Monday, August 14, 2006

Forbidden Fruit and Names of Man

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"[1], which leads many Christians to compare him to their savior's corporeal existence[2], 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[3] 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[4]. Rabbi Moshe Eisemann (of Yeshiva Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Baltimore, MD, and Yeshiva Kishiniev in Moldova) explains that the word Enosh describes man at man's lowest state of being[5]. Many times in the Torah, the word Enosh is used to describe humanity in a state of degradation[6], lost hope[7], and in pursuance of epicurean physical fulfillments[8]. Noted Hebrew linguist and grammarian, Rabbi Dovid ben Yosef Kimchi (1160-1235) writes[9] that the root of the word Enosh means weak and sickly. This accurately describes the state of humanity when the term Enosh is used, for it is said that during the time of Enosh (a third generation human), idol worship began to develop in the world[10], which brought about weakness to humankind[11], and even caused the faces of people to look like apes[12]. Seth (known as Shes in Hebrew) was born "similar to and in the image of" his father, Adam[13]. The perfections exhibited in Adam himself were passed onto his son, Seth. In fact, the Midrash[14] and Mishnah[15] say that when Seth was born, he was already circumcised. Nonetheless, he was not an exact carbon copy of his father Adam, because the level of the generations decline as history progresses; every copy loses a little bit of the original. Adam was created by HaShem Himself, to be a physical manifestation of the characteristics found before him in the angels who served Him. Adam contained none of the imperfections that are so prevalent in people born of human parents because Adam was the progenitor of humankind, and therefore had no parents.

The Talmud records[16] 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[17]. 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 Minsk writes[18] that when Adam was created, his face turned toward the east. Rabbeinu Bechaye ben Asher (d. 1340) cites[19] a Midrash which explicitly says, "Adam was formed from east to west. His face was in the east, and is back was to the west. [This is] like it says, 'I was formed back and east'.[20]" Rabbeinu Bechaye then proceeds to explain the Kabbalistic implications of this Midrash[21]. This Midrash is not to be found anywhere, and a footnote to the Mossad HaRav Kook edition of Rabbeinu Bachaya attests to the fact that this Midrash is no longer extent. It is a pity that such important Midrashim have been lost.

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[22], 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 Prague (1525-1609), explains[23] why Adam's name is associated with the ground. HaShem named the first man "Adam" in order to remind him that just as the ground is worthless yet has great potential and everything is in essence from the ground, so too a person is physically worthless (he is only made of dust and ashes), but has infinite potential for growth and development. It is for this reason that HaShem originally created Man as a singular entity as opposed to a couple (like the other animals that HaShem created a male form and a female form from the start); this singularity of humanity shows that each person has an infinite potential. Because of this infinite potential the Mishnah rules[24] that if one destroys a single Jewish soul, one has destroyed an entire world, while one who saves one Jewish soul has sustained the whole world[25]. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) offers another explanation[26] as to why the first man was called "Adam"; the word Adam comes from the word Hadam that means "footstool". Adam was supposed to reach such high spiritual planes that he was destined to sit at the footstool of G-d Himself, as His deputy. However, since Adam sinned, he was not able to attain such a high stature in the cosmic hierarchy.

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[27]" and "The entire house of Israel is Adam.[28]" That which HaShem expected of the first Adam became the standard in judging how well people have fulfilled their role. Adam was perfect and was supposed to continue on that path. However, he failed in his mission by eating from the Forbidden Fruit, so he was evicted from the Garden of Eden. Nonetheless, the Israelites carried on his mission, as did their forefathers, Noach, and other select individuals who continued the legacy of Adam. In explaining this concept, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (1934-1983) quoted[29] the famous Rashi[30] that writes that the entire world was created for the Torah and for Israel. Just as the world was created precisely for Adam[31], the world was created specifically for the nation of Israel[32]. Israel is the subject of many admonitions from Ezekiel because of the constant sinning in pre-Babylonian exile Jewry. This sinning is Israel straying from the path originally set aside for Adam. During the times of Ezekiel, only Ezekiel was the Torah True Jew who clung to the ways of the Torah; therefore, he deserved the title "son of Adam" because only he continued the Adamic tradition then. This deep connection between Ezekiel and his spiritual predecessor is exemplified in the Zohar, which teaches[33] that Kabbalistically the creation of Adam included two of the most important events in world history: the creation of the world and the vision of the chariot when Ezekiel saw a glimpse of the Heavenly happenings.

