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The Clothing of the Primordial Adam as a Symbol of Apocalyptic Time in the Midrashic Sources*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2011

Nissan Rubin
Bar-Ilan University
Admiel Kosman
Bar-Ilan University


One relates to existential reality through the lenses that one's culture supplies. The culture of each society, in turn, includes the way it relates to time and, as a result, to history. Time as a physical quantity would appear to be a neutral concept, but its measurement is arbitrary. Time is certainly not neutral in any culture. It assumes various qualities, depending on the symbolic meaning that persons attribute to it. One therefore finds different approaches to history or to the writing of history in different cultures. The Greeks in the Classical and Hellenistic eras and the Romans in the ancient world attempted to write history for its own sake and to satisfy intellectual curiosity. On the other hand, the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians wrote chronographies, but not history in the western sense. Ancient Israel lies between these: one finds historiography in the Bible, but not history for its own sake. The Bible presents a view of divine providence in history, with God's essence being visible through historical deeds. Great importance thus attaches to remembrance through various rituals, in prayers and in celebrations on the Shabbat, festive days, and mourning and fast days. These do not, however, require those remembering to be historians. On the contrary, a society that molds its members in accordance with unequivocal memory patterns does not permit them to examine its history in a critical fashion; it constructs in them a collective memory, which transmits a single incontestable message.

Research Article
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 1997

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1 On the link between culture and the perception of reality, see Douglas, Mary, Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology (New York: Pantheon, 1973).Google Scholar

2 On time as linked to the social structure and as therefore changing from one culture to another, see Bloch, Maurice, “The Past and Present in the Present,” Man, n.s. 12 (1977) 278–83Google Scholar . See also , Rubin, Nissan, “Historical Time and Liminal Time: A Chapter in Rabbinic Historiosophy,” Jewish History 2/2 (1987) 723Google Scholar [Hebrew], A great deal of literature has been written about the classification of time : Leach, Edmund R., Rethinking Anthropology (London: Athlone, 1981) 124–36Google Scholar , which differentiates between linear time and cyclical time, secular time and sanctified time; Evans-Pritchard, Edward Evan (The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People [Oxford: Clarendon, 1940] 94138Google Scholar ) differentiates between ecological time and structural time ; Levi-Strauss, Claude, The Savage Mind (London: Weidenfeld Nicolson, 1966Google Scholar ) differentiates between historical time and totemic time . Gell, Alfred, The Anthropology of Time: Cultural Constructions of Temporal Maps and Images (Oxford: Berg, 1992Google Scholar ) differentiates between social time and cognitive time; On the perception of time in Jewish society, see also : Rubin, Nissan, The End of Life: Mourning and Burial in the Rabbinic Literature (Tel Aviv: Ha-kibbutz Ha-Meuhad, 1997)Google Scholar [Hebrew] ; Deshen, Shlomo, “The ‘Kol Nidre’ Enigma: An Anthropological View of the Day of Atonement Liturgy,” Ethnology 18 (1978) 121–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 For a discussion about the views of anthropologists (Durkheim, Evans-Prichard, Levi-Strauss, Leach and others), see , Gell, Anthropology of TimeGoogle Scholar.

4 See Herr, Mosheh David, “The Rabbinic Sages' Perception of History,” Proceedings ofthe Sixth World Congress for Jewish Sciences (1977) 129–42Google Scholar [Hebrew]. See ibid., nn. 2-5 for bibliography of the historiography of the cultures mentioned here and elsewhere. Idem, “Continuity in the Chain of the Torah Tradition,” in Beinart, Haim et al., eds., Yitzchak Baer Memorial Volume (Jerusalem: The Historical Society of Israel, 1983) 4356Google Scholar [Hebrew].

5 Yerushalmi, Y. H., Zakhor, Jewish History and Jewish Memory (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1982)Google Scholar ; , Rubin, “Historical Time and Liminal Time,” 8Google Scholar.

6 This finds expression also in the Torah's different positive commandments to remember the “six reminiscences”: the exodus from Egypt, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, the extermination of Amalek, the case of Miriam, the Sabbath, and the way God was angered in the desert–all of which one recites just after the morning prayer.

