My impression (since childhood) of the incident in the garden is that the serpent persuaded Chava to eat, and then she took some fruit to Adam and he ate it. This question asks if he knew where the fruit came from when he ate it, which presupposes that he weren't there. This answer brings different views about his knowledge, but none of the sources there assert that he was a direct witness.

The plain text, however, is much more ambiguous. The end of Bereishit 3:6 says:

... וַתִּתֵּן גַּם-לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ, וַיֹּאכַל.‏

and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

This is in the same verse where she herself eats -- she saw it was good, ate, and gave to her husband who was with her. Rashi addresses her reasons but says nothing about the "with her" part or the timing.

How do Chazal get from this text to the understanding that he wasn't there at the time and she brought him the fruit elsewhere? Is it that we know he wouldn't directly transgress so he must not have been there, or or is my impression wrong and it's possible he was there the whole time (which raises questions about why he didn't intervene)?


1 Answer 1


The כלי יקר seems to discuss both your approaches - making it seem that Chazal didn't voice a [strong] opinion either way.

He first mentions the popular approach that עִמָּהּ means that she intended him to share her fate.

ותתן גם לאישה עמה. מלת עמה. פירשו המפרשים כדי שיהיה עמה תמיד ולא ישא אחרת כשתמות היא. ‏

He then tries 2 approaches to make the words and the explanation match.

In his first approach he says:

ויכול להיות שנתנה לו בהיותו עמה ממש כי אז לחצה אותו כדרך שנאמר בשמשון (שופטים טז.טז) ותאלצהו. כי בזמן אחר אולי לא היה שומע לה לעבור את פי ה', וע"ז אמר בהתנצלותו האשה אשר נתת עמדי. בשעה שהיתה עמדי ממש נצחה אותי, כי לפי פשוטו אין טעם להתנצלות זה. ומה שטען היא נתנה לי מן העץ אולי כיון לומר דרך התנצלות מאחר שלא נאמר בציווי מפרי עץ הדעת לא תאכל. ונאמר מעץ הדעת לא תאכל הייתי סבור שהכונה שאין אני רשאי לתלוש הפרי מן העץ אבל אם הוא כבר תלוש ועומד, חשבתי שמותר לי לאכלו, ועתה היא נתנה לי מן העץ ולא אני לקחתיו מן העץ. ‏

Possibly because she was with him, that pressured him to listen to her and eat.

His justification for eating was that he could claim he was commanded not to pick the fruit & eat it, but he was not commanded not to eat fruit that others had picked.

Then he brings a seond approach:

ויש אומרים, שאמר מאחר שנתת האשה עמדי לבשל ולהכין כל צרכי הבית חשבתי שחזקתה שאינה מאכלת אותי דבר איסור על כן חשבתי שפרי זה מעץ אחר. ‏

In his second approach, עִמָּהּ could mean the one who was married to her or her companion. His justification for eating was that he relies on her for his food and sees no need to double check her sources.

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