The author of the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, rules[34] that the corpse of a gentile does not ritually contaminate. The Talmud explains that the Torah writes, "When an Adam dies in a tent"[35], 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[36] that Rabbi Meir[37] dissents and feels that the term can appropriately be applied to gentiles[38]. 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[39]. The Talmud understood[40] 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[41]. 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[42].

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[43] 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[44] 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.[45]" 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 Egypt, that impurity was removed from them; the gentiles, who never stood present at Mount Sinai, never had their impurity from then removed from them[46]. Since the Jewish people "reversed" the effects of Original Sin on themselves, it is only appropriate that they be the ones who continue the Adamic mission that Adam could not fulfill because of said sin.

Rabbi Shlomo (Gustav Karl Friedrich) Wolbe (1914- 2005) explains[47] 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[48]. This can explain why Rabbi Yochanan said[49] 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[50]. A man must also rely on others, therefore only a married man is a true man,[51] and so the Rabbis introduced a blessing detailing the creation of man to be said at every Jewish wedding[52]. Since a man needs to rely on others, he needs land upon which to stand, so the Talmud also said[53] 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.[54]" Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman (1875-1941) writes[55] 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.[56]"

During the years 1911 through 1913, anti-Semitism was at a high in Kiev, Ukraine during the Menachem Mendel Beilis trial. In this trial, a Jew was accused of ritual murder, which incited claims all over Russia that the Torah had a low opinion of non-Jews because they are not called Adam as Jews are. In response to this claim Rabbi Meir Shapiro (1887-1933, the Rosh Yeshiva of Chochmas Lublin, originator of Daf Yomi, and member of the Polish parliament) authored a famous letter. In his letter, he explained why the Talmud said that only Jews are called Adam. Grammatically, Adam is a unique word in the Hebrew language because it is both the male and female form and is both plural and singular in tense. Every other word is either male or female and singular or plural. The Talmud says[57] that all Jews are responsible for each other; they are like "guarantors" on each other's observance of the Torah. Jews are all one unit, therefore, the term Adam can apply to them, because there is no male, female, plural, or singular. Non-Jews, on the other hand, are not collectively united and therefore can only be described with words like Enosh[58] or Gever[59], which have both male and female forms, and plural and singular forms. Rabbi Aryeh Leib HaKohen-Heller (1745--1813)[60] writes[61] that this is the reason why non-Jews do not have the impurity of tzara'as because they are not united and therefore slandering one another is expected and is not liable for punishment as it is within the Jewish Nation[62].

In contrast to the term Adam, the term Enosh and its parallel plural form refer specifically to male men, not to females[63]. 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[64] 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[65]. 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[66]. Even later in Jewish history, the Men of the Great Assembly, who succeeded the prophets during the period of the Second Holy Temple, were called the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, with the word Anshe ("men of") referring to the Rabbis on the Sanhedrin[67]. However, Rashi's comment obviously does not literally mean that every instance in the Torah where it says Anoshim is a reference to good people because in many places the Torah, refers to Dathan and Abiram, who vilified HaShem the Torah, and Moses, as Anoshim[68]. Rather one must explain that Anoshim is not the plural form of the word Enosh as was previously assumed, rather Anoshim is the plural of the word Ish[69]. Alternatively, one can say that Rashi meant that every instance of a seemingly superfluous addition of Anoshim in the text of the Torah refers to righteous men.

The term Ish and its female parallel, Isha[70], mean "man" and "woman", respectively, but they can also mean "husband" and "wife"[71]. The Talmud understood that the term Ish could refer to a few people or entities. In once instance, the Talmud[72] 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[73]. Moses' protégé, Joshua is also described as an Ish[74] whom the spirit of HaShem had entered[75]. Furthermore, the Talmud understands the phrase Ish to refer to the angel Gabriel[76]. The Talmud also understands[77] 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[78] 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[79].

The Talmud writes[80] 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 Land of Israel, his body from Babylon, and his other limbs from various other parts of the world. In the second hour, Adam took on the form of a golem when the dirt was kneaded into a shapeless hunk. In the third hour, HaShem formed the limbs, which made up Adam. In the fourth hour, He put a soul (Neshama) into Adam. In the next hour, Adam was finally able to stand on his own. Halfway through the day, in the sixth hour, Adam named the all animals. Presumably, it was during this time that Adam had relations with all the animals of the world and was not satisfied until he met his future Chavah[81], in the seventh hour. In the eighth hour, the two went to bed together and when they came down from their bed, there were four humans: Odom, Chava, Kayin, and Kayin's twin sister (whom he later married). In the ninth hour, the Adamic family was commanded not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge or from the Tree of Life. One hour later, the Serpent convinced Eve, who convinced her husband, to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. In the eleventh hour, they were judged, and in the twelfth hour, they were banished from the Garden of Eden.