7 See , Herr, “The Rabbinic Sages' Perception of History”Google Scholar ; , Rubin, “Historical Time and Liminal Time”Google Scholar ; and Urbach, Efraim E., “Halakhah and History,”Google Scholar in Hamerton-Kelly, Robert and Scroggs, Robin, eds., Jews, Greeks and Christians: Religious Cultures in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honor of William David Davies (Leiden: Brill, 1978) 112–28Google Scholar.

8 Yerushalmi, Zakhor, introduction ; Paine, Robert, “Israel and Totemic Time,” Royal Anthropological Institute Newsletter 59 (1983) 1922Google Scholar.

9 On the significance of mythological time, see, for example , Garber-Talmon, Yonina, “Time in Primitive Myth,” Iyyun 2 (1952) 201–14 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

10 , Levi-Strauss, Savage Mind, 233–34.Google Scholar

11 On the concept of liminulity. see Turner, Victor W., The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Rituals (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967) 93111Google Scholar ; , Rubin, “Historical Time and Liminal Time,” 1112Google Scholar.

12 Neusner, Jacob, Between Time and Eternity: The Essentials of Judaism (Encino, CA: Dickenson, 1976) 110.Google Scholar

13 The first methodical investigations of the formulation of the collective memory come from Halbwachs, Maurice, La topographie legendaire des Evangiles en Terre Saint; Etude de memoire collective (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1941)Google Scholar; idem, The Collective Memory (New York: Harper and Row, 1980)Google Scholar ; and Mead, George Herbert, “The Nature of the Past,”Google Scholar in Coss, John, ed., Essays in Honor of John Dewey (New York: Holt, 1929) 235343Google Scholar . Both scholars adopt a radical position whereby the perception of the past varies in accordance with the interests of the present. A more conservative view that allows for continuity in the present's perception of the past is that of Durkheim, Emile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (New York: Free Press, 1965) 415Google Scholar , 420; and Shils, Edward Albert, Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981) 3132Google Scholar . A third approach, according to which both change and continuity coexist side by side in a society, is that of Barry Schwartz. See, for example, his Social Change and Collective Memory: The Democratization of George Washington,American Sociological Review 56 (1991) 221–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar . See also Nora, Pierre, “Between History and Memory,” Representations 28 (1988) 725Google Scholar.

14 On the perception of cyclical time in ancient societies, see , Garber-Talmon, “Time in Primitive Myth”Google Scholar ; also , , Rubin, “Historical Time and Liminal Time,” 811Google Scholar.

15 See, for example, Goldschmidt, Daniel, ed., Seder ha-Selihdt (Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kook, 1965)Google Scholar.

16 Wxod 20:12.

17 Lev 26:3-15. Cf . Urbach, Efraim E., The Sages, Their Concepts and Beliefs (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1975) 214–18Google Scholar ; Rubin, Nissan, “The Sages' Conception of the Body and Soul,” inGoogle ScholarFishbane, Simcha and Lightstone, Jack N., eds., Essays in the Social Scientific Study ofJudaism and Jewish History (Montreal: Department of Religion, Concordia University, 1990) 47103Google Scholar.

18 On optimism in the Jewish perception of time, see Handelman, Don and Katz, Elihu, “State Ceremonies of Israel—Remembrance Day and Independence Day,” in Handelman, Models and Mirrors: Toward Anthropology of Public Events (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) 191233Google Scholar.

19 See, for example, 2 Enoch 8.1-2; 9.1; 10.1-6; 40.12; 42.1-3; 4 Ezra 4.41-42; 7.80-88; 2 Baruch 21-22. See also , Martens, John W., “A Sectarian Analysis of the Damascus Document,”Google Scholar in , Fishbane and , Lightstone, eds., Essays in the Social Scientific Study of Judaism, 2740Google Scholar . For a summary discussion, see, Licht, Jacob, “The Judean Desert, Cult and Scrolls,” Encyclopaedia Hebraica, 22 (1970) 195207Google Scholar [Hebrew].

