by Julia Blum

Many people know that in Hebrew, when you say Adam you almost hear the word adamah (earth, or ground) in this name. Why? The first man was called Adam because ‘the LORD God formed man from the dust of the earth” (‘Adamah’). What is the deeper message, hidden in these three Hebrew letters אדם (Adam)?

Reach the full potential

Firstly, more should be said about this connection, Adam-Adamah. Weren’t all the animals created from the ground; why was Adam the only one named after adamah (אדמה)? Our sages explain: while the animals were created ‘almost completed’, both man and the ground were created in a basic, pure state; they both need to be developed; they both require hard work in order to reach their full potential and to bear fruit.

The hidden aspect

However, two different words “jump” at you from the original Hebrew ‘adam’ – not just adamah, but also dam (דם), blood. Why would the word dam be within adam? It clearly shows that this creature – adam – is ‘flesh and blood’ from the very beginning. We know that the Torah is based on the significance of the blood, dam, of living creatures, but it all seems to start here, in the name ‘Adam’.

Biblical Hebrew reveals the Eternal Mysteries

You don’t suppose that God gave a random and meaningless name to his first creation, do you? Undoubtedly, these “bloody” and “earthly” aspects form the original components not only of Adam’s identity, but of God’s message to humanity: this “flesh and blood” man needs to be developed after he comes into this world.