Discussions for this daf
1. Reconciling the Gemara with Bereishis 2:16-18
DAF DISCUSSIONS - SANHEDRIN 38

Chaim Chesler asks:

Dear Rav Kornfeld,

Could I please have a little guidance for how to reconcile what I see as a conflict between the Gemara at Sanhedrin 38b where it lists hour by hour what happened on the 6th day, and the order of the passukim in Bereishis?

1) Looking just at verses 2:16 - 2:18 it seems that the mitzvah to not eat of the tree came before the idea of finding a mate for Adam.

This has to be both before Chava was separated out from Adam and before Chava gave birth to Kayin and Hevel.

The summary of Sanhedrin 38b I was given says:

During the sixth hour he named all the animals.

During the seventh hour, Eve was created.

Cain and Abel were born during the eighth hour.

During the ninth hour Adam was commanded not to eat from the Tree

Is there a conflict?

Is anyone bothered by this?

The only conflict I found (looking at Sanhedrin 38b with Rabbi Greenspan last year) was machlokes between Tosfos and Rashi where he says "2 went up and 4 came down". On that I don't understand who are the 4, and would also appreciate help.

If Adam and Chava count as 2 of the 4 coming down, who are the other 2?

If its Kayin and Hevel, why aren't their respective twin sisters / wives counted - per the midrash 1 for Kayin and 2 for Hevel?

Looking through the Mikras Gedolos (and Ramban translation) as well as I could I didn't see any Ramban commentary supporting the order of the passukim in Bereishis, so I take that to mean that there is no challenge to their order, yet Sanhedrin seems to be giving a different order.

That is 2:16 and 2:17 seem to be giving the command to not eat from the tree,

and 2:18 is the idea to make Chava....

or per 2:19 to first bring all the animals, perhaps the idea to bring a mate from the animals before the idea to even bring what would "this time .. bone of my bones" come to be Chava.

If that's the case, then more conflict since weren't the animals were brought to be named after 2:19?

So the above summary of Sanhedrin is in conflict with the relative ordering of naming animals and the command to not eat from the tree.

2) There is another possible conflict...

Rashi on Bereishis 2:19 explains how these animals were formed from mud and cites Chul. 27b (and a couple of other sources) compared with the fowl having been brought forth from the sea earlier [the day before].

I think that's easily resolvable but it is flagged as a possible conflict.

In my mind the birds and animals brought to Adam for naming could just have been animal bodies formed from the mud rather than the original animals created.

Similar to by Noach, even if new living animals these could have been both pure species if there had been any mixing, and animals which never lost their fear of man.

So that could be a resolution if Rashi is seen as giving a conflict to the ordering to say that the fowl were only formed at this time.

Is there any other possible challenge to the order of these relevant passukim?

Please help me to understand Sanhedrin 38b better in light of what I am seeing in Bereishis.

Chaim Chesler

The Kollel replies:

Dear Chaim,

1. The Gemara tells us that Chavah was created before the command not to eat from the tree was given. Hence, 2:17 and 2:18 are not in chronological order.

2. Actually, in 1:27 the woman is already created, according to Rashi's first Peshat, together as one body with Adam. Later, in 2:18-2:24, this is discussed in greater detail. According to the Or ha'Chaim, these verses refer to the separation of Chavah from Adam, which enabled her to sin since she was alone. (See Or ha'Chaim at length, who explains the progresson of the verses.) Earlier, the Torah tells of Adam being put in Gan Eden and mentions his duty there to keep the command. However, this occurred after Chavah was created.

2. According to the Gemara here, children were born before the command not to eat from the tree (children -- hour 8; command -- hour 9; sin -- hour 10). Rashi to 4:1 explains that the verse teaches that Adam was with Chavah already before the sin (the verb there being in the past tense). Actually, the Ben Ish Chai in Ben Yehoyada cites from the Arizal that the children came after the sin, and the Gemara should read: command -- hour 8; sin -- hour 9; children -- hour 10. In Pirkei d'Rebbi Elazar (ch. 11) it reads: command -- hour 8; children -- hour 9; sin -- hour 10.

3. Two went to bed and four arose: Tosfos learns that the new two are Kayin and his twin sister (Hevel and his twin sister were later). Mizrachi on the Torah learns that the two are Kayin and Hevel, and they did not have twin sisters. (There is also a Girsa that *seven* arose!)

4. The animals were named before Chavah's creation (hours 6, 7). It is obvious that the birds were created on day 5 from the Rekak-earth and water, and the animals were created from earth on day 6, before Adam's creation, and the live creatures were given names after his creation and before Chavah's separation. There is no conflict about this at all.

All the best,

Reuven Weiner