Parasha Inspiration – Bereshit

וַיַּפֵּל֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֧ים | תַּרְדֵּמָ֛ה עַל־הָֽאָדָ֖ם וַיִּישָׁ֑ן וַיִּקַּ֗ח אַחַת֙ מִצַּלְעֹתָ֔יו וַיִּסְגֹּ֥ר בָּשָׂ֖ר תַּחְתֶּֽנָּה: וַיִּ֩בֶן֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֧ים | אֶת־הַצֵּלָ֛ע אֲשֶׁר־לָקַ֥ח מִן־הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיְבִאֶ֖הָ אֶל־הָֽאָדָֽם: וַיֹּ֘אמֶר֘ הָֽאָדָם֒ זֹ֣את הַפַּ֗עַם עֶ֚צֶם מֵֽעֲצָמַ֔י וּבָשָׂ֖ר מִבְּשָׂרִ֑י לְזֹאת֙ יִקָּרֵ֣א אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י מֵאִ֖ישׁ לֻֽקֳחָה־זֹּֽאת: עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד:

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept, and He took one of his sides, and He closed the flesh in its place. And the Lord God built the side that He had taken from man into a woman, and He brought her to man. And man said, “This time, it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called ishah (woman) because this one was taken from ish (man).” Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:21-24

This week we renew our study of Torah, beginning again in the book of Genesis. A significant section of the story of creation is the story of the beginning of Adam and Eve. Many times it has been taught that originally Hashem created Adam and that Eve was created later. Torah shows us, however, that this is not true.

Torah explains, in verse 22, that Eve is surgically removed from Adam by taking one of his sides. Side, in this case, is frequently mistranslated as rib. Therefore, with closer scrutiny to the text, we see that Eve was in fact created at the same time as Adam, as part of Adam, and was simply removed later.

In order to differentiate between the original Adam and Adam after Eve was split off, the sages designate the original Adam, Adam Kadmon. Adam Kadmon, the original, or ancient man, contained both Adam and Eve. This was Hashem’s original creation that he placed in the Orchard.

This signifies why the institution of marriage is sacred. Adam Kadmon, in his original state, contained both Adam and Eve. They were inexorably connected and could not be separated except by an act of Hashem. Since the time that Hashem separated us into Adam and Eve, we have yearned to be Adam Kadmon once again. Through marriage, and the connection between a man and a woman, we approach the original sanctity of Adam Kadmon. We can never achieve this sanctity, but we can approach it. This is why Hashem explains to us that when we marry, a man and a woman become one flesh. It is like we become Adam Kadmon once again. Shabbat shalom.

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Rabbi Steven Bernstein

Steve was born on Lag B’Omer in Ann Arbor, MI but was raised in Gainesville, FL. The son of two University of Florida professors, he excelled in the sciences in school. In addition to his normal academic studies, he pursued his Jewish education studying with many Rabbis and professors of Judaic Studies from the University including visiting Rabbis such as Abraham Joshua Heschel and Shlomo Carlebach.