Monday, October 4, 2004

האדם ואשׁה

One of the classes I'm taking this term is a literature class called "Images of Eve." In it we are studying the Biblical stories about Eve, commentaries on the stories, as well as modern retellings, poetry, et al. While rereading the story of the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 I noticed something that I would like to share with you.

In Genesis 2.7 האדם (HaAdam - the human, or the man) is created from and takes his name from האדמה (HaAdamah - the ground). In Genesis 2.22-3 we read that אשׁה ('ishah - woman) is created from and takes her name from אישׁ ('ish - man) Initially all that caught my eye was the nice parallel between the two creations, but upon consulting Midrash Genesis Rabbah something else was brought to my attention that I had not noticed:

אדמה (Adamah, ground) is grammatically feminine. This means that האדם (HaAdam, the human), who is masculine, was created from something feminine, just as the woman was created from something masculine, namely the rib/bone from the side of the man.

I'm not really making any point, I just very much liked the parallel construction and balance in these passages.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.