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

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28
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9answers
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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?
10
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2answers
777 views

Moral Culpability in the Garden

Did Adam and Eve have moral culpability in the Garden before they ate from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil? It would seem that they were like small children in that sense, they were amoral--not ...
6
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6answers
1k views

Why is the word for G-d in Genesis plural?

The word for G-d in Genesis 1:1 is plural in all the manuscripts, there's no debating that it's plural. So really it should read "In the Beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth". Why is this ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Garden of Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
5
votes
2answers
354 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 ...
12
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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 ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
435 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 ...
7
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2answers
109 views

Did Cain and Hevel have דעת?

Kayin and Hevel were born before Adam and Chava sinned and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. (See Rashi to 4:1.) Did Kayin and Hevel ever receive the understanding that their parents got from the ...
5
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1answer
209 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, ...
2
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3answers
107 views

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 ...
12
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3answers
247 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
79 views

What Was The Source Of The Primordial Light On The First Day Of Creation

It says on the first day of creation in Genesis that there was light. On the fourth day of creation, the sun was created. So what was the source of the primordial light on the first day of creation?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the meaning of יוֹם (yowm) in Bereshit?

I've heard conflicting reports of how the creation days , יוֹם (yowm), in Bereshit are interpreted in the Jewish community. How do actual Hebrew scholars define day in Bereshit? six 24 hour periods or ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
177 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
4
votes
2answers
246 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
251 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
117 views

Snakes talking?

I am wondering why snakes no longer talk. The Lord punished the serpent by making him crawl on his belly and eat dust, and be at odds with Eve's offspring, but it does not mention taking away the ...
4
votes
3answers
83 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

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 ...
4
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4answers
126 views

“And it was evening, and it was morning, *one* day”?

Gen. 1:5: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד And it was evening, and it was morning, one day Gen. 1:8: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שֵׁנִי and it was evening, and it was ...
3
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5answers
124 views

Was man created before or after the animals?

According to Genesis chapter 1, it seems that the animals were created first. According to Genesis chapter 2, it seems that man was created first. What are the different understandings that have been ...
2
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3answers
216 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
2
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3answers
436 views

What does the term “sons of G-d” mean?

The term "sons of G-d" בני האלהים is found 3 times in the Hebrew Bible, once in Genesis (6:2), and twice in Job (1:6 and 2:1). What does it mean? Does it have the same meaning in both instances? What ...
0
votes
4answers
114 views

Were Adam and Eve Jewish?

Were Adam and Eve Jewish? Why this question, you ask? Well, they kept Shabbat (after all, Adam already had a relationship with Hashem by virtue that he named all the animals, which would have taken ...
1
vote
1answer
255 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
175 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)?
14
votes
3answers
399 views

Let there be light! But from where?

According to Genesis 1:3, "And G-d said, Let there be light; and there was light." What light is the Torah referring to if the sun which produces light by day was created only on the 4th day of ...
7
votes
2answers
209 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, ...
7
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1answer
216 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?
6
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1answer
253 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

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".
0
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1answer
63 views

Who was Methuselah?

Who was Methuselah? The Torah tells us not much about him. What does the Talmud and the Rabbis say about Methuselah?
0
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2answers
73 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
126 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 ...
7
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2answers
208 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?
6
votes
1answer
964 views

When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
6
votes
5answers
344 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
127 views

shnayim mikra on succos for Parshas Breishis

Can you say Shnayim Mikra for Parshas Breishis prior to Simchas Torah?
4
votes
2answers
64 views

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).
4
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2answers
233 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Genesis 2:7 vs 2:19

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord G-d formed man of the dust of the ground vs. :19 And out of the ground the Lord G-d formed every beast of the field I just want to know the difference between "the dust of ...
3
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4answers
166 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 ...
2
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3answers
159 views

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: ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

Differences between Genesis 1 and 2

I understand that Judaism teaches "Torah Inerrancy", so I assume that Judaism does take the creation account as narrated in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 pretty seriously. But as we all know, Genesis 1 ...
2
votes
1answer
366 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
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2answers
127 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 ...
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2answers
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Request in Kiddush Levanah about restoring the moon's original luminance

Near the end of Kiddush Levana, there is a request that says: וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי לְמַלּאֹת פְּגִימַת הַלְּבָנָה, וְלאֹ יִהְיֶה בָּהּ שׁוּם מִעוּט, וִיהִי אוֹר ...