Monday, October 17, 2011

Adnei HaSadeh and Earth Mouse in parashat Bereishit

Summary: According to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, one can make a diyuk in two pesukim in parashat Bereishit to refer to the creation of the adnei hasadeh and the earth-mouse. The adnei hasadeh is a humanoid creature connected by an umbilical cord to the ground, and the earth mouth is one that is in the process of spontaneously generating, and so is still half made of earth.

Post: Thus, in the first perek of sefer Bereishit:

25. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and all the creeping things of the ground according to their kind, and God saw that it was good.כה. וַיַּעַשׂ אֱ־לֹהִים אֶת חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְאֵת כָּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱ־לֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:

Rav Chaim Kanievsky writes in Taama de-Kra:

"אֶת חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ -- and by the cattle {beheimah} it is not written 'the cattle of the earth'. Perhaps this is a hint with this that there is a beast {chaya} which is connected to the earth, as we learn in the Mishnah in the eighth perek of Kelaim, adnei hasadeh is a chaya, see there. And based on this, one can say that this which is written אֶת חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ, as well as וְאֵת כָּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה, and by the רֶמֶשׂ  is not written eretz, as is written on the very next pasuk, 

26. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heaven and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth."כו. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ־לֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ:

Perhaps it comes to hint that there is a creeping thing which is made from the earth, as we learn in a Mishna in Chullin (126b), about a mouse which is half flesh earth and half earth, and therefore it states רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה, creeping thing of the ground."

Of course, neither of these two creatures exist. Chazal indeed thought that they existed, and there may have good reason to believe that they existed. But it is different for people to believe in their existence nowadays, and to innovate new derashot to describe their existence. (I won't rehash the arguments pro and con here.)

Of course, to each his own. How to approach the existence or non-existence of these creatures is a dispute between rationalists and non-rationalists, as well as between chareidim and more Modern Orthodox.

See also a discussion of adnei hasadeh here, with claims as to its existence. Also, related, another drasha from Rav Kanievsky, אָרוּר שֹׁכֵב עִם כָּל בְּהֵמָה of lerabbos mermaids.

1 comment:

S. said...

It should also be pointed out that the identity of adnei hasadeh as vegetable people is not given in the mishnah itself, even if the Yerushalmi does give something like this explanation.


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