20 See , , Rubin, “Historical Time”Google Scholar ; , Neusner, Between Time and Eternity, 111Google Scholar ; and , Paine, “Israel and Totemic Time,” 20Google Scholar.

21 See a discussion in length in , Rubin, “Conception of the Body and Soul,” 47103Google Scholar.

22 , Douglas, Natural Symbols, 5484Google Scholar . See also her later books, in which she developed the concept and introduced changes into it: idem , Cultural Bias (London: Royal Anthropological Institute, 1978)Google Scholar ; idem , Essays in the Sociology of Perception (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982) 38Google Scholar ; idem , How Institutions Think (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987)Google Scholar ; Douglas, Mary and Wildavsky, Aaron, Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982) 138–51Google Scholar.

23 Cf., for example, m. Sanh. 10.1.

24 On the variety of facets of biblical society, see Knohl, Israel, The Many Facets in the Belief in Monotheism (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 1995) [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

25 An ancient Mishnah in Qiddüsín states, “If a man performs but a single commandment, i t shall be well with him and he shall have length of days and shall inherit the land; but if he neglects a single commandment it shall be ill with him and he shall not have length of days and shall not inherit the land” (m. Qidd. 1.6). See also , Urbach, Efraim E., “Asceticism and Suffering in the Talmudic and Mishnaic Sources,” in Barron, Salo et al., eds., Yitzhak F. Baer Jubilee Volume (Jerusalem: Historical Society of Israel, 1960) 4868 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

26 On reward and punishment in the biblical perception and in that of the Sages, and on the change in the perception of the Sages, see , Rubin, “Conception of the Body and Soul,” 7379Google Scholar . On the crisis atmosphere we read in the following source, dating from the decrees of Hadrian: “R. Nathan says, ‘Of them that love me and keep my commandments’ (Ex. 20:5) refers to those who dwell in the land of Israel and risk their lives for the sake of the commandments. ‘Why are you being led out to be decapitated?’ ‘Because I circumcised my son to be an Israelite.’ ‘Why are you being led out to be burned?’ ‘Because I read the Torah.’ ‘Why are you being led out to be crucified?’ ‘Because I ate the unleavened bread.’ ‘Why are you getting a hundred lashes?’ ‘Because I performed the ceremony of the lulab’,” Mekilita de-Rabbi Ishmael (Horovitz, Shaul H. and Rabin, Israel G., eds.; Frankfurt a.M.: Kauffmann, 1931Google Scholar ) tractate Bahodes, 6.227. See also , Hoshen, Dalia, “The Theory of Suffering in the God Perception of R. Akiva,” Da'at 27 (1991) 533 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

27 See , Urbach, The Sages, Their Concepts, 443–44Google Scholar ; so too, y. Ber. 9.7, 14b; y. Sofa 5.7, 23b.

28 On the special reward reserved for those who gave their lives on behalf of the community, see the analysis of Levi-Strauss, Claude, “Four Winnebago Myths: A Structural Sketch,” in Spain, David H., ed., The Human Experience (Homewood, IL: Dorsey, 1975) 351–61Google Scholar.

29 An example of this is the statement of Tarfon, R.: “Know the reward given to the righteous n the future to come”Google Scholar (m. 'Abot 2.17); or the words of R. Yaakov; “‘That it shall be good for you’ (Deut. 22:7), in the world that is totally good.” The conclusion of the Talmud is that “there is no reward in this world for performing commandments” (b. Hullin 142a). For a detailed discussion of this, see , Rubin, “Conception of the Body and Soul,” 7879Google Scholar.

30 See , Rubin, “Historical Time and Liminal Time,” 1213Google Scholar . See also , Potolski, Moshe, “The Principle that One Deduces Nothing before the Giving of the Torah,” Dinei Yisrael 6 (1975) 195230 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

31 Gen. R. 63.10 (Theodor-Albeck ed., Berlin 1903-1929). The forefathers also observed the commandments of the Torah: Abraham in m. Qidd. 4.14and t. Qidd. 5.21; Isaac in b. Yoma 58b; Jacob in Gen. R. 63.10, which states that he studied in the beth midrash of Shem and Eber.

