“When God created Man, She was only joking” — Old feminist slogan
Actually, properly translated, G^d created: ‘a human,’ not: ‘Man.’
But, let’s focus on the Creat^r. There are several reasons why G^d gets male conjugations in the Hebrew Bible. (And even when it uses the word for ‘Divine Presence,’ which is Shecheenah, a female form, it still has: His Divine Presence, which is Shecheenatoh.) That is not because G^d has a male body, figure, or gender identity, perish the thought.
(Yet, the word Lechah (‘for you,’ male) changes in Lach (‘for you,’ female) at the end of a clause. It still then means: ‘for you,’ male. But, apparently, G^d won’t mind very much to be misgendered from time to time.)
But why then this pronounced male gender?
Firstly, G^d gets a gendered pronoun in the Hebrew Bible because the holy tongue has no neuter.
That every Hebrew noun is gendered highlights that G^d created contrasts and opposites. It is hard for us to discern anything without an opposite. If everything in the world was one shade of gray, we could hardly see shapes and maybe only see movement changes. But these contrasts are especially important in several duos. We must know the sharp distinction between:
● Good and Evil. Not everything is morally neutral. And, all our lives, we should take a stance against Evil.
● The Holy and the Mundane. Holy means: set aside for a special purpose. If everything is on a sliding scale, nothing would be holy.
● The Past and the Future. The dividing line is the present and mostly there, we may make a difference in the world.
● Male and Female. Opposites sometimes complement each other. In fact, nothing is complete on its own except G^d (and peace).
● Life and Death. Death is not an option. We must choose life.
● You and Me. Only when we are not symbiotic creatures, we may freely request of, give to, and receive from each other.
So, biblical Hebrew doesn’t have the neuter.
That leaves us with the question: Why is there no exception for G^d?
That could be because He (!) wants us to enable us to relate to Him. He created us in His Image so that we could have a child-parent relationship with Him. G^d shouldn’t be a mere (tangible or non-tangible) object to us.
But, then we should still ask: if He must be gendered, why then male?
Most of Hebrew Scripture comes to teach just men how to behave. And, in general, women are not the problem in life. This is true on a global scale and in the home. Even when women create discord not related to men, when men would behave properly, most women would follow suit.
Now, for many men, if G^d presented Himself as a female, all kinds of weird interpersonal things would happen. G^d aims for some Father-son bonding. This, because if men would need some mothering, on the other hand, plenty of men and women are around to provide that.
And for women, a female god would be kind of redundant. Holy, near-perfect females abound. What most women would need is a Model of what true guys should be like. To understand her own innocence and not to give up on men but rather, to educate them to full humanity. (Except for the dangerous, violent ones. From them, she should run.)
So, G^d appearing as male in the holy Writ is not a form of sexism, Heaven forbid. For the meticulous reader, it’s the most feminist plot ever written.