem had entered. Furthermore, the Talmud understands the phrase Ish to refer to the angel Gabriel. The Talmud also understands that Ish can sometimes refer to HaShem Himself. Save for the last two examples, all peoples who have been described as an Ish have been married, and in the verse where Moses was described as an Adam, he was in the midst of being criticized by his older sister, Miriam, for separating from his wife. Therefore, the terms Ish and Isha must have some connection to the relationship between man and wife. The Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchok ben Shlomo Ashkenazi Luria, 1534-1572) explains the origins of the words Ish and Isha. Talmud famously says that there are three partners in the creation of any person. There is the mother, father, and HaShem. This is hinted to in the words for man/husband and woman/wife. Man is Ish and woman is Isha. They come from the same root word, Aish, meaning "fire". This fact teaches that if ones removes the yud from Ish and the hey from Isha, then the relationship between a man and woman is as dangerous as fire. This is because only if a man and woman are united with the name of HaShem, both the yud and the hey, are they actually considered a man and woman; otherwise they are just a fire, that is, a disaster waiting to happen.
The Talmud writes that in each of the twelve hours of the day that Adam was created, something significant occurred. In the first hour, HaShem gathered dirt from all over the world to create Adam. His head was made from the dirt of the
By eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam "opened" the "Pandora's box." According to Christian theology, this sin had implications for the entire history of the world; they understand that because of this sin, the "Original Sin", all of humanity was damned and people therefore have to work their entire lives to achieve salvation from this damnation. Christianity believes that by default people are bad and must work to achieve forgiveness to enter heaven—they believe the only way to achieve forgiveness is for one to believe in their messiah who will save them. In Jewish thought, this original sin has no bearing on the conscious of future people and all people are essentially born with a clean slate. Perhaps, that impurity which the Serpent injected into Eve is the case for the gentiles' feeling guilt over this sin, while the Jews have long since had this impurity removed. The Christians view Jesus as the continuation and fulfillment of the full potential Adamic, and that Adam represents the corporeal being of the spirit of the Christian man-god. While there is reason to connect Adam to the Messiah, there is no justification in correlating Adam's being to the Christian messiah. According to Kabbalah, the root of the soul of the Moshiach (Messiah) can be found in Adam. Indeed, King David, who is often refer to in Jewish literature and liturgy as the "anointed one of HaShem" is reincarnation of Adam. Adam was supposed to live forever, however, after his sin; the concept of death was introduced into the world; nonetheless, Adam was still destined to live for one millennium. However, in actuality, Adam only lived nine hundred and thirty years—seventy years less of his allotted one thousand years. This teaches that Adam gave up seventy years of his life to be given to the future King David. Rabbi Yishayah Horowitz (1565-1630) writes that the Hebrew word Adam is an acronym for three men: Adam, David, and Moshiach.
Rabbi Chaim Ibn Attar (1696-1743) explains the supernatural effect that Adam's sin had on the world. As part of Adam's punishment, all physical pleasures, which feel "good", have some bad mixed into them. This explains why wheat's kernels, used to make many staple foods, are naturally mixed with the stalk's chaff. Even though not all good has its bad mixed in so visibly like wheat, the hidden evils within physicals pleasures are still very dangerous. Some fleeting physical pleasures cause an evil to be rooted inside a person, which creates an unnatural addiction to that particular pleasure. This is true about smoking, alcohol, financial profit, and other worldly pursuits. If a person has one hundred coins, he desires two hundred. The physical good itself creates an evil addiction, which can ultimately destroy a person. The Talmud says that there is a small limb in a person—one's sense of pursuit of physical fulfillment—which if fed grows hungry, and if starved is satisfied. Adam understood this underlying principle, and so he wrote that Shabbos is a day, which is wholly good, with no evil mixed into the pleasures of Shabbos.
In the infamous "Original Sin", Adam was convinced by his wife, Chava, to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, from which G-d had warned them not to eat. By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam brought upon the world an entire slew of supernatural changes. Included in these changes was the new intellect and knowledge to which humans were now exposed. Regarding the exact species of the Forbidden Fruit, the Talmud records a Beraisa expressing the four different views of four different Tannaim. Nonetheless, it was surely not an apple like is popularly believed. Rabbi Meir understood that the forbidden fruit was a grape because wine is the one food that brings trouble upon people, like when Noah drank wine, and was subsequently castrated in his drunken stupor by his son. Rabbi Yehuda maintained that the fruit was wheat because just as a child does not recognize his parents until he is at the age that he can eat what and wheat-related products, so too Adam had to have eaten wheat in order to sin. Rabbi Nechemiah asserted that the fruit with which Adam sinned was a fig. He reasons that after sinning with the Tree of Knowledge, Adam realized that he was naked, and so he affixed a fig leaf onto himself to cover his shame. That which brought about the ruination of humanity is what Adam used to clothe himself. Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1328) explains that this is the reason why wood from fig trees was commonly used in the fire on the altar in the
 Nachmanides to Genesis 6:4
 See "Original Sin: A Disputation" by Edward T. Oakes (First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, November 1998)
 Chronicles 1 1:1
 See also Pekudecha Darashti by Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi ben Moshe Handelsman
 See his Artscroll commentary to Divrei HaYamim, Section Two, Chapter 1, and his Overview to Yechezkel, Section IV.
 E.g. Isaiah 51:12
 E.g. Job 14:19
 E.g. Psalms 104:15
 Sefer HaShorashim
 Maimonides, Laws of Idolatry 1:1
 Nachmanides to Genesis 6:4
 Genesis Rabbah 23:8
 Genesis 5:3
 Midrash Shocher Tov (on Tehillim) 9:17
 Avos D'Rabbi Nosson 2:5
 Bava Basra 25a
 This dispute does not have anything to do with whether or not Panentheism has a place within the theology of Judaism because the Rabbis do not disagree about where G-d Himself can be found, they only argue about where His Holy Presence may be found.