32 On the cultural and social significance of clothing, see Kroeber, Alfred Lewis, “On the Principle of Order in Civilization as Exemplified by Changes of Fashion,” The American Anthropologist 21 (1919) 235–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Simmel, Georg, “Fashion,” International Quarterly 10 (1904) 130–55Google Scholar , reprinted in American Journal of Sociology 62 (1957) 541–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Kuper, Hilda, “Costume and Identity,” Comparative Studies in Society 15 (1973) 348–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; Davis, Fred, Fashion, Culture and Identity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992)Google Scholar . On the flexible and inflexible boundaries of culture, see Douglas, Mary, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966)CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; as well as her books, in nn. 2 and 22. See also , Cooper, S., “On the Rules of Mixture: Toward an Anthropology of Halacha,” in Goldberg, Harvey E., ed., Judaism Viewed From Within and From Without: Anthropological Studies (Albany: SUNY Press, 1987)Google Scholar.

33 As in, e.g., “You are clothed in glory and majesty” (Ps 104:1; cf. Job 40:10). In the vision of Daniel (7:9), however, the clothing of God (the “ancient of days”) is as white snow, and is therefore not merely metaphorical. On angels being clothed, see, for example, Ezek 9:2. The angels that appeared to humans were undoubtedly clothed. See, for example, Judg 13:15; and regarding the “men” that appeared to Abraham, see Gen 19:1. Incidently, humans also occasionally wear metaphoric garments, as in, “I clothed myself in righteousness and it robed me; justice was my cloak and turban” (Job 29:14).

34 See 2 Kgs 10:22: “He said to the man in charge of the wardrobe, ‘Bring out the vestments for all the worshippers of Baal,’ and he brought vestments out for them.” See also , Haran, Menachem, “Dress,” Encyclopaedia Biblica (1962) 4. 1046 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

35 Exod 28:2; 28:4; 31:10; 35:19; 39:1, 41; 40:13; Lev 16:4, 32.

36 Wrapping oneself in the garment transfers the priest into the transcendent plane and connects him to the holy. See n. 82 on this below as well. The clothes themselves also need t o be sanctified. See Lev. 8:30.

37 Ezek 42:14; 44:19. See also, Lev 6:4 regarding the high priest, and , Haran, “Dress.”Google Scholar See also Lieberman, Saul, Tóseptd' kí-péśùtáh: be' úr 'arúk lat-tóseptá' (New York: Rabinovits, 1995). Kil. 5.27, 664Google Scholar.

38 See , Haran, “Dress,” 1048Google Scholar . This is especially true of the garment of the king (“which the king wore”; Esth 6:8), which bespeaks importance and power.

39 Num 20:25-28.

40 I Sam 15:27; 28:14. Also 1 Sam 2:18-19 makes a point of saying that even as a young man he served before God in a linen ephod, and that his mother made him a small coat.

41 1 Kgs 19:13. Cf. 2 Kgs 1:8; 2:12-14; see also 1 Kgs 19:19.

42 On the source of this expression, see the note by Frenqel, Yonah, Darké ha-'Aggadah wé-ham-Midraś (2 vols.; Givatayim, Israel: Yad La'talmud, 1991) 2. 607, n. 59Google Scholar.

43 Schechter, Solomon, ed., 'Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (1887; reprinted Hildesheim/New York: Olms, 1967Google Scholar ) (A) 6 (32). For details on the realia of this 'ittup in those days, see n. 47 below, and Krauss, Samuel, Antiquities of the Talmud (4 vols.; Tel Aviv: n.p., 1945) 2/2. 173202 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

44 Mandelbaum, Bernard, ed., Pesiqta de-Rab Kahana (New York: Bét ha-midrás ie-Rabanim be'Amenqah, 1987) 3Google Scholar , the Omer commandment (143-44). If this were Levi b. Sisi, he was a member of the transitional generation between the Tannaim and the Amoraim, but it is more logical to assume that this was R. Levi, an Amora of the third generation living in Israel. See Albeck, Chanoch, Mabo hat-Talmudim (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1969) 153–55Google Scholar , 256-57. An especially dramatic description of this ittup is to be found in b. Roš Haš. 17b, in the name of R. Yohanan, in his exposition on the verse, “The Lord passed before his face and he called out” (Exod 34:6): “Had the verse not stated so categorically, this could not have been said. This teaches us that the holy one, blessed be he, wrapped himself like a cantor and showed Moses the order of prayer.” This statement of R. Yohanan implies that at that time not every person who prayed wrapped himself, but only the cantor. See also on this , Ehrlich, Uri, “The Methods of Prayer and their Significance in the Mishnah and Talmud Eras” (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1994) 153 [Hebrew]Google Scholar.

45 T. Pesah (Lieberman ed.), 2.16; see also, y. Ned. 11.5, 42c, on R. Yose.

46 B. Hag. 2a.

47 See also, 'Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (A) 26 (82): “Men who are wrapped ('attúpé) in sheets,” which appears to be a synonym for a group of people who study the Torah; cf. Qoheleth Rabbah 1.7 (end). See also, y. Ned. 3.8, 38a, in the name of R. Aha in the name of R. Honeh (of the fourth generation of the Amoraim in the land of Israel), which describes the actions of Esau at the end of days, when he will “wrap himself in his tallit and sit with the righteous in the Garden of Eden…and the holy one, blessed be he, will drag him and take him out of there.” Regarding this sheet, see also , Krauss, Antiquities of the Talmud, 108 n. 1, and 174Google Scholar.

48 Cf. Sire Deut. 13.22. “‘Known to your tribes’ (Deut 1:13)—that they should be known to you. If he wraps himself in his tallit and he comes to sit before me, I cannot tell from which tribe he is, but you know me.…”

49 See Rashi to b. Šsabb. 10a, s.v., “dayyānin mij'atépín bé-tallitan.”

50 Pesiqta Rabbati 9.31b (Friedmann [Ish-Shalom] ed.; Vienna, 1880).

51 Y. Ber. 7.5, 1 Id, quoting R. Ba, the son of R. Hiya, the son of Abba, of the third generation of Amoraim in the land of Israel.

52 See Rashi to b. Šabb. 12b: “We have learned…One who enters to visit a sick person should not sit on the bed nor on a chair, but should wrap himself and sit before him, because the divine presence is above the head of one who is ill….” There, too, Rashi explains it in similar terms (s.v. “mit'atep”): “From awe of the divine presence, as a man who sits in fear and does not turn to the sides.”

53 B. Šabb. 25b notes that “on eve of the Sabbath R. Yehudah b. Ila'i would take a basin of hot water, and he would wash his face, hands and feet, after which he would wrap himself in a fringed robe, and he resembled an angel of the Lord of hosts.” The comparison to an angel also appears in b. Ned. 20b: “Who are the ministering angels? (These are) the sages. And why are they referred to as ministering angels? Because they resemble the ministering angels in their fine clothing.” Rashi explains, in his commentary to b. Qidd. 72b (on the Talmudic claim that “R. Levi son of Sisi stated, ‘Show me the Torah sages of Babylon, who resemble the ministering angels’”—[s.v. “domim”]), “they are dressed in white and are wrapped as the ministering angels, as it states (Ezek 9:11), ‘the man clothed in linen’….” Rashi understands this as a clear proof that angels wear clothing! On the significance of 'ittup in white clothing, as opposed to black clothing, see y. Roš Haš 1.3, 57b: “It is customary for a person who must appear in court to do so in black clothing and wrap himself in black and to grow his beard, because he does not know how the decision will go, but [the children of] Israel [on Rosh Ha'shanah] do not act that way, but dress in white and wrap themselves in white and shave their beards, and eat and drink and rejoice—they know that the holy one, blessed be he, performs miracles for them.” See also, m. Mid. 5.4. It appears that wrapping oneself in white had an element of holiness and of resembling the angels, whereas wrapping oneself in black was a symbolic act of mourning and of fear of the verdict (see also Rashi on Qidd. s.v. “lá'Śè'irím”). The color of the tallit (at least in Babylon) was generally white, but on occasion it was black or red. See , Krauss, Antiquities of the Talmud, 205–6Google Scholar . Women's hair covering was also generally white (Ibid., 270).

