I'm looking for the medrash that says that Adam (or another hunanoid creation) originally didn't have fingers but had spoon like appendages instead.

  • 2
    Where did you read that such a Midrash excists?
    – Shmuel
    Aug 31 at 19:33
  • 1
    I'm looking for one that says that he originally didn't have ears...;-)
    – robev
    Aug 31 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


This idea, it is said, comes from the Midrash Avkir (מדרש אבכיר).

The Paaneach Raza, Rabbi Yitzchak bar Yehudah HaLevi, quotes from it in his commentary to Bereishis 5:29. The Paaneach Raza says that the words ממעשנ"ו ומעצבו"ן ידינ"ו share the same gematria as ידי"ם הי"ו בל"י חילו"ק האצבעו"ת.

See, however, this article:

It would seem to be clear from here the Adam was created with individual fingers.[10] In fact, the Talmud that we quoted above, when asking about why a person has individual fingers, phrased the question, “Why does an adam [a generic term for “man” in Hebrew] have individual fingers,” whereas when it speaks about the ear, it simply says, “Why is the ear harder than the lobe?”[11] This hints to the fact that we are talking about the fingers of the first Adam. The individuality of our fingers is a connection that we share with him, and thus, when we ask about the hand, we term it “the fingers of Adam.”[12]

[10] Though this does seem clear from the Avos Dirabbi Nosson, as, in fact, the Chida points out in his Kikar Laaden to Avos Dirabbi Nosson, it was not the opinion of the Tiferes Yehonason there, or in his Yaaros Devash 1, 11. See also Chida in his Dvarim Achadim, drush 18 (see also drush 26), where he also understands that Adam himself did not have individual fingers, notwithstanding this source. The same is asserted by the Pirchei Shoshanim in his Lechem Min Hashomayim(quoted by R. Yitzchak Bouchavzeh in his Lechem Lifi Hataf, alef, 36).

[11] According to the text in the Ein Yaakov.

[12] See Ein Eliyahu, who points this out, and offers a different explanation. See also Yalkut Hameiri, quoting R. Y. L. of Satmar, who explains that the only reason that the Talmud asks about fingers and doesn’t get into the rest of the shape of body parts, is because the fingers were changed at the times of Noah, and therefore, the question is more important. See something similar in Pesach Enayim of the Chida to this gemara.


Yalkut Reuveni says Noach was the first person born with fingers: enter image description here

  • 1
    So no one worked the land until noach? Wasn't that Adam's curse - that he shall work for his food?
    – Shababnik
    Aug 31 at 22:48
  • 1
    I think they did, but not very effectively. See Rashi.
    – shmosel
    Aug 31 at 22:50
  • Which rashi is that?
    – Shababnik
    Aug 31 at 22:52
  • 1
    – shmosel
    Aug 31 at 22:54
  • 1
    Probably metaphorical. Like when we say Noah invented the plow, it all adds to the idea that before him the land was still kinda “cursed” but after him it was workable Sep 1 at 0:41

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