Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Alshich - Why was woman created from man instead of from earth as man was?

Alshich (Bereishis 2:23): Avos d’Rabbi Nossan(Chapter 4) states, “Only this time is she bone of my bones... but after this a woman will not be from the bone of the man.” This doesn’t seem to be teaching us anything. And furthermore how does this indicate “Therefore a man should leave his wife...”? In fact the opposite seems to be true since except for Adam – man and his wife are not related so why should he cleave to his wife? In fact we wrote before the statement of Rabbi Abahu where he asked about the apparent contradiction. The Torah says “Male and female He created them but it also say “And G-d created the Man”. Rabbi Abahu concludes that initially it occurred to G-d to create two beings but afterwards He actually only created one being. 

We wrote how it is possible to say He created them and He called their name Adam when in fact they had not actually been created? The answer is that there is no question that G-d’s mere thought makes an impression which was that male and female traits were created from the earth. If he had created them totally separately there would be no attraction between them. Therefore He created the male alone in actual deed but the female aspect was created by His thought which was placed in potential in Man in his rib. It was because the female potential was in Man when he was created that both male and female were called Adam because they were both from the earth. Therefore their attraction for each other had to be because she was created from his rib. And they - thought they were two bodies one male and one female - he contained an aspect of the female as we will discuss. This was done deliberately because even though they were separate entities – one being from the spiritual dimension of masculinity while the other from the dimension of femininity – but in G-d’s thought they were both created from the earth in a subtle manner in order that they should have unity. But at the same time he should be dominate and she should be subordinate to him. Therefore in reality they are one because she is included within him. Consequently even when she was taken from him there exists a unity between them and she is subordinate to him. 

All of this is understood from the statement “This time she is bone of my bones.” That is to say this time there is greater unity then the previous time when G-d had thought to create two entities and call them Adam totally from the aspect of thought. That is because now she is in reality bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Before this there was no unity between us because we were both originally called Adam because we were both from earth and therefore there could be no unity between us because we were to be made separately from earth. However now there is now a connection of unity between us. The reason is because she is called isha (woman) because she was taken from man – i.e. she was not taken from me until I was created as man. Therefore it was good that G-d made us this way and not the way He thought to do initially that we would both be from earth. It was good that she was included within me and then taken out from me. Therefore this explains why she was called woman because she was not made until I was made man. 

Or you can say that if she had been created from a bit of earth it would not indicate unity saying she would not be called Adama (derived from Adam) because adama is the name for earth. But now that she has been taken from the man – the name describes the unity that she was taken from man. 

You can also say that according to what we have written that she did not come from a rib without a nefesh and she did not need to be given a soul. That is because she had a soul already potentially within the rib. Concerning this it is said that if the rib was just a chunk of raw meat and she was created to be just like that bone – then she would not have been called isha for the sake of his rib. That is because since she would have been created from a dead limb there is no reason to describe her as similar to him for the sake of dead matter. But this that she was called woman is because she is derived fully from the man. In other words when the rib was taken from him it was not simply a rib - but she was taken as a full entity that was contained in the rib.

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