Monday, October 16, 2017

Women were created in the image of God

It is a bit unbelievable that there should even be a reason to write this.

The pasuk in last week's parasha, Bereishit, makes this fairly clear:

כז  וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ:  זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם.27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

That is,


וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ - "and God created humankind [man in the sense of humanity] in His own image."


בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ - "in the image of God he created it [meaning the species, which is referred to in the masculine singular]


זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם - "creating them male and female" [referring to the same encompassing act of creation, encompassing both male and female, now in the masculine = neutral plural because the referents are two items, male and female]

Meanwhile, the author of the Daas Torah blog, who encourages get refusal and who says awful things about Gedolim who would help out agunos, unsurprisingly latches on to one Rishon and one Acharon in order to assert that not only are only men created in the image of God but that only men are human (bold emphasis my own).
We are all familiar with Bereishis (1:27): And G-d created the Man in His Image. In the image of G-d He created him. Male and female He created them. 

It seems from this verse that only Adam was created in the image of G-d and not Eve. This implies that only Adam was human and not Eve and by extension that only males are human and not females. I am going to explore this question - to see where it goes and the implications for male-female relationships as well as society as a whole.



7 comments:

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...

The Daas Torah blog brings extensive quotes from established sources in support of his reasoning.

All you bring is a quote from the Chumash, which the Daas Torah author starts with, and then point and sputter, with an ad hominem about the author (what he thinks about get refusal is completely irrelevant to whether he's right or wrong on this issue).

You say that he latches onto one Rishon and one Acharon-that's one more of each than you quote in support of your position.

You then claim that he asserts that only men are human, but he explicitly says in the comments (5th one down): "I am not aware of anyone actually saying such a thing (that woman are not human beings or that being human is dependent on tzelem elokim-B)and I am not claiming that they are not human beings."

Not a very respectable approach, intellectually speaking.

(please note that I'm not expressing an opinion on whether Daas Torah is right or wrong in his assertion.)

joshwaxman said...

No, the Daas Torah blog does not start with that quote, at least not in English. He translates the pasuk entirely differently. And I am not pointing and sputtering. I am explaining how to parse the pasuk. (Separately but related, the first creation is macro-level, and the second account of creation is micro-level, and the tzelem elokim is the same thing to which the Nachash refers and then Hashem restates, that mankind is now like us. that is, ladaat tov vera and to choose == tzelem elokim.)

I then assert... Yes, I do, based on the quote I provided and BOLDED.

"and by extension that only males are human and not females". He can 'clarify' whatever he wants in the comments. He explicitly equates the two in his post.

"what he thinks about get refusal is completely irrelevant to whether he's right or wrong on this issue"

No, it really isn't. It is, in part, BECAUSE he does not think women are betzelem elokim, and that, as he tries to legitimize elsewhere, that you should love your wife like you love your horse, that he supports things such as get refusal. It is part of the same stupidity and sickness.

"that's one more of each than you quote in support of your position"
Indeed, I am not relying here on cited authorities. Though IIRC, in the comments, there were plenty of sources in Chazal showing men and women equally covered under tzelem elokim.

Are you the same 'b' who used to post here with inane and irrelevant comments?

B said...

It doesn't matter what he says, what matters is what you can read into his words. QED.

Thanks for explaining how you parse the pasuk. Does anyone writing before the advent of modern gender relations parse the pasuk to support gender equality?

"Like, when you think about it, man, Chazal, the Rishonim and the Aharonim were all for gender equality. Proto-feminists, way ahead of their time!"

I've never posted on here before, and think this is probably about enough.

Avi said...

There is no logical way to come up with the conclusion that women were not created B'Tzelem Elokim. When I read blog posts like that, I get so mad. Instead of taking the two sources as Yechidim and showing how they are wrong, he takes it as proof that misogamy is OK. His chosen moniker makes me want to throw Torah into an open cesspit and pretend I never even heard of it.

Avi said...

Does anyone writing before the advent of modern gender relations parse the pasuk to support gender equality?

Who said anything about gender equality? This digression into semi-related topics is why people like you come across as irrational.

joshwaxman said...

"It doesn't matter what he says, what matters is what you can read into his words. QED."

No, it matters what he says. And he said it, in the post, very clearly, with no assertion that it is not true. (What he chose to bury in the comment section, after being called on it, is another matter. Note that in that comment, he is saying that no one of his sources *actually says* that, and that he is not 'claiming' that. It still is, or can be, left as a clear inference that one would / should make based on what was written.)

You will find very sparse discussion in Chazal and Rishonim on how to parse the pasuk, unless the interest is to extract this **very point** of whether there is gender disparity in being created betzelem.

That does not mean that my parse is based on an interest in supporting gender equality. As opposed to how to understand HaAdam (as Abarbanel, the species), then oto (again species), and then otam (because of the agreement with the two nouns).

Chazal did not differentiate between male in female in halachot where the source is tzelem elokim. Though that can come from various parses. The creation of one entity betzelem which was then split does not need to entail the removal of tzelem elokim from the female of the species, instead of an order in which it happened.

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