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

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Understanding the bestowment and receiving the greatest good (HaShem Himself)?

The Ramchal, in short, teaches (Derech HaShem) that HaShem is absolutely, completely and perfectly good; His essence/nature so to speak is the totality of goodness. Because of this He wanted to bestow ...
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Why do all women deserve to suffer for the sin of one woman, Chava?

In the Torah, Bereshit 3:16, all women receive the curse of a painful childbirth and their subservience to men. This is all because Chava made the choice to make Adam eat from the tree. Why should all ...
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Is the blessing “Oseh Ma'aseh Breishit” to be understood literally?

The term "ma'aseh breishit" means, literally "the makings (or creations) of the beginning." The "beginning" seems to me, to refer to the first 6 days of creation. Certain things that we recite "Oseh ...
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Scaling Time to Reconcile Genesis with Science [duplicate]

Some scientists try to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the modern scientific view. see for example Gerald Shroeder's at http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html There he claims the ...
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Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah?

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah if HaShem created rah, or created the tree of knowledge tov v'rah? Why wouldn't HaShem allow the first human beings to take knowledge of rah, because ...
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Inner being: Soul or Spirit?

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 reads: 'vayipach beapav nishmat chayim vayehi ha'adam lenefesh chayah' Is my inner being a 'soul' or a 'spirit', or am I a 'soul' or am I a 'spirit'? Let me make myself clear: ...
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What does HaShem benefits from making the human being?

HaShem made the human being with free will (to choose), but what does it mean to HaShem, or what does He gain/benefits from making the human being and why making this human being with the the ability ...
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hints from verses that 6 days of creation is not literal

Are there hints in the verses of Genesis that the 6 "days" of creation are not literal, i.e. not 24 hour periods but rather some kind of "era".
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searching for the source for Kulo Tov?

What is the original source for HaShem being called 'Kulo Tov', 'Completely Good'? It seems to be the source for the idea that HaShem created the creation to bestow His goodness. Could anyone explain ...
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What is the opposite of shalom?

Could anyone explain me the antonym of shalom? The antonym of light is darkness, but Yeshayahu seems to tell that the antonym of shalom is rah.. but isn't rah the antonym of tov, like in the etz ...
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Meaning and usage of different names for Sunday [duplicate]

At the end of davening, when we introduce the daily psalm, for Sunday, we use the term - יום ראשוז בשבת - The first day in the week. (I'm translating the word שבת as "week", here. It's a valid ...
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The mysteries of Gan Eden.

Bereshit 1:1 and 2:4 seems to indicate that both stories are about the creation of heaven and earth, but then suddenly in verse 2:8 it states that HaShem planted a gan (garden) in Eden. Is Gan Eden ...
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And it was so? Perhaps mistranslated?

A speaker of modern Hebrew would translate the following expression from Genesis 1: וַיְהִי-כֵן "And it will be so." But every translation of Torah I have seen says "and it was so." Couldn't ...
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Did HaShem forget Chava in the creation?

After the creation HaShem says: Bereshit 1:31: 'And Elohim saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was tov me’od (very good).' I guessed that Adam was also tov me'od, but then i red the ...
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Did Adam named the fish? and how were they formed?

Animals (birds inclusive) are formed from the dust of the ground Bereshit 2:19, and Adam gave them a name according to verse 20. But what about the fish (animals of the sea)? Are they also formed ...
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The serpent of Gan Eden [duplicate]

Does the Torah mean that there really was a "talking snake," or was it just a symbol of the Yetzer Hara (Satan/adversary)?
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Where is Adam created?

The Torah tells us G-d brought Adam into Gan Eden after his creation from earth (Bereishis 2:15). If this is the case where was Adam created?
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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 ...
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Can someone help me understand Genesis Rabbah 4?

The beginning of Genesis Rabbah 4 talks mainly about the firmament in creation account. It goes as follows (from the Artscroll Mesorah publication): (4:2): "At the moment the Holy One, Blessed is ...
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What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
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is one an apikores for believing only in Darwin's evolution as a possibility? [duplicate]

Given that the torah's account of creation clearly seems to state that man was created independently from the animals, and likewise, the animals, plants, were created from the ground, would someone ...
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How did G-d make animals and how did they became living beings?

I read a couple of questions and answers that are related to mine, but I could not find any answer to my specific question. The first human being was formed from the dust of the ground; this became ...
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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 ...
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Human v.s. Animal: spiritual v.s the most fine physical entitie kind of soul?

If animals don't have spirits (Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?), than what is the meaning of nishmat ruach chayim in Bereshit 7:22? And in what way does it differ ...
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Questions regarding unusual trope combination

I am relaying a question that my friend emailed to me, last night. (It's a mitzvah to credit others): There are two places in the Torah that have an unusual dual trope note combination on a single ...
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Adam masculine and feminine?

