In what way (if any) was Adam's physical body and mental/spiritual state altered when God removed his rib to create Eve (Genesis 2:21–22)? Was there a specific reason the rib was removed?

  • You seem to be asking two completely disparate questions here. So I've removed one, and you should feel to ask it separately. If I'm mistaken and it relates to the extant question here, then by all means edit it back in, explaining the connection. – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 3:18
  • No, I am not asking two "disparate questions." Even if I were, pick one and answer it. This is a good question. Why the down vote? Instead of editing my two sentence question, ANSWER it! I'm sick of the disrespect shown by members of this site. . – JJLL Jan 31 '16 at 3:53
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    Re "No, I am not…": then, as I said, "by all means edit it back in, explaining the connection". Re "Even if I were…": no, if you were, then it should be split into two: two questions in one post prevent proper attention being paid to each. Re "This is a good question": No, it's two questions. The first asks how his physical state changed by removal of a rib, which I'd think is obvious: he's missing a rib. (It also asks other stuff, which is more interesting.) The second asks for a specific reason the rib was removed, which is to make Eve, no? Re "Why the down vote?": See above in [continued] – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 5:47
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    [continued] in, well, what's now the preceding comment. Re "Instead of editing my two sentence question": The editing was partially for your own benefit, so you can ask your two disparate questions separately and gets answers to both of them. Like this, you may get answers to only one or the other. Re "ANSWER it": No problem. Coming up…. Re "I'm sick of…": I'm sorry that you feel dissed; I assure you I didn't mean any disrespect. – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 5:49
  • As far as being dissed @Msh210 , surely you have to be aware of the tendency of some people, not specifically you, to be somewhat, let's say, down-vote crazy. Note that my rep "score" is not particularly high. That is partially because I don't tend to answer questions. I participate in Judaism.stackexchange to learn about Judaism, not to accumulate brownie points. There seems to be some regulars here that want to out-Jew each other and are too quick to ridicule others. In fact, I apologize for doing just that to you 210. – JJLL Jan 31 '16 at 6:26

In actuality, many meforshim read the pasuk to mean that Adam was created hermaphroditic, both "male" and "female". The separation is often translated as "side" (see Rav Hirsch or Art Scroll on 2:21) rather than rib and means that he was separated into two completely different beings "because it is not good for Man to be alone" (2:18). The purpose was to teach Adam that he did not have a companion and that he needed to have the "ezer knegdo" who would enable him to become "good". He needed to see and understand this as well as also seeing that both aspects were part of the original singular creation. Rav Hirsch explicitly states that this shows the complete equality of men and women.

See chabad.org

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept, and He took one of his sides, and He closed the flesh in its place.

You have formed me before and behind (Psalms 139:5)… R. Jeremiah b. Leazar said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the first adam, He created it with both male and female sexual organs, as it is written, Male and female He created them, and He called their name adam, (Genesis 5:2). R. Samuel b. Nahmani said, “When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the first adam, He created him with two faces, then split him and made him two backs – a back for each side.” (Genesis Rabbah 8:1)

Adam, a Hermaphrodite?

There is an opinion in the Talmud that states that God originally created Adam as a hermaphrodite and then split that one being into two separate bodies. Besides the verse that you cite, there is another a bit further on in Genesis that alludes to this concept: “Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and called their name Adam on the day they were being created.” (Genesis 5:2)

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  • Thank you @sabbahillel. Your answer explains how Adam's physical body was indeed transformed. Do you have a source that explains how Adam's mental state transformed. I would have to think undergoing such a significant change in body function, emotions must have ran high – JJLL Feb 3 '16 at 2:15
  • @JJLL Some people connect the split to marriage as an attempt to get back to that original state. – sabbahillel Feb 3 '16 at 2:18

Read somewhere - I believe it was a Midrash - that the rib was chosen because it is a makom tznua (modest place). This was to teach women to be modest.

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  • Thank you @Danny Schoemann for your insight on why God chose the rib. – JJLL Feb 3 '16 at 2:13

In what way (if any) was Adam's physical body and mental/spiritual state altered when God removed his rib to create Eve (Genesis 2:21–22)?

His physical body was altered that he now had flesh where a rib had been. (This is because bone doesn't grow back when removed. Haamek Davar.) I don't know about his mental or spiritual state; hopefully, someone else can answer that.

Was there a specific reason the rib was removed?

To create Eve from.

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  • Why not his appendix? – JJLL Jan 31 '16 at 6:00
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    @JJLL, judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/ask – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 6:03
  • your link seems to go no where. I am aware that the rib was removed to create Eve, but why the rib and not the appendix, or spleen, or little toe, etc.? Removal of any part of Adam's body had to cause a physical change in some way. Or is taken for granted that Adam was completely healed after God removed the rib? Nevertheless, he couldn't possiblyhave been in a positive state of mind after having his body altered. – JJLL Jan 31 '16 at 6:17
  • @JJLL If that's what you meant to ask, you should have asked it above. Or ask it as a new question. Heck, if you like, I'll close this question so you have time to edit it to exactly what you mean to ask, and I'll delete my answer (which presumably won't address your real question), and then I'll reopen your question so it get answers to the question you really mean to ask. Okay? – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 6:21
  • @JJLL See also perlmonks.org/?node_id=542341. – msh210 Jan 31 '16 at 6:24

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