The weekly Torah portion of Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

learn more… | top users | synonyms (4)

0
votes
2answers
368 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of commentary on Genesis prior to Philo? [closed]

I'm interested to know where I might find out more about Jewish commentators on the story of the Creation, Fall and Expulsion from Eden as described in Genesis. Is there a Jewish equivalent to the ...
3
votes
4answers
168 views

Is Cain a prophet?

According to some views, prophecy is not a gift that is arbitrarily conferred upon people; rather, it is the culmination of a person's spiritual and ethical development. When a person reaches a ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How to reconcile Biblical Flood story vs science and history?

Genesis spends a good deal of time -- Chapters 6 through 11 -- discussing the "mabul mayim", a flood that killed all humanity outside the ark. Here is what the Torah's text says about the universality ...
9
votes
2answers
228 views

Rivers in Genesis

I will be upfront about it - I am skeptical of our tradition about the Torah being given on Mount Sinai, and suspect that Judaism is a man-made religion. It's not that I don't want Judaism to be true, ...
11
votes
1answer
130 views

Onkelus translation of Gods name

Why does Onkelus usually translate the name Elokim as Hashem? For example in the following pasuk (Bereshit 5:1): זֶה סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדֹת אָדָם בְּיוֹם בְּרֹא אֱלֹהִים אָדָם בִּדְמוּת אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Breishis 5:5 - Adam's 930 years are written backwards?

When recounting the 10 generations from Adam to Noach, the years of their lives are written in the style of 1's, 10's and 100's place, e.g. ויחי ירד שתים וששים שנה ומאת שנה. Except for one exception, ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Elohim - Female Image of G-d

There is a group that teaches that analyzing the words in Genesis 1:26 : And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

Does “die” in Bereishit 2:17 imply the *beginning* of a process death, or simply *death*?

It is true that Adam and Eve didn’t die the exact day they ate, as some seem to think Genesis 2:17 implies. The Hebrew is die-die (muwth-muwth), which is often translated as “surely die” or literally ...
7
votes
1answer
220 views

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

Why does plant life precede the Sun in the order of creation given that plants need the Sun to do photosynthesis?
2
votes
3answers
220 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
-1
votes
1answer
268 views

Who is “us” in Genesis 1:26 if God is one?

Gen 1:26 says: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness What does the word "us" imply here? There are also other instances of this "us" found in Gen 3:22: Behold, ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

Contents of Genesis chapter 6 [duplicate]

What does the original Hebrew say about Genesis chapter 6, where in the Christian bible, angels came down from heaven and had children with man? Does the Torah say that this happened, and that it was ...
3
votes
1answer
392 views

Rambam and Interpreting Bereishit as Allegorical

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin makes the following statement in his Sept. 27th, 2013 commentary on Bereishit in the Jerusalem Post: Furthermore, Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed, interprets all ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Is Rashi teasing us?

In Bereishit 3:22 Rashi says the following: and now, lest he stretch forth his hand, etc.: And if he were to live forever, he would be likely to mislead people to follow him and to say that he ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

Why does Scripture in parashat bereishit need to mention the four rivers?

In Bereishit 2:10, scripture mentions the following: 10: And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. 11: The name of one is Pishon; ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Why “nostrils” and not mouth?

Breishit 2:7: ... He blew into his nostrils the soul of life ... Why did HaShem use nostrils instead of mouth? PS. ISTR that, according to a midrash, the fire which killed Nadav & Avihu did ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Is there proof that we never skipped a day of the week? [duplicate]

Bereshit begins with the first 6 days and the Shabbat. The assumption is then that after that day, Mankind kept track of the day of the week all by themselves until today. Are we sure that no one ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

מחויאל and מחייאל Bereshis perek 4:18

Why did the pasuk change מחויאל to מחייאל in Bereshis 4:18? Is there any peirush who discusses this change and it significance?
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Adom eating from tree of knowledge

Why didn't Adom eat from the tree of life first and then eat from the tree of knowledge so he can live forever? Do any Medorshim discuss this?
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Is there anyone that says that the “us” in “let us make man btzelem elokim” is referring to humans?

Is there anyone that says that the "us" in "let us make man btzelem elokim" is referring to humans I'm working on a d'var Torah at the moment and hoping for a source to back the idea up that Hashem ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Is Gan Eden a physical place?

Is Gan Eden mentioned in Genesis a physical place? Does it exist physically somewhere on the planet or is it some kind of spiritual place or even some kind of analogy?
12
votes
3answers
255 views

Where did Hevel get the idea to offer an animal?

We know (Bereishit 4) that Hevel kept flocks (not for eating yet, but perhaps for wool and/or milk?), and on that fateful day he offered one to God which Rashi says God consumed in fire. Where did he ...
5
votes
1answer
457 views

Does Rambam take the 6 days of creation literally?

I was told in this answer to another question: "The Rambam did not take the '6 days' of Bereishis literally, as well as other details." The answer linked to Moreh Nevuchim (link) but I couldn't find ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17-22?

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17–22?
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Are we destined to be evil?

It seems like from the very first chapters of the Torah, mankind is destined to be evil and transgress the law of God: The very first couple make the only sin they can. The second child the world ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Does Genesis 2:4 say there was only one day of creation?

Right after it says all the different parts of the world and sky being created on six separate days and rest on the seventh, it says, "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they ...
5
votes
1answer
679 views

Why did God take 7 days to create the world?

