I just finished the book – The Lonely Man of Faith by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. This wonderful book examines two separate and quite divergent characterizations of Adam which are set forth in the Old Testament book of Genesis. The two Adams are different indeed.
In Genesis 1, Adam I (and Eve) are created in God’s image. Adam is charged to take dominion over fish, fowl, cattle and all of the earth, to multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it.
In Genesis 2, Adam II is formed from dust, has life breathed into his nostrils – and is ordered to tend the garden. Eve was later formed from Adam’s rib.
I was drawn to this book by David Brooks’ thought-provoking 5 minute “Ted Talk” on the personality differences between “Adam I” and “Adam II” http://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_should_you_live_for_your_resume_or_your_eulogy
Brooks does not reference Genesis but he does discuss Soloveitchik’s work. Brooks offers that Adam I is motivated by his resume virtues. Adam II is driven by eulogy virtues. And guess which virtues Brooks finds of superior importance?
I was unaware of the sharp differences of Adam in Genesis. Rabbi Soloveitchik’s book – apart from using words which will require a dictionary at hand – is a fascinating and inspirational read.