Genesis (3:7) states that Adam and Eve realised that they were naked so they made loincloths from fig leaves:

וידְע֔וּ כִּ֥י עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם הֵ֑ם וַֽיִּתְפְּרוּ֙ עֲלֵ֣ה תְאֵנָ֔ה וַיַּעֲשׂ֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם חֲגֹרֹֽת

Nevertheless, in verse 10, Adam tells God that he hid (in verse 8) because he was naked:

וָאִירָ֛א כִּֽי־עֵירֹ֥ם אָנֹ֖כִי וָאֵחָבֵֽא

The question is, why was he naked if he was wearing the loincloth.

I can think of several possible answers.

  1. They started making the loincloths but didn't finish making them.
  2. They made them but for whatever reason didnt don them.
  3. They donned them, but Adam nevertheless felt naked.
  4. Adam lied. Really he hid because he was embarrassed that he ate from the tree. He gave the reason of nakedness even though it wasn't really true (for by then he was covered) since he was trying to think fast and think of anything to say other than he ate from the tree.

I don't see anything about this in Rav Saadya Gaon, Rashi, Rashbam, Bekhor Shor, Ibn Ezra, Rabbenu Avraham ben HaRambam, Ramban, Imrei Shefer (Halava), Seforno. Ohr HaHayyim, or Shadal.

  • 1
    I’m not saying this is an answer, just something to consider. Bereshit 3:10 says that Adam recognized that אנכי was naked. Then G-d asked, who told you (אתה) that you were naked. The אנכי could be understood to be referring to the אנכי of אנכי הוי״ אלהיך. In which case, Adam was seeing he had differentiated his behavior from G-d’s and was no longer דומה לעליון. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 11:35
  • THe simple answer would be "like wearing a bikini to the presidential dinner" - everyone would feel naked - הכל לפי המבייש והמתבייש.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 22:15
  • Related: did-g-d-and-angels-appeared-dressed-or-naked-to-adam-in-eden judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/100706/…
    – Al Berko
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


The OP asks, why did Adam hide in fear because of his nakedness even though he had already made clothing (the fig leaves) for themselves? Note that Rav Hirsch and Art Scroll translate this as aprons, which has the connotation of something more substantial than loin-cloths.

Rashi points out that it was not physical nakedness, but moral and spiritual, having disobeyed the one mitzvah that they had. Thus, even with the aprons they still felt naked (see below from Rav Hirsch). In fact according to this, even if they had been completely covered, head to toe, they still would have felt naked when Hashem came.


and they knew that they were naked: Even a blind man knows when he is naked! What then is the meaning of “and they knew that they were naked” ? They had one commandment in their possession, and they became denuded of it.

Additionally, when they heard Hashem, they were not embarrassed because of their nakedness, they were afraid

{Bereishis 3:10](http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8167#v=10&showrashi=true)

וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אֶת־קֹֽלְךָ֥ שָׁמַ֖עְתִּי בַּגָּ֑ן וָֽאִירָ֛א כִּֽי־עֵירֹ֥ם אָנֹ֖כִי וָאֵֽחָבֵֽא:

And he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked; so I hid."

Rav Hirsch says:

This being afraid, not ashamed, proves that the consciousness of being naked has to be taken in the sense of its moral reason, as explained above in V.7. Not because of his body being naked, but because he no longer dared let his naked body be seen, was what made him afraid for himself.

Thus, he would have been afraid no matter what he was wearing and no matter how covered up he might have been. It was not a matter of denying that he had eaten, but the consciousness of having disobeyed and feeling the results of that.

Rav Hirsch in verse 7 says

But the consciousness of being naked is the consciousness that something is visible that should not be so. This is the feeling of shame, which as indicated above, has its roots in the consciousness of a person of the real calling of Man. As long as Man stands completely in the service of his Hashem, he is not to be ashamed of any part of his body. Even the bodily lures and attractions are pure and godly as long as they submit themselves as means for Hashem's holy purposes. But when this condition is not entirely there we certainly should be ashamed of displaying them. This shame awakes the voice within us, which is intimately connected with the conscience, and reminds us that we are not to be animals.

  • In lieu of your closing paragraph, please see my comment to mevaqesh's question. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 12:47
  • Rashi is derash, not peshat. This gives no explanation for why they put on the fig leaves in the first place. Derash aside, rashi must agree this was because they felt naked. I once he agrees that they donned garments due to nakednesd, accordingly it seems highly unlikely to suggest, even according to that Rashi that the peshat of him saying he was naked is anything other than physically naked. While it should've been clearer, this is tagged parshanut and wants answers based on close readings; not homiletics.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 13:23
  • "Additionally, when they heard Hashem, they were not embarrased because of their nakedness, they were afraid" is irrelevant. As Adam said, the fear was because he was naked. You could ask why nakedness leads to fear and hiding, but you can't claim that nakedness isn't a reason to hide when Adam says it is. If I am misunderstanding this paragraph please explain.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 13:26
  • "Thus, he would have been afraid no matter what he was wearing and no matter how covered up he might have been" this may or may not be true, but it doesn't negate the fact that even Hirsch implies that he was uncomfortable due to his lack of clothing "because he no longer dared let his naked body be seen" considering the body naked. This is consistent with his other statement that "when this condition is not entirely there we certainly should be ashamed of displaying them" that indicates that in the circumstances above, the embarrassment was because of nakedness, so the question remains.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:04
  • @mevaqesh OK I read it as meaning that feeling the shame due to nakedness means that even when covered, he would still have felt the fear because he would be ashamed if he was naked. I do not think it means he felt physically naked even though dressed. As Rashi says, even a blind man knows if he is wearing clothes or not. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:09

Hizkuni (3:10) Rabbenu Hayyim Paltiel (3:10), Tur (3:10), and Abravanel (Genesis ch. 3) suggest that their loincloths were minimal and they were therefore still embarrassed. Radak (3:8) writes that that were embarrassed since their loincloths didn't even fully cover their nakedness.

The Tosafist compilation Moshav Z'kenim writes that they were embarrassed since they had removed their loincloths.

  • My neighbor has a fig tree. I can vouch for the fact that even if you sewed a lot of these leaves together, you probably still couldn't do a sufficient job covering your nakedness. But, you might attract a lot of bees.
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:49

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