Ask the rabbi

  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • General Questions

Question about man

undefined

Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tishrei 30, 5782
Question
If I am correct there are four words to describe man, namely: adam, enosh, ish and gever. Well, I think Ive found a way to make a distinction between these words, to make the nuance differences between these words more clear. And I wanted to test whether the following statements are correct: 1 adam is connected to the word adamah (ground; for Adam was made from the dust of the Adamah) and therefore adam underscores mans earthly origin (human/humanity). 2. enosh is connected to anash and therefore underscores mans mortality and infirmities. 3. ish is used in regard to sex; male 4. gever is used to underscore mans strenght, might. Is this a good way to make a distinction between these words?
Answer
ב"ה Shalom, I will try to give my evaluation according to Torah commentators on Biblical Hebrew not according to modern Hebrew. Although modern Hebrew nurtures from Biblical Hebrew it doesn't always carry on the same original intent. 1.In regard to Adam, the Midrash indeed makes the correlation between Adam and "adama"=earth from which man was created. 2. However, in regard to Enosh, commentators relate to the word with the meaning of man being mortal and frail. They do not see the word as belonging necessarily to the masculine gender, but to humans in general who are mortals. SEE רש"ר הירש בראשית ד:כו, , מלבים תהילים ח:ה. 3. Ish for man and "Ishah" is evident from Bereshit 2:23. 4. Gever. According to the Malbim in Sefer Hacarmel, entry: Gever refers to masculine strength. The feminine form "Giveret" in a few places in the Torah, where the form appears , Bershit 16:4,8 9 , it is in the meaning of mistress ,referring to a woman who has power, authority, or ownership which is somewhat parallel to masculine form of Gever. All the Best
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il