He saw man’s need for a helper, counterpart, and companion; therefore, God put Adam into a deep sleep and took from him a rib to create a suitable partner for him.
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the place with flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man, He made into a woman, and brought her unto the man.” (Genesis 2:21–22)
A second century Jewish sage, Dosetai ben Yaanai, wrote that it is natural for a man to woo a woman. Why? Because he seeks for that which he has lost (his rib).
In Hebrew, a man is called ish and a woman, isha, the feminine form of ish. God uses this term when He woos Israel and promises a time when Israel will regard Him with fond affection, rather than stand at arm’s length from Him, viewing Him as a stern authority figure.
“It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me Ishi (my Man) and will no longer call Me Ba’ali (my Master).” (Hosea 2:16)
God wants Israel to serve Him out of love — love like that of a woman for her husband. Likewise, His love for Israel is that of a devoted, tender husband.
Furthermore, God is utterly concerned with our intimate relationships — with Him and with one another. He wants our relationships to be borne of love and devotion, not ruled through domination, control, manipulation, and coercion.
And because good relationships and preserving purity are so highly prized, Judaism has an effective method of finding mates for singles that is uncommon in the non-Jewish world.
The Jewish system of shidduchim (matchmaking) attempts to bring Jewish men and women together for the purpose of marriage. Creating a successful shidduch (arranged match) is considered a great mitzvah (good deed) in Judaism.
Although the verse describing Chavah (Eve) has often been translated as “helper” or “helpmate,” the word used for the role of a wife in Genesis 2:18 is ezer kenegdo, which literally means a helper against him.
The medieval Torah commentator Rashi comments on this text, saying: “If he [Adam] is worthy, [she will be] a help [ezer]. If he is not worthy [she will be] against him [kenegdo] for strife.”
The word ezer means a protector, a guard, an aid, and a help. So we can understand from this text that helping a husband doesn’t means always agreeing. A woman was not created to be a yes person. There are times when she must stand in opposition to her husband if he is planning something that is ungodly or unwise.
We can look at the example of Haman’s wife in the book of Esther who tried to warn her husband that his attempts to destroy Mordechai would never succeed because he was of Jewish origin.
To his detriment, the anti-Semite Haman did not listen to his ezer kenegdo.
As well, being a wife does not mean that the woman is less important or inferior to her husband. After all, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is also called The Helper. And while being the helper in Scripture connotes superiority, the addition of “kenegdo” to the word “ezer” reveals that the position of wife is a position of equality.
The Fall in the Garden
Sadly, due to a crafty serpent’s trickery, Eve sinned and Adam sinned soon after her; humankind went from grace to disgrace in a single day!
Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, and men and women have been pointing the finger at one another ever since.
There, in the Garden, for the first time in human history, we see the emergence of shame. With shame came forth a fear of God’s wrath. In his utter humiliation, Adam hid among the trees, having become aware that he was naked.
From their utopian, sheltered, and innocent existence in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were thrust into a cruel and unforgiving world of hardship and pain.
Being cast out of the Garden prevented them from eating from the Tree of Life in their fallen state. Doing so would have turned their temporary fallen state into an eternal fallen state.
The barred door of the Garden actually opened the door for redemption in the fullness of time.
How quickly the order and beauty of God’s creation deteriorated into moral degeneracy, even to the point of brother murdering brother (Cain and Abel).
With humankind spiritually separated from God and deciding for themselves what was good and what was evil, only six chapters into the Book of Bereisheet, mankind descended to such depths of evil, depravity and violence that God’s heart breaks, and He regrets ever creating mankind.
The good news, however, is that none of this came as a surprise to God. Even before the foundations of the earth were laid, God had a plan for redemption. God sent His one and only Son, Yeshua (Jesus), to pay the penalty for all of our sins.
“All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
A New Beginning
“By the word [davar] of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalm 33:6)
The New Covenant book of Yochanan (John) echoes the Creation story. The very first word of this book is the very same first word found in this Torah portion: Bereisheet (In the Beginning):
“In the beginning [Bereisheet] was the Word (HaDavar), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1–3, 14)
Yeshua was there at the beginning, and Yochanan describes Him as the agent of creative power, the power that made everything through the spoken word (davar).
It is also through Yeshua, who is called HaDavar (the Word), that we enter into a relationship with God and our true conversation with Him begins.
When we accept Yeshua, HaDavar has a home in our hearts. This means we are born again and given a new beginning as a child of the Heavenly Father, the God of the Universe.