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"[82] is reincarnation of Adam.[83] 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[84]. Rabbi Yishayah Horowitz (1565-1630) writes[85] 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[86]. The physical good itself creates an evil addiction, which can ultimately destroy a person. The Talmud says[87] 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[88] 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[89] 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[90] 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[91]. That which brought about the ruination of humanity is what Adam used to clothe himself. Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1328) explains[92] that this is the reason why wood from fig trees was commonly used in the fire on the altar in the Holy Temple, as the Mishnah says[93]. The fig is the fruit that fixed the errors of the Original Sin; while, the sacrificial offerings burnt on the Altar offered atonement for the sins of Israel throughout history. May it be the will of HaShem that the Holy Temple shall be rebuilt speedily and in our days: Amen.



[1] Nachmanides to Genesis 6:4

[2] See "Original Sin: A Disputation" by Edward T. Oakes (First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, November 1998)

[3] Chronicles 1 1:1

[4] See also Pekudecha Darashti by Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi ben Moshe Handelsman

[5] See his Artscroll commentary to Divrei HaYamim, Section Two, Chapter 1, and his Overview to Yechezkel, Section IV.

[6] E.g. Isaiah 51:12

[7] E.g. Job 14:19

[8] E.g. Psalms 104:15

[9] Sefer HaShorashim

[10] Maimonides, Laws of Idolatry 1:1

[11] Nachmanides to Genesis 6:4

[12] Genesis Rabbah 23:8

[13] Genesis 5:3

[14] Midrash Shocher Tov (on Tehillim) 9:17

[15] Avos D'Rabbi Nosson 2:5

[16] Bava Basra 25a

[17] 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.

[18] Seder HaDoros, s.v. Adam

[19] Rabbeinu Bachaya to Deuteronomy 3:27

[20] Psalms 139:5

[21] The Arizal, Rabbi Yitzchack Luria (1534-1572), also explains this Midrash according Lurianic Kabbalah. See Eitz Chaim, Gate 43, Chapter 1

[22] Genesis 1:24

[23] Tiferes Yisrael §3

[24] Sanhedrin 31a

[25] See Maharsha there who also discusses the concept on singularity concerning Adam and the creation of man.

[26] See Rabbi S.R. Hirsch's commentary to Genesis 1:26

[27] Ezekiel 34:31

[28] Ezekiel 36:10

[29] Torath HaAdam

[30] To Genesis 1:1

[31] Sanhedrin 37a

[32] Song of Songs Rabbah 2:2

[33] 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.

[34] Bava Metzia 114b

[35] Numbers 19:14

[36] To Yevamos 61a

[37] Kerisos 6b

[38] 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.

[39] Bava Kamma 38a, Avodah Zarah 3a, Sanhedrin 59a

[40] Ibid.

[41] Examples of this include tzara'as and the curses at Mount Eival (Tosafos HaRosh to Yevamos 61a and Shittah Mekubetzes to Bava Kamma 38a).

[42] 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 Mount Sinai.

[43] Netzach Yisroel, Chapter 14

[44] Ohr HaRa'ayon, Chapters 1,21, and 23

[45] Deuteronomy 10:15

[46] Yevamos 103b. Torah has the power to purify that, which is impure, so it removed the zoohama from the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

[47] Alei Shur, Volume 2, 1:1

[48] See Chullin 89a

[49] Sotah 5a

[50] Bava Kamma 3b

[51] Yevamos 63a

[52] Kesubos 8a

[53] Yevamos 63a

[54] Psalms 115:16

[55] Kovetz Mamaarim

[56] Ecclesiastes 12:13

[57] Shavuos 39a

[58] Or Inish, in Aramaic

[59] Or Gavra, in Aramaic

[60] Author of the Ketzos HaChoshen, Avnei Milluim, and Shuv Shmaytsa

[61] In Apiryon

[62] 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.

[63] 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.

[64] To Numbers 13:3

[65] See Numbers 31:3

[66] Brachos 31b

[67] See Avos 1:1

[68] See Exodus 2:13, Exodus 4:19, Exodus 16:20, and Numbers 16:26 and Rashi ad loc.

