8

The Koren Sacks siddur translates the 4th of the 7 wedding blessings as:

אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם דְּמוּת תַּבְנִיתוֹ, וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד:

who fashioned humanity in His image, the image of His likeness and out of His very self formed a building for eternity. (emphasis added)

Note the capital H in the bolded “His”. It implies that Hashem made the “building for eternity” out of His self and not, as I imagined, out of Adam. Is this a misprint or is there an interpretation I need to learn?

  • 1
    +1 this sounds so wrong. I'll eat my words if someone finds a source, but this sounds like pandering to the liberals, bordering on heresy. – user6591 Apr 16 '15 at 13:22
  • Standard reading: "God made Adam, and then from Adam the woman who is a building for eternity." Sacks' reading: "God made humanity, and ... [thus?] a building for eternity. Yeah that's a bit of a stretch. (Note that other denominations change the blessing to "Who made us" for gender-neutrality.) Note, however, that the Chizkuni already says the translation of "Adam" is "human." – Shalom Apr 16 '15 at 14:08
  • 1
    לימוד זכות - It may be a typo, in that a vigilant editor hyper corrected "his" to "His." – wfb Apr 16 '15 at 17:34
  • Maybe there is a less common custom of capitalizing the first letter of "his" when it refers to Adam ha-Rishon: When translating the blessings as they appear in Mishneh Torah Hilkhot Ishut 10:3, Eliyahu Touger translates the quoted passage as "who created man in His image, in an image reflecting His likeness; [He brought forth] his form and prepared for him from His own Self a structure that will last for all time", ... – Tamir Evan Apr 17 '15 at 13:28
  • (cont.) ... but footnote 10 says "Rashi (ibid.) interprets this as a reference to the creation of woman, who was created from man ('his own self'), and gives him the potential for reproduction ('a structure that will last for all time')" (All bold emphases are mine), suggesting that the capitalized words are referring to Adam ha-Rishon. – Tamir Evan Apr 17 '15 at 13:28
3

Indeed, Rashi (Kesubos 8a) agrees with your intution:

והתקין לו ממנו: מגופו מצלעותיו

And he fashioned for him, from him: From his body; from his ribs.

However, an alternate explanation is noted by R. Aaron ben Jacob Hakohen of Lunel in Orchos Chaim (Hil. Kiddushin § 21):

והתקין לו ממנו בנין עדי עד: פי׳ הנפש השכלית שנחצבת מגלגל תשיעי ועומדת לעד בקיומה שלא תכלה

And he fashioned for him, from him, an everlasting building: Meaning the intellectual soul, carved from the ninth orbit and remaining forever in its state of existence so that it will not end.

According to this explanation, "building" refers not to Eve, but to the soul. Accordingly, "from him" presumably means from God, because presumably God did not make a soul for Adam, from Adam, and God is the only other entity mentioned in the blessing that "him" could refer to.

Thus, the siddur in question may follow this interpretation.


If I might add, this interpretation seems a bit far fetched, considering that the term "building" is explicitly employed by the biblical text in reference to the creation of Eve (Genesis 2:22) and not in reference to the soul (see Genesis 2:7).

  • The full quote is והתקין לו ממנו בנין עדי עד פי׳ הנפש השכלית שנחצבת מגלגל תשיעי ועומדת לעד בקיומה שלא תכלה. וי׳מ והתקין לו ממנו בנין עדי עד, על חוה כי מאיש לוקחת זאת. וממנו שב אל האדם. פי׳ מגופו ומצלעותיו. according to the first pshat, we are not refering to Chava whatsoever. – user6591 Jun 23 '15 at 22:52
  • Exactly. Are you disagreeing with something I wrote? – Dov F Jun 23 '15 at 22:55
  • Just clarifying. But I will offer a question now. Why can't ממנו be refering to that גלגל תשיעי? – user6591 Jun 23 '15 at 22:59
  • Presumably the blessing would not use a pronoun to refer to a being not identified anywhere else in the blessing. Therefore, "him" either refers to God or Adam. – Dov F Jun 23 '15 at 23:05
  • Your doubt may be well placed, but Eve didn't live forever (while the soul does). So we aren't referring to EVE, we're referring to the SEPARATION INTO GENDERS, calling which a "binyan" is similarly questionable. – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 12:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .