Of Man and Beast

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5 Responses

  1. Noam says:

    I prefer Rav Yeudah Henkin’s explaination in “Equality Lost”. Instead of blaming Chava for the misstatement, he posits that Chava’s misstatement is because Adam added the prohibition of ‘touching the tree’ when he communicated God’s commands to her. He added to the prohibition because of a lack of trust and respect, and obviously it had severe consequences. Rav Henkin traces this lack of respect for women through a number of stories in Bereshit, all with significant consequences. The lessons regarding respecting women and the dangers of adding extraneous prohibitions is obvious and should be heeded by all.

  2. cvmay says:

    Thank you for the overview of this literary piece, looking forward to reading, learning, and gaining from it.

  3. Toby Katz says:

    I always wondered about the obvious similarity between the words addressed to Chava after her sin and the words addressed to Kayin after his sin — the play in both cases on the word “teshuka,” longing. To Chava, “You will long for your husband but he will rule over you.” To Kayin, “Sin will long for you but you can rule over it.”

    What does it mean, “Sin will long for you but you can rule over it?” It apparently means that the yetzer hara will try to seduce you but you can overcome it, you don’t have to yield to it. If you then back up and read the words said to Chava, it seems to be saying, “You, the woman, will try to seduce your man but he can overcome your blandishments, if he is strong he will not yield to the temptations you offer him!” Yes, it really does sound like the woman is compared to the yetzer hara, a temptation to be overcome! but people just seemed to dismiss it.

    Rashi does say something that comes close to addressing this issue — he explains “Your desire will be to your husband” as meaning that a woman will desire to have relations with her husband but (in most cases) a woman’s nature is such that she is not brazen enough to ask outright, but will attempt to arouse her husband’s interest non-verbally, and if he doesn’t respond to her unspoken wishes there is not much she can do about it. Asking doesn’t help — it’s like if you have to say, “Tomorrow is my birthday, be sure and bring me flowers!” then the flowers on your birthday lose a lot of their charm and meaning!

    Anyway, even though, as I said, Rashi does sort of address the meaning of “your desire will be to your husband,” I had not previously heard a satisfactory explanation, or indeed, any explanation, of the SIMILARITY of the wording in these two cases. I think a lot of people are oblivious to the obvious POETRY in the Torah, the deliberate plays on words. So I am very happy to see this issue addressed, and I look forward to reading this book.

  4. cazzie says:

    I have the utmost admiration for Rabbi Forhman’s book and shiurim.. He is certainly bright, most origional and has a captivating style. He fuses texts and words that have gone largely unoticed to gain unusual insight. As of last Shabbos Berishis he started giving a lecture/davar Torah on chumash in the newly created sefard minyan at the Young Israel of Woodmere. All those close by would be wise to hear this remarkable talmid chacham.

  5. DF says:

    “He CAN rule over you” is not an accurate translation. The verse says quite clearly, “He WILL rule over you”. It was not said as a possibility, but as a finality, a punishment to Woman. This is the type of apologetic translation I would expect in an egalatarian chumash, not a Jonathan Rosenblum article.

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