The Whole World, Just For You

Why did G-d create only one person first instead of both Adam and Eve or even a whole bunch of people? Or if you don’t buy the whole story as history, why does the Torah tell it to us as if G-d created one person first? What’s the moral of the story? And why do I feel the need to ask a string of questions in a row? The Gemara gives two reasons.
First, so that we recognize the importance of each individual. Whoever kills someone is as if he killed the entire human race and whoever saves someone is as if he saved the entire human race. Each person is just as human as Adam and if he had died then there would be no more people.
Second, so that we realize that the whole world was created for one person. Each of us is just as important as Adam so we should see ourselves as worthy of the world. Don’t be shy and underestimate your selfworth. You’re important. Yes, even a filthy slob like you.

8 thoughts on “The Whole World, Just For You

  1. This is one of the things that stuck with me from childhood from my years in religious school.
    take a note of that mobius. there is something jewish in my politics, just a bit 🙂

  2. lchayim,
    you might find this interesting, even though your post is about the message of the story and not the historicity of it. Nonetheless, this link contains a whole plethora of scholarly background on the Adam and Eve tale. Enjoy!

  3. Is Adam a human? Contrary to the Gemara’s drash, Adam-we are taught elsewhere – was an immortal, proto-human. What does it say in the Midrash — that Adam was taller than the tallest of trees? That in one step Adam could traverse the world? In fact we learn that this Adam is not what God wanted from humans. Avivah Zornberg has it right – God wants the rebelious, mortal, dysfunctional human that Adam becomes as the story unfolds.

  4. daniels post suggest to me a possible meaning of the passage about the dial in “everything is illuminated”:
    “his face had been polished down so many times by so many besseeching hands, and rebuilt as many times by as many others, that it no longer resembled that of the god to whom those first few prayed. for each recasting, the craftsmen modeled the dial’s face after the faces of his male decendants — reverse heredity. (so when my grandfather thought he saw that he was growing to look like his great-great-great grandfather, what he really was was that his great-great-great grandfather was growing to look like him. his revelation was just how much like himself he looked.)”

  5. it’s nice to see our Sumerian derived myths are surviving amongst our former internal proletariate. what will those wacky Jews do next!

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