54 Thus, “A man may wear one garment on top of another—even though his money belt is tied on the outside, provided that he places the cord and ties it between his shoulders” (i. Kil. 5.15 [Lieberman ed.], 20-21).

55 On the different views regarding use of the halúk, see , Krauss, Antiquities of the Talmud, 181 n. 1Google Scholar.

56 Ibid., 175. See also, ibid. (205) for a discussion of the folds' decorative purposes.

57 Thus, for example: “If he was dressed in a cloak and wrapped in a tallit” (t. Toharot 8.13 [Zuckermandel ed.], 669); see also , , Krauss, Antiquities of the Talmud, 176Google Scholar.

58 Hence the stress in a number of places on the color white, which is characteristic of the angels (see n. 53).

59 See , Ehrlich (Methods of Prayer, 158–60)Google Scholar on the differences in ancient customs between the ancient Christian perception (which the Tannaim and Amoraim in the land of Israel apparently also accepted) that a fitting way to appear before God was with one's head uncovered, and the evidently diametrically opposite view in Babylon, whose teachers felt the fitting way was to have one's head covered. A similar difference existed with regard to 'ittup.

60 Amos4:12.

61 Genesis Rabbah 74 (871). See also, Theodor's notes there to line 1.

62 See Midrash Śému'el 6.2.64 (Buber ed.; Krakow, 1893). The commentators imparted a great amount of significance to Samuel's coat in the Bible in the Jerusalem Talmud (y. Ta'anit 2.7, 65d): “Samuel wore the clothing of all the people of Israel.” See also, , Krauss (Antiquities of the Talmud, 182)Google Scholar , who states, “The meaning of this may be that the prophet identified himself with all of Israel.” See also m. Semahot, which was completed by the end of the third century CE.

63 It was learned in the name of R. Nathan, a garment which goes down with the person t o the underworld (she'ol), comes with him (in the world to come),” etc. See also Śémáhoi (Higger edit.) (New York, 1931) 10 (179) and Higger's notes there.

64 According to various Midrashim, God sometimes gives humanity and sometimes the angels (metaphoric) clothing (and see n. 33). Thus, for example, Exod. R. 16.26 reads, “The clothing of the holy one, blessed be he, is glory and majesty, and He gave Solomon regal majesty, as it states (I Chr 29:25), ‘He endowed him with regal majesty’.” So too Exod. R. 38.3 n i regard to Aaron, or 38.8 in the words of R. Yehoshua of Sikhnin in the name of R. Levi. Regarding the condition of the Israelites in the desert, the question is asked (Song R. 4.23 [Dunski ed.; Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1980] 119-20; see also, Deuteronomy Rabbah [, Lieberman ed.; Jerusalem: Bamberger and Wahrmann, 1990]Google Scholar Ki Tabod [11] 113) as to where they obtained clothing throughout the long years they were in the desert (cf. Deut 8:4). R. Shimon b. Yose b. Lacunia answers there that the clothing they had were “those who were dressed by the ministering angels.”

65 B. Pesah 54a.

66 , Turner, Forest of Symbols, 93111Google Scholar ; idem , Dramas, Fields and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974) 231–71Google Scholar.

67 Gen 3:10.

68 Pesiqta de-Rabbi Eliezer (, Warsaw ed., 1852) 14Google Scholar ; with commentary by David Luria, p. 33b.

69 Garber-Talmon, Yonina, “Time in Primitive Myth,” 201–13.Google Scholar

70 Genesis Rabbah 97 (p. 1249); and the comments by Theodor to line 3. See also , Kasher, Menahem Mendl, Torah Sheleimah (New York: Torah Sheleimah Institute, 1950) 7/8. 1768Google Scholar (Section 136). He claimed that this magic garment was Joseph's striped coat given him by his father.

