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    The emergence of Eve

    The creation of Eve, by Gustave Dore, 1866

    The creation of Eve, by Gustave Dore, 1866

    The first sidra of the Torah describes not only the creation of Adam but that of Eve.

    Two verses introduce her. One says that God created man and woman (Gen. 1:27). The other says that in Adam’s sleep, God removed one of his ribs and made it into a woman (Gen. 2:21-22).

    The rabbis (B’reshit Rabba etc.) tell us that Eve came from Adam’s side, which means that originally there was only one being which God bisected.

    According to Ramban, Adam began with both male and female characteristics, a notion which is supported by science which tells us that in its early stages an embryo is neither clearly male nor female.

    As if all this were not already highly interesting, the Torah adds that once man and woman were separated, they yearned to be reunited as “one flesh” (Gen.2:24).

    From the poetical point of view this suggests that not only do a well-matched husband and wife complete each other but they work as one. In Yiddish they speak of the two parents as “the tattemumma”, and that is the ideal.

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