 Seder HaDoros, s.v. Adam
 Rabbeinu Bachaya to Deuteronomy 3:27
 Psalms 139:5
 The Arizal, Rabbi Yitzchack Luria (1534-1572), also explains this Midrash according Lurianic Kabbalah. See Eitz Chaim, Gate 43, Chapter 1
 Genesis 1:24
 Tiferes Yisrael §3
 Sanhedrin 31a
 See Maharsha there who also discusses the concept on singularity concerning Adam and the creation of man.
 See Rabbi S.R. Hirsch's commentary to Genesis 1:26
 Ezekiel 34:31
 Ezekiel 36:10
 Torath HaAdam
 To Genesis 1:1
 Sanhedrin 37a
 Song of Songs Rabbah 2:2
 Parshas Yisro, pg. 72. Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin explains (Nefesh HaChaim, Gate 1, Chapter 5) that this refers to the breath of HaShem, which was blown into Adam following his formation, prior to his animation.
 Bava Metzia 114b
 Numbers 19:14
 To Yevamos 61a
 Kerisos 6b
 This is evident from the fact that he uses a logical sequence of saying that only those who are not warned not to smear the oil of anointing are liable for having the oil illegally smeared upon them, which means a gentile is not liable for having the oil smeared upon him. The other Tannaim understand this law because the Torah says (Exodus 30:32) that it cannot be smeared upon an Adam, which excludes gentiles from this prohibition. Since Rabbi Meir did not use this latter reasoning, he must have felt that a gentile could be considered an Adam.
 Bava Kamma 38a, Avodah Zarah 3a, Sanhedrin 59a
 Examples of this include tzara'as and the curses at
 See Nachmanides and Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderes (1235-1310) to Yevamos 61a who discuss various Scriptural verses and Talmudic passages, which seem to imply that the Adam applies to gentiles. They also discuss whether we legally rule like Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai in practical Halacha. See Tosafos Yom Tov by Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann-Heller HaLevi (1579-1654) To Negaim 12:1. Tosafos to Bava Kamma 38a and to Nazir 34a write that the terminology had different meanings before and after the revelation at
 Netzach Yisroel, Chapter 14
 Ohr HaRa'ayon, Chapters 1,21, and 23
 Deuteronomy 10:15
 Yevamos 103b. Torah has the power to purify that, which is impure, so it removed the zoohama from the Jewish people at
 Alei Shur, Volume 2, 1:1
 See Chullin 89a
 Sotah 5a
 Bava Kamma 3b
 Yevamos 63a
 Kesubos 8a
 Yevamos 63a
 Psalms 115:16
 Kovetz Mamaarim
 Ecclesiastes 12:13
 Shavuos 39a
 Or Inish, in Aramaic
 Or Gavra, in Aramaic
 Author of the Ketzos HaChoshen, Avnei Milluim, and Shuv Shmaytsa
 In Apiryon
 See the words of his ancestor, Tosfos Yom Tov to Negaim 12:1. The Torah says (Leviticus 13:2) Adam in regarding to tzara'as. See also the words of Rabbi Chaim ben Moshe Ibn Attar (1696-1743) in Ohr HaChaim to Leviticus 13:2.
 According to some, this is the source that women cannot be Rabbis. When Moses considered appointing judges (i.e. rabbis), he wanted to appoint Anoshim (Deuteronomy 1:13), which specifically means men, not women who are Nashim.
 To Numbers 13:3
 See Numbers 31:3
 Brachos 31b
 See Avos 1:1
 See Exodus 2:13, Exodus 4:19, Exodus 16:20, and Numbers 16:26 and Rashi ad loc.
 See Avos 2:6, which says, "In a place where there are no Anoshim, aspire to become an Ish."
 These terms are distinct from Adam in usage and context, so Dick Fischer's hypothesis that the terms have different meaning is therefore semi-correct. The words technically mean the same, but have different connotations.
 Despite what some progressive scholars make up, the Hebrew word Isha translated into Aramaic is Itsa. Therefore, one cannot claim that Halachos about women only apply to Isha (pl. Nashim) but not Itsa, because they mean the same thing. Even Marcus Jastrow (1829-1903) in his "Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature" translates Itsa as "woman" or "wife" and refers the researcher to his entry on Isha. See also Rashbam to Bava Basra 113a.
 Sanhedrin 50a
 I.e. Numbers 12:3
 See Yoma 76a and Brachos 54b
 See Numbers 27:18. The same description also applied to Joseph in Genesis 41:38
 Brachos 4b, Jerusalemic Rosh HaShannah 1:2
 Sanhedrin 93a, Sotah 48a, Sotah 42b
 Niddah 31a
 Furthermore, the numerical value of b'ahavah, "in love," is 15 which is also the numerical value of the name of HaShem spelled yud-hey.
 Sanhedrin 38b
 Yevamos 63a
 And of course Messiah and Moshiach mean "anointed one"
 See Nefesh HaChaim, Gate 1, Chapter 20
 See Genesis Rabbah to Genesis 5:5
 Shnei Luchos HaBris (Shelah) to Parshas Miketz
 Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:34
 Sukkah 52b,
 See Psalms 92:1-2
 Brachos 40a
 According to the Talmudic definition of "fruit" (ibid.), wheat can be considered a fruit because it re-grows every harvesting season only if it is replanted.
 Genesis 3:7
 Pirush HaRosh to Tamid 28a (and Rashi to Zevachim 58a)
 Tamid 28a