The Bible Says What? Adam and Eve were equals
search

The Bible Says What? Adam and Eve were equals

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild takes a controversial issue from the torah and applies a progressive Jewish angle

Genesis has two creation stories, each with a different structure and
a different name for God.

The first, with the numbered days of the first week, has Elohim create humanity in God’s image at the end of the process, and this humanity is neither singular nor male.

The second, where humanity was created even before the Garden of Eden was made, has one human fashioned from the dust of the earth, and placed into Eden.

But it is already clear that one living being is a lonely being, so God creates the animals and birds.

The human names them but does not develop a mutual relationship with them, and ultimately God has to create more human beings.

To do this, God does not create a new thing, but takes from the existing human to form the being who will be in relationship with it.

How we translate what God takes from the first being is critical to how we understand gender politics.

And how it has been translated in the past is a direct outcome of such politics.

For God takes from the side of the first human, and not, as it is frequently translated, a rib from it.

This root appears more than 40 times in the Bible, and is never translated as anything other than “side” except in this passage, and first found in the Septuagint.

If we look more closely we see the word always describes something that is leaned upon or (in the case of Jacob), limped upon.

So what is the Bible telling us with this word? When God divides the Adam into ish (man) and isha (woman), the two are equal. One might ask why this understanding disappeared when the Bible is
so clear.

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild has been a community rabbi in south London for 30 years

read more:
comments