In Jewish tradition the great stories of the Torah are often retold and re-imagined in order to gain deeper insights. Here is a good example of the process called Midrash Agadah as applied to the Torah’s archetypal human: At first, Adam was all alone. He didn’t have parents and he didn’t have children.
He did not even have a brother or a sister to talk to. He didn’t even have a friend to play games with. Adam was lonely, and he was unhappy.
God said to Adam, “It is not good for you to be alone.[Genesis 2:18] But now you are free to do whatever you want to do. When you are alone you don’t have to share things with others. You don’t have to stop talking and just listen when someone else needs to talk to you. You don’t have to help when others need help. You don’t have to care about how someone else feels. If you had a sister or a brother or a good friend, you would have to do all these things and many more.”
“I don’t like being lonely” said Adam, “ I have lots of things for fun and games; but I get bored with them after a while. I have several pet animals, but even having animals is not good enough for me. I still feel lonely and all alone. I need someone who is like me but at the same time is different. I need a partner. Someone to stand by my side and be my best friend. I need someone I can take care of, and who will care for me.”
“I know just what you need.” said God, “What you need is a help mate. A person with a different personality, who can grow together with you in love, and help you become a responsible, kind and loving human being. I am going to form her right out of your side, so she will stand side by side with you as your equal partner, your help mate.[Genesis 2:21-23]
The two of you will be like one pair of hands. You know, one hand cannot wash itself. But two hands can always wash each other. You will have to be responsible for and to each other. You will no longer be independent.
You will not be free to do whatever you want anymore. You will have to think about another person’s feelings. You will have to listen to what she tells you. You will have to think less about your self and more about another. I will give you a blessing to help you become a couple.”
God looked down and saw that Adam had fallen into a deep sleep. God hoped that when Adam awoke he would remember all that God had told him. Even if Adam and all his descendants didn’t always become the loving responsible help mates that God wanted them to be, God thought they would become better by trying.
And those who were fully responsible marriage partners and help mates would become God’s blessing for each other. Then the sons of Adam would realize that their wives, the daughters of Eve, were holy gifts and blessings from God.