Someone recently mentioned to me that there is a Chazal saying אדם was created from עפר which gets hot quickly but doesn’t retain the heat too long, while women were created from bone which takes longer to get hot but retains the heat for longer in describing the different styles of conflict. Where is the source of this?

  • “Dirt”, as in the title, is not the correct translation of “עפר”; earth is closer.
    – Oliver
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:38
  • @Oliver Given the Gemara’s (Sanhedrin 37a) description of Adam’s formation, I’ve wondered before if עפר more precisely translates to “clay.”
    – DonielF
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


The Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 17:8) makes a similar point, but regarding being appeased, rather than when they’re still in conflict.

מִפְּנֵי מָה הָאִישׁ נוֹחַ לְהִתְפַּתּוֹת וְאֵין הָאִשָּׁה נוֹחָה לְהִתְפַּתּוֹת, אָמַר לָהֶן אָדָם נִבְרָא מֵאֲדָמָה וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאַתָּה נוֹתֵן עָלֶיהָ טִפָּה שֶׁל מַיִם מִיָּד הִיא נִשְׁרֵית, וְחַוָּה נִבְרֵאת מֵעֶצֶם וַאֲפִלּוּ אַתָּה שׁוֹרֶה אוֹתוֹ כַּמָּה יָמִים בַּמַּיִם אֵינוֹ נִשְׁרֶה.

[They asked R’ Yehoshua...] Why is a man easy to appease but a woman is not easy to appease? He said to them: Adam was created from the ground; once you put a drop of water on it, it immediately dissolves. Chavah was created from a bone; even if you soak it many days in water, it will not dissolve.

  • 1
    @NJM I don’t know that you should accept my answer just yet. This is the only source I’m aware of, but someone else might find one that’s closer to what you suggest in the OP.
    – DonielF
    Aug 6, 2018 at 16:47

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