Male and Female Complementarity, Part 8

So the Just One created the Adam in His image, in the image of the Just One He created him; male and female He created them. [Bereshit/Genesis 1:27]

From Made in the Image of God by Lambert Dolphin:

“What is puzzling about the above verse is that the first half of the verse implies that the Just One created a single human being, as it states, “He created him”, while the second half of this verse implies that the Just One created two human beings, as it states, “male and female He created them”. One of the ways in which the Bible commentator, Rashi, resolves this difficulty is through citing the midrashic teaching that the Adam was first created as a single androgynous being with two faces and two sides – male and female. (1)

This interpretation can help us to understand the verses which describe the formation of the first woman:

So the Compassionate and Just One cast a deep sleep upon the Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his sides and He filled in flesh in its place. Then the Compassionate and Just One fashioned the side that he had taken from the Adam into a woman, and He brought her to the man. [Bereshit/Genesis 2:21-22]

The Creator took the female side of the Adam and formed a second being known as “woman”. The Hebrew word for “side” in the above verses is tzela. The word tzela can also be translated as a “rib”; however, Rashi and the majority of our Bible commentators translate it as “side”. (2)

Where was the androgynous being called “Adam” created? An answer can be found in the Midrash, which states that Adam was created at the site of the future Temple in Jerusalem:

With an abounding love did the Holy One, blessed be He, love the first human being, as He created him in a pure locality, in the place of the Temple. [Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 12]

This interpretation is found in other midrashic works, and it indicates that the journey to Zion is a return to the place where the human being was created. And the human being is a union of body and soul, as it is written:

And God formed the human of dust from the ground, and He blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and the human became a living being. [Bereshit/Genesis 2:7]”

Catch the second half at our next post!

.. And for a shameless plug (that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand):

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News on my books and other publications will be available soon at my new web site on Yola, A Little Lowder.  Watch for announcements.


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