And She Removes Her Ḥallah from the Middle
“Rabbi Yoḥanan son of Ḥanina said: The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his dust was gathered; in the second, it was kneaded into a shapeless mass. In the third, his limbs were shaped; in the fourth, a soul was infused into him; in the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet; in the sixth, he gave [the animals] their names; in the seventh, Eve became his mate; in the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and descended as four; in the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the tree, in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried, and in the twelfth he was expelled and departed, as is written, A man will not rest in splendor (Psalms 49:13)” (BT Sanhedrin 38a, cf. M Avot 1:1).
“[On the day YHWH God made earth and heavens, no shrub of the field being yet on the earth and no plant of the field yet sprouted, for YHWH God had not caused rain to fall on the earth and there was no human to till the soil, and wetness would well from the earth to water all the surface of the soil,] then YHWH God fashioned the human, [humus from the soil…] (Genesis 2:7).
A king makes a land stand firm through justice. But a man of donations destroys it (Proverbs 29:4). A king—the King of kings of kings, the blessed Holy One; A king makes a land stand firm through justice—He created the world on the basis of justice, as is written, In the beginning Elohim created (Genesis 1:1).
But a man of תְּרוּמוֹת (terumot), donations, destroys it (Proverbs 29:4)—first Adam, who was the completion of the world, its ḥallah. Now ḥallah is called תְּרוּמָה (terumah), a donation [or: an elevation offering], as is written, The first yield of your kneading troughs, חַלָּה (ḥallah), a round loaf, you shall present in donation (Numbers 15:20). Rabbi Yose son of Qisratah said: Like a woman who mixes her dough with water and removes her ḥallah from the middle [before the dough is kneaded]. So too, at first, wetness would well from the earth to water all the surface of the soil, then YHWH God fashioned the human, humus from the soil (Genesis 2:6)” (Bereshit Rabbah 14:1, cf. JT Shabbat 2:6, 5a).
“בְּרֵאשִׁית (Bereshit), In the beginning, this is ḥallah as is written, רֵאשִׁית (reshit), the first, yield of your kneading troughs, חַלָּה (ḥallah), a round loaf, you shall present in donation (Numbers 15:20), as we have said, ‘Adam was חַלָּה (ḥallah) of the world…’ What is ḥallah? It is these seven species: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil of the land, and honey, which is honey of dates. חִטָּה (Ḥittah), wheat, is the tree from which the first man ate, and since he did not separate ḥallah, [holiness] did not descend upon ה (he), but dwelled upon ח (ḥet) and ט (tet) [which spell, חִטָּה (ḥittah), wheat, and allude to חֵטְא (ḥet), sin], causing death [cf. BT Berakhot 40a].
And the ḥallah is the Shekhinah, it includes these seven species [which hint at the lower seven sefirot]. In this was the sin of the first man—the drop, which is the י (yod). Dough must have ḥallah taken from it. Immediately they fell upon that drop, and he gave seed that was included with both which is the ו (vav) and the mystery of the matter, הֵא (he), here, is seed for you, [and sow the land] (Genesis 47:23).
Because of this, ḥallah is certainly a decree for the wife, because of her Adam who was the ḥallah of the world died. She must separate ḥallah, to take it from her dough, which is her drop, to return it to man” (Tiqqunei ha-Zohar 31a).