Adam and Eve: The Story Behind the Headline

The writer and architecture critic Joel Solkoff posted an item on his website about Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). The item led with a detail from a painting of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and suggested (without absolutely asserting) that Rosh Hashanah is their birthday. Writing under my pseudonym of Hadley V. Baxendale, I posted a comment to his web page, giving the true story. I reprint it here.

I see in this post that according to Wikipedia Rosh Hashanah “is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.” Of course I respect the Wikipedian religion, as I do all religions, and will defend their right to proclaim the truth as they see it.

I feel obliged to point out, though, that modern research has now established beyond any reasonable doubt that the first man was created by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in their garage in Palo Alto in 1939. The creation site is now a California Historical Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.

The first woman was created by Steve Jobs in a small workshop in Cupertino in the early 1970s. The exact date is uncertain, but it was not long before his formative trip to India in 1974, and may have influenced his decision to go there. The woman was the first of Jobs’ many beautiful and useful creations, so alluring in their flawless design and rich functionality that people felt they just had to have one even though they did not know what it was for, or how it worked, or what it could do, or even that they wanted one until Jobs told them they did.

The remarkable synergy between the Hewlett-Packard man and Jobs’ woman has helped make the world what it is today, and it is their achievement we celebrate at Rosh Hashanah.