71 Gen 25:32.

72 See also , Mirkin, Moshe Arie, ed.. Genesis Rabbah (11 vols.; Tel Aviv: Yavneh, 1980) 3. 23Google Scholar . See also, Gen. R. 65.15 (p. 27): “‘The coveted clothes of her older son, Esau’—that he coveted them from Nimrod and killed him and took them.”

73 Pesiqta de-Rabbi Eliezer, 24.56b.

74 See also , Dan, Joseph, ed., Sépér Hay-yásar (Jerusalem: Byalik, 1986) 133–34Google Scholar ; and Ginzberg, Louis, The Legends of the Jews (7 vols.; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1968) 1. 319–20Google Scholar , nn. 39-44.

75 Pesiqta de-Rabbi Eliezer, 20.46a. Cf. ibid., 22.50b.7, which deals with this at length.

76 Gen 3:21.

77 Num. R. 4.8 (Mirkin ed. 9. 71-72). It was certainly not earlier than the twelfth century, even though the editor appears to have had access to ancient Midrashim. See Mack, Hananel, “Time, Place and Distribution of Midrash Bamidbar RabbahTe'udah 11 (1996) 91105Google Scholar.

78 Gen 27:26.

79 Gen 27:27.

80 Tanhuma, Genesis (Buber ed.) (Jerusalem, 1964) (photo-reproduction), Toledot, 12, 132-33. Also compare this to a discussion in Zohar, Bo' 39a-b. On a similar description of the passing of an understanding of intercalation from God to Adam and from him on, until Ezra, see Pesiqta de-Rabbi Eliezer 7.18a-19b (see also , Elbaum, Jacob, “Rhetoric, Motif and Subject-matter–Toward an Analysis of Narrative Technique in Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer,” Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 13-14 (1991-1992) 120–21Google Scholar , n. 48. A similar story concerns Moses' staff, which was owned by Adam and was passed down from one generation to the next until i t reached Esau, who guarded it scrupulously until Jacob took it from him and fled with it to Haran, and when he died he bequeathed it to Joseph and thus, according to some versions it reached Jethro and from him it went to Moses. See , Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, 2. 293Google Scholar , and n. 95. A late Midrash adds that the staff is at present hidden but will be revealed at the time of the Messiah. See Eisenstein, Judah David, ed., Bibliotheca Midraschica (Otiar Midrashim) (11 vols.; New York: n.p., 1928) 1. 176Google Scholar . Also see regarding this, our comments below regarding the holy garment, which in a similar fashion cuts across all of history.

81 Regarding this garment, the Sages in the Babylonian Talmud state that just wearing it is sufficient to atone for one's sins: “The priestly garments atone.” (b. Zebahim 88b; Arak. 16b; Mo'ed Qal. 28a). See also the words of R. Elazar b. Pedat in b. Mo'ed Qat. 28a: “Just as the priestly garments atone, the death of the righteous atones.” Because of its importance, it was even included in oaths: “The garment worn by my father” (t. Hal 1.10 [Lieberman ed.] 277). Tanhùmá Nóah 15 explains Lev 10:5, which the Sages interpreted to mean that the vestments of Nadab and Abihu were not burned when they were, as follows: “How did God repay Shem? for his refined behavior when his father Noah became drunk and was uncovered in his tent (Gen 9:23). When the sons of Aaron went in to offer sacrifices…their garments were not burned, but only the soul was burned and not the body, as it states, ‘them’ but not their bodies.” Here, too, is an indication of the intertextual context linking the holy garment to Shem–through whom it later passed on to the priests. See also , Kasher, Menachem Mendel, Torah Sheleimah, vol. 29: Parashat Shemini (Jerusalem: Aharon, 1992) 57 [12]Google Scholar.

82 Pesiqta de-Rab Kahana (appendices) Vav, Sos asis (p. 470). See also, Pesiqta Rabbati 37 (p. 164a).

83 See Tanhüma, Numbers, Béha'aldteká, 15 (p. 51).

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The Clothing of the Primordial Adam as a Symbol of Apocalyptic Time in the Midrashic Sources*
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The Clothing of the Primordial Adam as a Symbol of Apocalyptic Time in the Midrashic Sources*
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