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  1. First, we know that Adam and Eve were naked in Eden and didn't feel ashamed (Ber 2.25).

    "וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ׃

    The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame.

  2. Second, once they ate the fruit they revealed their nakedness and were ashamed and got dressed (Ber 3.7).

    וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת׃

    Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked, and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.

Heres how the Midrash pictures the interaction between them (Avot_D'Rabbi_Natan.1.8 thanks DonielF)

ר' יהודה בן בתירה אומר אדם הראשון היה מיסב בג״ע ומלאכי השרת עומדין בגן עדן לקראתו וצולין לו בשר ומצננין לו יין בא נחש וראה אותו והציץ בכבודו ונתקנא בו.

I'm confused - if G-d and the angels appeared clothed from the beginning, Adam would feel like second graded and animal-like before the sin; if they did appear naked as Adam was, why would he feel ashamed after eating the fruit?

So how did they appeared before Adam before and after the sin?


Note: According to what the Torah specifies later about Aharon's cloths - לכבוד ולתפארת, dressing had nothing to do with modesty - it was the sign of respect and dignity.

  • Did Adam and Eve see God and/or angels? – Alex Mar 13 at 23:04
  • @alex THe Midrash says they were feeding him with wine and meat. – Al Berko Mar 13 at 23:06
  • Then that seems to be an integral premise of your question, so you should edit it in. – Alex Mar 13 at 23:09
  • @Alex I will B"N, how btw fo you picture G-d commanding Adam? What did Adam see? – Al Berko Mar 13 at 23:10
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    Did G-d appear dressed? Do any of the prophets refer to G-d's personal (כביכול) appearance, ever? The closest I recall is Yechezkel's nevuah, where he describes the relative positions of the angels and G-d's Glory, but never a personal appearance, either with clothing or without. I think the question as to G-d's appearance is irreverent. – Menachem Mar 13 at 23:26
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I discussed over here the idea that I heard from R' Moshe Shapiro that the reason Adam was ashamed of his nakedness was because his body now represented a betrayal of his purpose and a descent into physicality, and therefore needed to be covered.

That being the case, it's perfectly reasonable that angels remained "naked" and there was nothing shameful about it, as there was no betrayal to be hidden by the angels.

  • When Adam and the animal were created, and Adam called the animals names he should have spotted the apparent difference between the naked and physical animals and the angels. Your answer (while good overall) does not address this point at all! In my view Adam was trapped from the beginning. Or maybe the animals were purely spiritual too? – Al Berko Mar 13 at 23:51
  • @AlBerko No, you missed the point. Originally, Adam's physicality was not a betrayal of his spiritual nature. After he sinned, it was. An animal has no spiritual nature inside to be betrayed, so its physicality is not a betrayal of anything. – Y     e     z Mar 14 at 3:09

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