[69] See Avos 2:6, which says, "In a place where there are no Anoshim, aspire to become an Ish."

[70] 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.

[71] 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.

[72] Sanhedrin 50a

[73] I.e. Numbers 12:3

[74] See Yoma 76a and Brachos 54b

[75] See Numbers 27:18. The same description also applied to Joseph in Genesis 41:38

[76] Brachos 4b, Jerusalemic Rosh HaShannah 1:2

[77] Sanhedrin 93a, Sotah 48a, Sotah 42b

[78] Niddah 31a

[79] 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.

[80] Sanhedrin 38b

[81] Yevamos 63a

[82] And of course Messiah and Moshiach mean "anointed one"

[83] See Nefesh HaChaim, Gate 1, Chapter 20

[84] See Genesis Rabbah to Genesis 5:5

[85] Shnei Luchos HaBris (Shelah) to Parshas Miketz

[86] Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:34

[87] Sukkah 52b, Jerusalem Kesubos 5:8

[88] See Psalms 92:1-2

[89] Brachos 40a

[90] 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.

[91] Genesis 3:7

[92] Pirush HaRosh to Tamid 28a (and Rashi to Zevachim 58a)

[93] Tamid 28a

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean three opinions, not four?

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

ya that's what I meant.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Wow, very wide-ranging explanation of different Jewish understandings of the term אדם.

I think it's also important to remember the opinion of RaDa"Q, Ibn Ezra‘ and other medieval scholars that HhaZa"L's drashes do not create or justify the law, they merely serve as asmakhta for it. This is a handy explanation for how HhaZa"L could have darshened the word אדם in some places as all humans, and in other places as only Jews. Because they weren't really darshening the word itself that way, they were simply using it as a mnemonic connecting the Received Tradition (Torah Shebe‘al Peh) to the Written Tradition (Torah Shebikhtav)

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

Wow, very wide-ranging explanation of different Jewish understandings of the term אדם.Yup, that's precisely what I intended to write.

I think it's also important to remember the opinion of RaDa"Q, Ibn Ezra‘ and other medieval scholars that HhaZa"L's drashes do not create or justify the law, they merely serve as asmakhta for it. This is a handy explanation for how HhaZa"L could have darshened the word אדם in some places as all humans, and in other places as only Jews. Because they weren't really darshening the word itself that way, they were simply using it as a mnemonic connecting the Received Tradition (Torah Shebe‘al Peh) to the Written Tradition (Torah Shebikhtav)The only problem is that I personally don't agree with that logic, so I didn't include it. If it was true then Tosfos really should have answered it. But that's a fundmental issue in the rules of drasha, which deserve essays of their own some day and are beyond the scope of this comments section.

Irina Tsukerman said...

I have a question: Is there a reason why Chava is mentioned by name and all of her sons are mentioned by name but Kayin's twin sister is not? How do we know that the sister is a twin and not just a sister?

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

We know she was a twin because the Talmud says that Kayin married his twin sister and proves it (who else did you think Kayin married?). The Talmud also says two ascended the bed and four came down from the bed, meaning adam and eve went up there, and they came down with kayin and his twin sister. The second person was not Hevel/Ebel because he was born later. The name of Kayin's twin sister is not important, so I didn't even bother trying to figure it out. Many names of mothers or wives who didn't specifically do anything in Tanach are not important, like Noach's wife. Nonetheless, some names are known through tradition (like midrashim) and/or apocryphal sources (like the book of Jubilees). So the name of Noach's wife is Naamah. What's Kayin's sister/wife's name? I don't know. I'll try to look into it tomorrow, IY"H if I have time.

Liorah-Lleucu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Irina Tsukerman said...

So would it be correct to assume that Ebel and Seth also married their sisters?

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

Seth didn't have a twin sister, he married Abel's twin sister because he "took over" what has supposed to be Abel's life.

Wally said...

Liorah, nobay cares what you think. seriously, Shut your pie hole. You have no idea about anything. Go away now you crazy crazy lady!

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

In the book of Jubilees, the name of Kain's wife is given as Awan, while I have seen some sources on the internet say from the Midrash that her name was "Lebuda", although I have not been able to find this Midrash, if anyone knows its exact location, please tell me.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: original sin

Original Sin And God's Plan
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

You're sick.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: adam and eve

Original Sin And God's Plan
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2006/08/original-sin-and-gods-plan.html

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

I do not think my readers are interested in reading your garbage.

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