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Adam & Eve: The Whole Story Doesn't Make Sense - until now
#1
Wow!

A very interesting perspective!!

One like you've never heard before!

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#2
I find it rather absurd that he says that Adam was commanded at the ninth hour of the day not to eat from it - on Friday (before Shabbat), and that he ate from the fruit at the tenth hour, before Shabbat entered.

How does the text tell us that God completed everything and rested on the Shabbat. Does this mean that man sinning was part of the everything that God made? The Torah would certainly lead us to believe that it wasn't an hour later. This is a problem one encounters when midrash adds upon midrash. Contradictions abound.
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#3
Putting the midrash aside, the questions he asks seem pretty legit.

What did death mean to Adam?

G-d didn't say "if" you eat from it, He said "the day you eat from it".

Adam didn't have a yetzer hara yet.

G-d didn't say they would suffer, He said they would die. Why no warning, that wasn't part of the deal!

Did Adam and Eve know what life was like outside the garden?

Why would Adam name his wife Chava (life) if she helped bring death to the world?
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#4
Of course. I've wondered the same thing. In order to be culpable before the law, you must understand its consequences.

Why do not have different legal standards for people with, say, Downs Syndrome? Do they understand the consequences of their actions?

If Adam was naive and didn't know what "death" meant, how could it be fair to make so much ride on a simple forbidden task such as eating something? He didn't know what he was doing or what it would do. He only knew that he was told "no," and we're all aware that saying "no" just awakens curiosity.

Can you imagine? You tell your child not to touch something that you put on the table. He doesn't know that it's expensive. He doesn't know that it's fragile. He doesn't know that it belongs to your neighbor. He just sees something on the table, and when you told him not to touch it, it made him curious. Who would think it justifiable to throw a child into a scalding tub of water because he reached out his hand and knocked the item from the table and it broke on the ground?

How can Adam have deserved death and curses because he didn't something that he didn't understand? Just because God said "no"?

It's a hard story to swallow on an ethical level.
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#5
I like that the "Hasidic eyes" places a more dignified role for the woman than that of the plain reading of the text.  One of Eve as a rational woman explaining to Adam what she believes G-d wants for the both of them to do and being correct.  


However, it has never made sense to me why G-d did not name the woman as He did for the man. Why is that role given to Adam?  G-d interacts and converses with Adam, yet the first time He speaks to the woman is by shouting a question at her. There is an exclamation point, the first actually to appear in Genesis, (Stone Edition) where He demands, "What is this you have done!"  מה-זֹאת עָשִׂית
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#6
Hmm, good question Dana!

I'm not sure I find where G-d named Adam though?

It looks as if G-d told Adam to name other things so maybe naming Chava was just next in order? It looks like Adam called her isha (woman) and then gave her a name, Chava, mother of life.

And yes, it does seem strange that G-d's first interaction with Chava is to yell at her! Or at least ask her what she had done.
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#7
(05-10-2020, 12:27 AM)searchinmyroots wrote: I'm not sure I find where G-d named Adam though?

You are right SMR.  G-d doesn't name him specifically or even on a personal level but describes him as Adam, one formed from the dust of the ground and made in the image of G-d.  

A blind spot on my part, I was going off memory that was not even in Torah.
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#8
That's okay Dana, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything as I do not know the Hebrew as you do.

Either way, I agree that G-d's first words spoken to Chava are a bit strange. I would think He could introduce himself first?

But who am I to judge!
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#9
(05-09-2020, 01:03 AM)Dana wrote: However, it has never made sense to me why G-d did not name the woman as He did for the man. Why is that role given to Adam? 
(05-10-2020, 12:27 AM)searchinmyroots wrote: I'm not sure I find where G-d named Adam though?

He does, but not where or how we might expect. Given the obvious importance of naming the items created on each day in Genesis 1, to all the animals in Genesis 2, the naming of 'woman' in 2,23, Eve in 3,20, Cain (& Abel) in 4,1-2, it is indeed remarkable that 'adam is not named when created on the sixth day; the actual naming of 'adam does not occur until Gen 5,2, where in language similar to Genesis 1 it refers not to the first man, but refers explicitly to the couple, male and female, which is given the name ‘humankind’ (אדם 'adam)  The only place in the Hebrew consonantal text where אדם ('adam) practically needs to be considered an actual name is in Gen 4,25 and 5,3-5. Everywhere else one can, I think better, translate 'the human' or 'the person'. Thus one need not obscure the symbolic or archetypical language that refers not to an individual male named Adam, but to the first couple or the first unnamed person in a way that is representative of our collective identity as humankind. Perhaps whoever joined the accounts of Genesis 1-4, with the genealogies and other early stories of Genesis and other beginnings (toledot), was the first to think of the first human as a person named Adam.  It is interesting to note where various translations, beginning with the Greek Septuagint, choose to transliterate or translate 'adam as a name.
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#10
(05-10-2020, 04:28 PM)robrecht wrote:
(05-09-2020, 01:03 AM)Dana wrote: However, it has never made sense to me why G-d did not name the woman as He did for the man. Why is that role given to Adam? 
(05-10-2020, 12:27 AM)searchinmyroots wrote: I'm not sure I find where G-d named Adam though?

He does, but not where or how we might expect. Given the obvious importance of naming the items created on each day in Genesis 1, to all the animals in Genesis 2, the naming of 'woman' in 2,23, Eve in 3,20, Cain (& Abel) in 4,1-2, it is indeed remarkable that 'adam is not named when created on the sixth day; the actual naming of 'adam does not occur until Gen 5,2, where in language similar to Genesis 1 it refers not to the first man, but refers explicitly to the couple, male and female, which is given the name ‘humankind’ (אדם 'adam)  The only place in the Hebrew consonantal text where אדם ('adam) practically needs to be considered an actual name is in Gen 4,25 and 5,3-5. Everywhere else one can, I think better, translate 'the human' or 'the person'. Thus one need not obscure the symbolic or archetypical language that refers not to an individual male named Adam, but to the first couple or the first unnamed person in a way that is representative of our collective identity as humankind. Perhaps whoever joined the accounts of Genesis 1-4, with the genealogies and other early stories of Genesis and other beginnings (toledot), was the first to think of the first human as a person named Adam.  It is interesting to note where various translations, beginning with the Greek Septuagint, choose to transliterate or translate 'adam as a name.


 Thank you Robrecht for the added insight!  I found it interesting reading through those verses and noticing the change in language, pertaining to Adam, from a collective idea to the singular person for the first time.  

Chapter 1,27 the Hebrew sentence introduces man in the singular and then male and female with the plural direct object. Singular and then plural in just one sentence seemed like a lot of information mixed together.   And in that chapter the dialogue (or instructions) following with G-d is in the plural,  for both the man and woman.  Something new to my eyes.
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