I've gotten the advice to ask this question apart from another question i asked (Elohim plural singular): so here it is Bereshit 5:1 reads according to my own words: 'In/On the day that Elohim ...
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Elohim plural singular [duplicate]

Reading many questions relating to mine and the comments that were given, made me wonder. When Elohim thought of creating the human being (Bereshit 1:26) He spoke (singular): “Let Us make… and after ...
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Ages in Genesis 5 [duplicate]

Are the life spans in Genesis 5 meant to be taken literally? Wasn't the life span of ancient people drastically shorter back then? I have read that the numbers are spiritual numbers that are used to ...
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Was Adam with Chava when she first ate the fruit?

My impression (since childhood) of the incident in the garden is that the serpent persuaded Chava to eat, and then she took some fruit to Adam and he ate it. This question asks if he knew where the ...
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Why is it called “Eden”?

God planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2:8). Why is it called Eden? I don't see that any of the commentaries in my mikraos g'dolos discuss this.
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Connection between עָרוּם and עֲרוּמִּים

In the story of Adam, Eve and the snake the word 'עָרוּם' is used in two completely different contexts, yet they feature one pasuk after the other: Bereishit 2:25 : וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם ...
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Definitions of Creative Words

What is the difference between יצירה, בריאה, and עשייה? (Three terms for creation). The first is used in Genesis (1:1), the second in Genesis (2:7), the third in Genesis (1:11).
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Was Adam placed in Gan Eden to keep the service of HaShem?

Bereshit 2:15 reads: l'avdah uleshomrah, but it seems that this can't be refering to: 'to work the earth and keep it', because after the chet (the sin) it reads in Bereshit 3:23 that Adam was taken ...
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Meaning of יְהִי in Genesis 1:3

What is the meaning and root of the verb "יְהִי" in Genesis 1:3. I want to know more about its root, its other meanings and etc. Does it mean "create?" וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; ...
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What's the difference between לְמִינוֹ and לְמִינֵהוּ?

B'reshis 1:11–12, :25; Sh'mini 11:15–22; and R'e 14:14–15 seem to use "לְמִינוֹ" and "לְמִינֵהוּ" interchangeably, and both words are generally translated the same way (usually ...
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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 ...
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What drove humans to their first sin?

What caused Adam and Chava to sin; to do the wrong thing; to make the wrong choice: What was it in their human being, thats being called Tov me'od (Bereshit 1:31), that drove them into eating from the ...
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Applications of word tzipor

Can the Hebrew word "tzipor" mean any kind of flying creature in Genesis 1, or is the word only referring to fowls such as sparrows, hawks, etc.?
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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 ...
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What does Mimenu mean in Bereishis 3:22

Bereishis 3:22 writes: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ, לָדַעַת, טוֹב וָרָע; וְעַתָּה פֶּן-יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ, וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, וְאָכַל, וָחַי לְעֹלָם The ...
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What is significant about nakedness in Bereishit?

In the story of Adam and Eve we see that "they were both naked, the man and his wife, but they were not ashamed." Bereishit 2:25 Then after they eat the fruit they become aware of their nakedness and ...
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How does “וירא א׳ את האור כי טוב” imply goodness per se?

Haamek Davar to B'reshis 1:4 explains that "טוב" can mean either "good for its intended purpose" (even if that purpose is not good) or "good in truth". The אור (light, let's say) created on the first ...
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What exactly was Adam and Chava's sin?

Bereshit 2:9-10 tells about HaShem Elohim made to spring up every tree (in Gan Eden) pleasing to the sight, and tov for food and the Etz HaChayim (Tree of Life) also in the midst of Gan Eden, and the ...
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Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
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What are the origins of Qayin?

This article is expressing that "Qayin" derived from the 1st millenium BC South Arabic word Qyn, and that Cain is not a name old enough in Bible times of the 2nd millenium. Is it plausible that this ...
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Why say Adam listened to Eve if she merely gave him fruit?

In Genesis 3 Eve simply hands over to Adam the forbidden fruit. If this is so, then why did G-d say "because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree"?
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Identity of the Serpent [duplicate]

Is there a consensus on whether the serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan or not? Is it possible that the application of the word serpent is an adjective?
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Adam and the tree of life?

I have been considering Adam and what G-d said about Adam pertaining to the tree of life directly after the fall. After Adam had transgressed, G-d commanded that the tree of life be withheld from him ...
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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, ...
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Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime?

Shepherds kill animals, and make food from their meat. It wasn't allowed in the antediluvian era. Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime? Wasn't it at least problematic?