Generally we assume that God is omnipotent, and could have created the world in a single day\act, so He must have had a reason to organize creation into 7 days. Why? In other words: Why didn't God ...
-1
votes
2answers
160 views

Is there any evidence of Nephilim?

Numbers 13:33 Numbers 13:32–33 includes a description by the Twelve Spies of giant "Nephilim" that they saw in Canaan: 32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto ...
7
votes
2answers
214 views

Did Chava tell Adam she was giving him fruit from the etz ha'das?

When Chava gave Adam fruit from the etz ha'das to eat did she tell him where the fruit was coming from or not?
2
votes
0answers
143 views

Why did Chava give Adam the fruit to eat?

For what reason did Chava give Adam fruit from the tree of knowledge to eat?
11
votes
2answers
441 views

Would Adam and Chava have been permitted the tree of knowledge if they'd waited?

I've long been somewhat troubled by the episode with the tree in the garden, because it seems like it was necessary for man to acquire knowledge (how else could we enter a covenant and accept the yoke ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

How does the tree of life work?

There were two special trees in Gan Eden. In the case of the tree of knowledge of good and bad, we know that eating from it once produced a permanent effect. Was this true for the tree of life too, ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Is The Tree of Life Good or Bad

In Bereishis God places Cherubin to guard the path to the tree of life so that Adam does not eat from it. There's only one other place where we find the Cherubin - on the ark. Inside the ark was the ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6932/does-the-torah-encoded-age-of-the-universe-match-science#comment53788_6932 The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

How widespread is the belief that Adam had a first wife?

I have heard of that the idea that Adam had a wife before Eve comes from Jewish tradition, and also about the idea that this wife was Lilith. From what I can tell the story of Lilith and the story of ...
10
votes
3answers
459 views

Who was Cain's wife?

I saw this problem on reddit today and I think that we cursorily covered this in Tanach class. Who was Cain's wife? In בראשית ד' י"ז it says " וַיֵּדַע קַיִן אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ" but it never says who she ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Did Kayin and Hevel grow quickly or were they born fully developed?

The sefer Seder Hadorot brings different opinions as to how old Hevel was when he was killed by Kayin. Bershit Rabbah Ch. 22: 50 days (or 90 days [Seder Hadorot says 50 is a printing mistake]) Ibn ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

How did the trees deviate from God's command?

In Bereshis 1:11 God commands עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ however in the next pasuk where it happens we find וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה-פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ, לְמִינֵהוּ. This discrepancy is explained by ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

The tree of life if adam was already immortal

What's the point of creating the tree of life if Adam was already immortal when created? I can understand the tree of knowledge of good and evil, since Adam was lacking in this knowledge and if he ...
-1
votes
2answers
437 views

How does the definition of reishit differ from bereishit?

If I am not mistaken, the Hebrew word for "in the beginning" in Bereishit 1:1, could have been reishit. However, the word used was bereshit. It is my understanding that the use of bereshit (reishit ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Genesis 3:22 as a reference to Yona?

I was told that there is a midrash that learns Genesis 3:22 as a reference to the navi (prophet) Yona ben Amitai, but cannot find the source. Do you know where it is?
12
votes
3answers
269 views

Why name but five creations?

God is described as creating many things in B'reshis chapter 1: animals, people, stars, plants, etc. However, about only five of his creations does it say that he called them by a name: "וַיִּקְרָא ...
5
votes
5answers
811 views

Did God create color in Genesis?

Can I assume that every creation in this world was first manifested in the world during the first six days of the Genesis, which therefore includes color? So was color (the spectrum of hues and ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

What is Shevirat Hakeilim?

Shvirat hakeilim seems to be a Kabbalistic concept denoting how the light was created within the Genesis account. However, I cannot seem to find information regarding it. Can someone please explain ...
1
vote
3answers
243 views

Can the word “eitz” mean “a thought” in the Torah?

Is there support in the Talmud or later rabbinical literature to interpreting the Torah term "eitz," commonly translated as "tree," to also mean "thought". This of course, is a common usage in Yiddish,...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Clothing and shame, etymologically speaking

I have been unable to find an etymological connection between the root for shame בשש (especially as it turns into the forms of בושה בושת) and the word for "clothe" לבש. Shame was introduced in ...
7
votes
4answers
176 views

Why doesn't the second chapter of B'reishit begin at 2:4?

Why is the first chapter break in B'reishit where it is, and not a few verses later at the beginning of the second creation telling (where we place the aliya break)?
3
votes
1answer
115 views

What's the significance of the dot in “bqr” in Danial vs the omission of the same in Genesis

In researching the phrase "evening and morning" I noticed a very small difference in the Hebrew text between Genesis 1 (e.g. 1:4) and Daniel 8:14, where the latter has a tiny dot in the first letter ...
6
votes
5answers
364 views

Was the world created with din or with rachamim?

I remember Chazal saying somewhere that the world could not survive, had it been created with din/harsh judgement/strictness. However, in Bereshis, at the very beginning, it says: בְּרֵאשִׁית ...
11
votes
3answers
256 views

How did Hevel offer an animal sacrifice, wasn't it forbidden to kill animals?

In Bereshit 4:4, Hevel offers his choicest sheep as a sacrifice to G-d. However, in Bereshit 1:29-30, Adam is told he is only allowed to eat vegetables, and Rashi explains that he was forbidden to ...