And…blessed them (Bereshis 1:22):


ויברך אותם: לפי שמחסרים אותן וצדין מהם ואוכלין אותם הוצרכו לברכה. ואף החיות הוצרכו לברכה, אלא מפני הנחש שעתיד לקללה, לכך לא ברכן, שלא יהא הוא בכלל:

And He blessed them - Because [people] decimate them and hunt them and eat them, they required a blessing; and the beasts also required a blessing, but because the serpent was destined to be cursed, He did not bless them, lest he [the serpent] be included. — [from Gen. Rabbah 11:3, Midrash Tadshe 1]

Why couldn't Hashem exclude the snake? I understand why he didn't bless the beasts. But c'mon, Hashem could've left the snake out of the blessing to the beast... Perhaps "Rachamov Al Kol Ma'asav"?

  • The part of Rashi's commentary you're asking about, is from Midrash Tadshe, which says: "ולמה לא נאמר על חיות שבארץ ברכה, כשם שנאמר על בריאת המים. אלא בשביל רעת הנחש שעתיד לעשות, והיה ראוי לקללה, ואילו ברכו הקב"ה לא היה שוב מקללו".
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 24, 2021 at 3:19
  • Bereshit Rabbah 11:3 (the other source for this Rashi commentary) says "בַּשִּׁשִּׁי נִבְרָא אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה, וּבְנֵי אָדָם שׁוֹחֲטִין בְּהֵמָה וְאוֹכְלִין, וּבְנֵי אָדָם מֵתִים, וּכְתִיב בּוֹ בְּרָכָה וְאֵינוֹ חָסֵר כְּלוּם", suggesting the blessing made on the sixth day covers both humans and the other animals created that day (even though, technically, the Midrash only mentions cattle).
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 24, 2021 at 3:22

3 Answers 3


Sometimes innocents are hurt just because their proximity to evil-doers.

הא מילתא דאמרי אינשי בהדי הוצא לקי כרבא...

... The phrase that people use, saying "[during weeding] together with the thorns the cabbage is damaged"

Bava Kama 92a


Let us presume your approach. Hashem blessed everything besides the snake.

Everyone would argue that because Hashem did not bless him, THAT is why he did the Aveira. It was predestined due to a lack of blessing, not that the lack of blessing is due to the Aveira. People would legitimately understand the wrong principle. Presumably that is why there is only a backward hint based off of the sages, so only someone who trusts Chazal notices this deficiency and its resolution.


This Rashi (actually Medrash) begs the question why were the בהמות not blessed, would that include the snake (presumably no)?

See the Ramban who states that the blessing of fish and birds applies to בהמה and חיות. Since these are similar enough to bird and fish as those for example are moving souls in water/air and these are moving souls on the ground and are generally classified together as animals. Unlike trees.

However, the Sifsei Chachamim there explains that the animals are included in the blessing for man since they procreate like man - I suppose when compared to a tree.

Presumably then one could understand, that although perhaps everyone was actually blessed, just that the fowl and fish were blessed directly, and the land animals (ie: beasts etc...) simply were "included".

So now the question is only why did Hashem bless the fish/birds directly:

According to the Midrash: Perhaps only for us to learn a lesson from this incident. There might be other practical ramifications as well, like the 12 tribes, some are blessed directly and some are included. But I think the Midrash is highlighting one part.

Also note about blessing the animals: The Gur Aryeh mentions that after the flood another blessing is given to the animals, this will cover the land animals; however, since the snake is now cursed it will remain cursed.

Bereishis 8:17

כׇּל־הַחַיָּ֨ה אֲשֶֽׁר־אִתְּךָ֜ מִכׇּל־בָּשָׂ֗ר בָּע֧וֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָ֛ה וּבְכׇל־הָרֶ֛מֶשׂ הָרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ (הוצא) [הַיְצֵ֣א] אִתָּ֑ךְ וְשָֽׁרְצ֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָר֥וּ וְרָב֖וּ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds, animals, and everything that creeps on earth; and let them swarm on the earth and be fertile and increase on earth.”

You can see that all animals are included.

  • How does this answer the question which was why didn’t Hashem just exclude the snake?
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 20, 2022 at 2:13
  • @Chatzkel All the animals were indeed blessed. Why it was done this way 2 options in my answer: 1). So the snake could be cursed (according to the Maharal a blessing before a curse would abrogate the curse). 2). There is a lesson for us to learn. I leave that open because of the many options.
    – msj121
    Jul 21, 2022 at 13:15

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