Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Chasam Sofer: Women superior to men?

חתם סופר (תורת משה בראשית ג:יז): כי שמעת לקול אשתך ותאכל מן העץ. יל"ד הי' לו לכתוב בקיצור ותאכל מפרי העץ אשר צויתיך לבתלי אכול ממנו, ולמה מאריך בלשונו לאמור כי שמעת לקול אשתך ותאכל וגו'. אחז"ל שנענש על שהלך אחר עצת אשתו משמע שזה ענין בפני עצמו הוא. חדא שהלך אחר עצת אשתו, שנית כי אכל מעץ הדעת [עיין ברמב"ן], מפני שהיא היתה חשובה יותר ממנו. יען שהיא נבראת בג"ע עצמו, ועפרו של אדם נלקט מהעולם כולו כדאי' במדרש [בילקוט רמז י"ג שקבץ הקב"ה עפרו מד' פנות העולם, אדום שחור לבן ירקרק וכו' והובא ברש"י לעיל בפסוק וייצר וכו' את האדם עפר מן האדמה], ועל שאכל מפרי העץ יכול להשיב שראה שחוה אכלה ולא מתה, והי' לו מקום לטעות, אך ממ"נ חטא האדם, כי הי' לו לתלות באמת משו"ה לא מתה היא יען שהיא חשובה ממנו שהיא נבראת בג"ע יותר בקדושה לכן מותרת לאכול ולא יזיקנה, אבל הוא שנתגשם גופו מלקיטת עפרו מכל העולם כולו לו יזיק אכילת עץ הדעת, וא"כ נענש אדם או על ששמע והלך אחר עצת אשתו או על שאכל מעץ הדעת

Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe Bereishis 3:17)  Because you listened to the voice of the  your wife and you ate from the Tree.  Why didn't the verse simply say  and "You ate from the fruit of the tree which you had been commanded not to eat?" Why does it go into apparently irrelevant detail saying you listened to your wife and you ate? Our Sages say that Adam was punished because he followed the advice of his wife which indicates that this is a separate issue. Thus there were two issues 1) he followed his wife's advice 2) he ate from the Tree of Knowledge [see Ramban].  This was because she was superior [chasuv] to him as the result of being created in Garden of Eden itself. In contrast the dirt that Adam was created was collected from all over the world as mention in the Medrash [Yalkut #13 ... and this is mentioned in Rashi on the verse that man was created from the ground] Therefore regarding his transgression of eating from the fruit of the Tree he could justify it by saying  that he had seen Eve eat it and she hadn't died. Thus he had a basis for making a mistake [since G-d had said he would die from eating the fruit.] In spite of this excuse he had committed a sin because he should have assumed that she hadn't died from eating it because she was superior to him since she had been created in the Garden of Eden and thus had higher kedusha than him. Consequently she was allowed to eat from the fruit without being harmed. In contrast he had a lower level of physicality since his body was created from the dirt of the world - he would be damaged by eating of the Tree of Knowledge.  So either he was punished for following the advice of his wife or that he ate from the Tree of Knowledge.


  1. why should this be taken to have implications about men and women in general? or at least, why is it pashut to you that it has such implications? I don't chop.

  2. previous comment from Michoel, thanks


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